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Archived Agriculture News Articles:

USDA program supports farm pollution prevention 03/24/2008
A sign-up for the Conservation Security Program (CSP) will be available from April 18 to May 16 to approximately 64,000 potentially eligible farms and ranches in 51 watersheds covering more than 23.7 million acres. CSP is a voluntary conservation program that supports ongoing stewardship of private, agricultural working lands and rewards those producers who are meeting the highest standards of conservation and environmental management on their operations.
Original Story
Hospitals can enhance the environment with local foods 09/11/2007
A new brochure from The Center for Food and Justice and The Community Food Security Coalition helps hospitals prevent pollution through food purchase choices. The brochure introduces interested farmers and hospital food service departments to the ins and outs of developing partnerships between hospitals and local farms. Included are examples of ways hospitals can improve the food they offer, issues for farmers to consider if they are interested in selling products to area hospitals, and specific case studies of successful programs.
Original Story
Alternative cropping protects water quality 08/08/2007
Although the addition of nutrients to soil helps to maximize crop production, fertilizer can leach nutrients, polluting the water supply. A recent study by researchers at the University of Minnesota shows alternative cropping practices may help to protect the environment by reducing high nitrate levels in surface water and groundwater caused by conventional fertilizer use. Over a three-year period in southwest Minnesota, researchers measured tile drainage and nitrate losses under cropping systems categorized as conventional (corn-soybean rotations with inorganic fertilizer application and pesticide usage) and alternative (organic management practices that incorporated rotation of a variety of crops including corn, soybean, oat, alfalfa, buckwheat and rye with nutrients supplied from legumes and either fresh or composted manure sources). The study found that alternative cropping systems reduced the amount of water lost in tile drainage by 41 percent compared to a conventional corn-soybean rotation. Alternative farming practices also reduced nitrate-nitrogen losses by between 59 percent and 62 percent in two out of three years.
Original Story
Internet resources to reduce farm energy use 08/08/2007
Farmers and ranchers can now use a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service website to estimate farm energy use for things such as irrigation and nitrogen. For example, farmers can use manure instead of petroleum-based fertilizers to reduce costs by $55 an acre. The site also provides a list of farm energy options, with links to resources. Also on the Internet, a National Center for Appropriate Technology database provides state-by-state information that includes resources for making farms (and homes) more energy efficient. The database includes technical information and links to stores that sell innovative energy options as well as links to state databases of initiatives and incentives for using energy efficient technology. At this site, one can also search by topic such as solar, wind or anaerobic digesters.
Original Story
Green-Blue Summit: Clean Water through Residential Integrated Pest Management 05/23/2007
Are you interested in the connections between residential pest management, nutrients, and water quality? Then plan to attend the "Green-Blue Summit" on July 18-19, 2007. This event will focus on integrated pest management (IPM) and nutrient management in turf and structural settings. Participants will identify specific areas of concern, help develop strategic plans for addressing IPM needs, and create core messages for consumer outreach and education.
Original Story
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture proposes to expand agricultural conservation programs 05/23/2007
For the 2007 Farm Bill, the USDA proposes to increase funding for regional water and wildlife habitat enhancement, expand incentives for conservation practices, discourage conversion of grasslands to crop production, and maintaining the Conservation Reserve Program that reduces soil erosion.
Original Story
Course in Sustainable Agriculture 02/28/2007
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program has initiated a new National Continuing Education Program on Sustainable Agriculture starting with: Basic Principles and Concept Overview. The online course course provides a detailed introduction to sustainable agriculture and what it means for farmers, ranchers and communities. The course is presented in an interactive web-based format which is self-paced and user friendly.
