This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Training in October in Montana
Washington Farm Internship Project Expands
USDA Offers Apiculture Insurance in 48 States
Pennsylvania Food Shed Initiative Obtains Funding
Wildflowers Draw Pollinators to Increase Apple Orchard Yields
Biochar Could Help Reduce Nitric Oxide in Air
Western SARE Farmer-Rancher Grants
Acer Access and Development Program
New York Industrial Hemp Processing Grant
National Heirloom Expo
Conservation in Action Tour
Farm-Based Food Safety Training in Montana
News & Resources
NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Training in October in Montana The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is accepting applications for its week-long sustainable agriculture training program for military veterans, Armed to Farm (ATF). This training will take place October 9-13, 2017, in Charlo, Montana. ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career through farm tours, hands-on experience, and interactive classroom instruction. The event is free for those chosen to attend. Applications are due by August 18, 2017.
Washington Farm Internship Project Expands Washington's Farm Internship Project, overseen by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, has added three more counties and been extended until December 31, 2019. Farms with annual sales of less than $250,000 per year may participate in the project. Under the project, interns have workers' compensation protection along with the opportunity for a valuable education and hands-on experience in farming activities. Applications and curriculum resources are available online. Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships
USDA Offers Apiculture Insurance in 48 States USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced changes to the Apiculture Pilot Insurance plan, ensuring greater protection for producers' honey, pollen collection, wax, and breeding stock, and extending coverage to include 19 additional states. Coverage is now available throughout the 48 contiguous states.
Pennsylvania Food Shed Initiative Obtains Funding The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded $1.75 million to Fayette County Community Action Agency, Inc. and the Republic Food Enterprise Center to develop the Southwestern Pennsylvania Local Food Shed. The project will include development of new and diverse economic opportunities through food production and export. The investment will support expanded development of four existing agriculture-industry clusters: sheep, lamb, and goats; poultry; specialty crops; and value-added processing.
Biochar Could Help Reduce Nitric Oxide in Air A Rice University study showed that using biochar in agriculture can not only increase crop yields, but also cut emissions of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide by storing nitrogen in the soil. This could lower ozone and particulate-matter levels in urban areas near farmland, according to the study published in Environmental Science and Technology. Related ATTRA Publication:Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture
Western SARE Farmer-Rancher Grants These grants support projects conducted by agricultural producers with guidance from a technical advisor. Individual farmers or ranchers may apply for up to $20,000, and a group of three or more producers may apply for up to $25,000. Producers typically use their grants to conduct on-site experiments that can improve their operations and the environment and can be shared with other producers. Grant recipients may also focus on marketing and organic production. Proposals are due by December 6, 2017.
Acer Access and Development Program The Acer Access and Development Program administered by USDA-AMS offers grants to support the efforts of States, tribal governments, and research institutions to promote the domestic maple syrup industry. Supported activities include the following: promotion of research and education related to maple syrup production; promotion of natural resource sustainability in the maple syrup industry; market promotion for maple syrup and maple-sap products; encouragement of owners and operators of privately held land to initiate or expand maple-sugaring activities; or to voluntarily make the land available for access by the public for maple-sugaring activities. The maximum award is $350,000. Applications are due August 25, 2017.
New York Industrial Hemp Processing Grant New York State has allocated $5 million for the New York State Industrial Hemp Processing Grant Fund. The program provides grants for machinery and equipment required to process industrial hemp for commercialization in New York. Grants provide $50,000 to $500,000 for up to 50% of total project costs supporting capital investments. The remaining 50% must be matched by the recipient. Applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
National Heirloom Expo September 5-7, 2017 Santa Rosa, California This event features more than 100 speakers on gardening, food, and farming. There will also be demonstrations, exhibits, and vendors.
Conservation in Action Tour September 5-6, 2017 West Lafayette, Indiana The Conservation Technology Information Center hosts this annual tour highlighting soil health and nutrient and water management.
Farm-Based Food Safety Training in Montana August 22, 2017 Kalispell, Montana Fresh-produce farmers will be able to see and experience practical on-farm solutions to developing their food safety plans at this free, farm-based food safety training.
Weekly Harvest Archives Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.
ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.