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Kayapo of Brazil prevent pollution through sustainable agriculture 02/28/2007
The Kayapo, which includes 5,000 people in 14 communities, own and manage 28.4 million acres of rain forest, a territory the size of Ohio and the world's largest area of tropical forest protected by a single indigenous group. They have found unity in focusing on their traditional methods of Brazil nut harvesting after logging and mining activities in the 1980s and '90s divided community members. Sustainable agriculture not only can replace mining and logging as sources of income, but helps them defend their territory against the current encroachment of cattle ranches, soy farms and other activities that damage and pollute Kayapo lands. The Forest Stewardship Council certified the Bau Indigenous Territory of the Kayapo Nation in 2006.
Original Story
Clean Diesel Agriculture Leaders Forum To Be Held in California 02/20/2007
In Sacramento on March 28-29, diesel agriculture sector partners will come together to recognize successes, share examples of ongoing activities, and focus on future innovative solutions to minimize diesel emissions through agriculture and biofuels. The meeting will include demonstration activities at local innovative diesel emission reduction projects.
Original Story
Cranberry farms learn to grow more, spray less 09/25/2006
Rutgers University agricultural experts are teaching growers to reduce their use of pesticides while harvesting a bumper crop. Rutgers is using a $96,200 EPA grant for a two year project to explore more novel, reduced-risk methods for controlling pests in cranberry production. The Rutgers University Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center is working with state and county organizations and five farms in Burlington County to identify cost-effective ways to monitor pests and track the impacts of reduced chemical pesticides on species in cranberry fields while measuring and recording the amounts of insecticides used.
Original Story
DOE and USDA fund genomics projects for bioenergy fuels research 09/03/2006
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) have jointly awarded nine grants totaling $5.7 million for biobased fuels research to accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources. Fundamental research should facilitate the use of woody plant tissue for biofuels. The research projects will focus on poplar, alfalfa, sorghum, wheat, and other grasses.
Original Story
EPA establishes standards for pesticide containers and containment 09/03/2006
EPA has published its final rule establishing standards for pesticide containers and containment. The rule requires pesticide labels to provide instructions on how to properly clean containers before disposal or recycling. The rule also establishes standards for secondary containment structures at certain agricultural storage sites and for containment pads at certain agricultural pesticide dispensing operations.
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EPA's Ag Compliance Assistance Center offers new information on energy efficiency 09/03/2006
The Ag Center has added Energy Efficiency links to its P2, BMP and Conservation Topic Page. Energy Efficiency refers to programs that are aimed at reducing the energy used by specific end-use devices and systems, typically without affecting the services provided. Such savings are generally achieved by substituting technically more advanced equipment to produce the same level of end-use services (e.g. lighting, heating, motor drive) with less electricity.
Original Story
EPA's Environmental Appeals Board approves voluntary agreements to assess air emissions from AFOs 09/03/2006
EPA has received approval to gather air emissions data from agricultural animal feeding operations (AFOs) and to ensure compliance with environmental laws. Selected farms, a total of 6,267, representing 1,856 swine, 468 dairy, 204 egg-laying, and 40 broiler chicken (meat-bird) operations will voluntarily take part in a nationwide monitoring study to evaluate their air emissions (an AFO can include more than one farm). The industry-led monitoring survey is expected to begin this winter.
Original Story
GA: University wins grant to reduce pollution from poultry litter (manure) 09/03/2006
EPA awarded the UGA Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering a $58,000 grant to research innovative uses of poultry litter to benefit energy, fuel, and environmental and economic demands. Georgia currently ranks first in the nation in the production of poultry and poultry litter, and disposing of the litter is a growing environmental concern. Most poultry litter is beneficially used as fertilizer for crops; however, applying too much litter to farmland can result in impaired soil and water quality.
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National Research/Extension Water Program website offers additional resources 09/03/2006
The 2005 and 2006 Proceedings of the National Water Conference sponsored by the U.S. Dept. of Ag's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension service (CSREES), have moved to the National Water Program Website. To locate an abstract, presentation, or poster, search the index organized by the lead author's last name or by theme listing. Workshops, topical meetings, and symposia are listed on separate pages. Users may also input keywords or authors on the search button to locate items housed on the website.
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Sustainable Agriculture Coalition requests stronger EPA rules regarding CAFOs 09/03/2006
The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition submitted public comments on the EPA proposed revision of the Clean Water Act regulations concerning Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) discharge permits and effluent limitations. It requested that EPA establish a regulatory presumption that Large CAFOs actually discharge pollutants. It also recommended that CAFOs should have NPDES permits that ensure the nutrients from its manure and other wastes are applied only in an amount needed to met the agronomic needs of crops or other vegetation at the land application site. Further, it recommended that the agricultural stormwater exemption should not apply to the discharge of arsenic, heavy metals, pathogenic bacteria, antibiotics, hormones and other pollutants in CAFO manure and waste. Most of these pollutants serve no agronomic purpose and some may actually degrade soil quality and damage crops and other vegetation.
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USDA announces new protection for Prairie Pothole duck nesting habitat 09/03/2006
USDA will include new Duck Nesting Habitat acreage in its Conservation Reserve Program. Enrollment is limited to land in the Prairie Pothole Region encompassing parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The maximum acreages allocated are: 40,000 acres to North Dakota, 40,000 acres to South Dakota, 8,000 acres to Minnesota, 8,000 acres to Montana and 4,000 acres to Iowa. Enrolled land must be outside the 100-year floodplain and capable of being restored to USDA wetland standards. To provide a buffer that will protect water quality and provide quality nesting habitat, 4 to 10 upland acres will be enrolled for every acre of wetlands. An incentive payment will equal 25 percent of the cost to restore the sites hydrology, an annual rental payment and cost-share assistance of up to 50 percent for eligible practice installation costs. Sign-up will begin Oct. 1, 2006.
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USDA awards Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency grants 09/03/2006
USDA has announced the award of $17.5 million in Section 9006 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program grants to 375 recipients in 36 states. According to the Environmental Law and Policy Center in Chicago, the top five states in total number of awards are: Nebraska (151 awards, including 125 irrigation efficiency projects), Iowa (51 awards, including 43 grain dryer replacements), Minnesota (32 awards, including 13 utility-scale wind projects), Mississippi (21 awards, including 19 poultry house efficiency projects) and Wisconsin (12 awards). An increased number of grants were awarded to smaller renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, in particular grain dryers, poultry houses and irrigation projects. The large number of energy efficiency awards reflects the importance of this program in helping to provide energy cost relief for farmers struggling with high diesel, propane and electricity costs. It also reflects the changes that USDA has made to the program in lowering minimum grant awards and simplifying the application process for smaller projects. Six biofuels facilities, six anaerobic digesters and a variety of smaller solar and small wind energy projects received grants. A complete list of grant recipients is posted at .
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Federal judge rejects Administration's attempt to weaken pesticide rules 08/30/2006
A federal judge in Seattle has rejected a Bush administration decision to weaken rules governing pesticide use. U.S. District Judge John Coughenour cited a "total lack" of scientific justification for the change and noted that there were "disturbing indications" the administration deliberately muted dissent from government scientists. In 2004, the administration created a new rule allowing it to ignore the "consultation" requirement of the Endangered Species Act. It claimed that requiring multiple agencies to agree on potential effects of pesticides was a logistical nightmare; instead, EPA should decide on its own. Coughenour's action throws out the new rule, requiring the EPA to once again consult with other federal and state agencies when considering pesticide effects on threatened and endangered species.
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WY: University dedicates a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center 08/30/2006
The University of Wyoming will dedicate a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) near Lingle on September 7. SAREC includes 1,522 acres of dry land cropland, 349 acres of irrigated cropland, 1,880 acres of rangeland, 19 acres of irrigated organic cropland, 40 acres of dry land organic cropland, a feedlot, and a livestock research laboratory. SAREC provides a platform to conduct inquiries that matter to Wyoming agricultural producers and the public, such as cattle and crop interactions with rangeland, and how to improve both economic and environmental sustainability.
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P3 National Student Design Competition 08/29/2006
The P3 competition provides grants to teams of college students to research, develop, and design sustainability solutions. P3 highlights people, prosperity, and the planetthe three pillars of sustainabilityas the next step beyond P2 or pollution prevention. The P3 Awards program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to address technical needs in moving towards the goal of sustainability. Categories for entries: Agriculture, Materials and Chemicals, Energy, Information Technology, Water, and Built Environment. Proposals are due December 21, 2006.
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Water pollution prevented by grazing management 08/29/2006
The 2006 Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Progress Report now available from Iowa State University features summaries of 21 projects that were funded by the Center and finished their work in 2005 and 2006. One project posed this question: Can sediment and phosphorus pollution of pasture streams be controlled by grazing management? Project results demonstrated that sediment and phosphorus loading from upland areas of pastures may be controlled by maintaining forage height at 4 inches or greater. Similarly, adequate forage along pasture streams limited sediment and phosphorus loading from stream bank erosion.
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CO, WY: September listening sessions on "cooperative conservation" 08/28/2006
The Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality have announced the dates and locations of the next set of listening sessions on cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships. Sites in Region 8 are: Colorado Springs, Colorado, 9 a.m., Sept. 15, 2006, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Gymnasium. USDA Under Secretary Mark Rey will attend. Pinedale, Wyoming, 1 p.m., Sept. 19, 2006; Sublette County Library, Lovatt Room, 156 S. Tyler. Michael Bogert, Counselor to the Secretary of the Interior, will attend. The listening sessions give citizens an opportunity to exchange ideas on incentives, partnership programs, and regulations that can improve results and promote cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships. Specific questions will include: * How can the federal government enhance wildlife habitat, species protection, and other conservation outcomes through regulatory and voluntary conservation programs? * How can the federal government enhance cooperation among federal agencies and with states, tribes, and local communities in the application of environmental protection and conservation laws? * How can the federal government work with states, tribes, and other public- and private-sector partners to improve science used in environmental protection and conservation? * How can the federal government work cooperatively with businesses and landowners to protect the environment and promote conservation? * How can the federal government better respect the interests of people with ownership in land, water, and other natural resources?
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U.S. government agencies hold listening sessions on cooperative conservation 08/01/2006
Citizens are invited to participate in listening sessions across the country to exchange ideas on incentives, partnership programs, and regulations that can improve results and promote cooperative conservation and environmental partnerships. The White House Council on Environmental Quality, Secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, & Commerce, & the EPA Administrator are hosting the meetings. The President's Conference on Cooperative Conservation in August 2005 identified 3 broad approaches to improving conservation results: promoting cooperation within the federal government, promoting cooperation between the federal government and others, and eliminating barriers to cooperation. The listening session topics will include: * How can the federal government enhance wildlife habitat, species protection, and other conservation outcomes through regulatory and voluntary conservation programs? * How can the federal government enhance cooperation among federal agencies and with states, tribes, and local communities in the application of environmental protection and conservation laws? * How can the federal government work with states, tribes, and other public- and private-sector partners to improve science used in environmental protection and conservation? * How can the federal government work cooperatively with businesses and landowners to protect the environment and promote conservation? * How can the federal government better respect the interests of people with ownership in land, water, and other natural resources? The meetings will help inform and guide senior federal officials in enhancing the Administration's cooperative conservation programs and policies. The first of at least two dozen to be held around the country, are scheduled at the following locations: Spokane, Wash., Aug. 9; Helena, Mont., Aug. 14; Roanoke, Va., Aug. 14; Boise, Idaho, Aug. 21; Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 28; Jefferson City, Mo. Aug. 29; Redding, Calif., Sept. 13; Colton, Calif., Sept. 14.
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Georgia program reduces pollution from agriculture 07/03/2006
With assistance from an EPA Regional Strategic Agricultural Initiative grant of $178,393, Georgia Organics reports has promoted the practice of reduced tillage in 28 workshops and on-farm demonstrations for more than 3 years. The grant has also allowed Georgia Organics to work with leading researchers and local farmers to improve conservation tillage systems for organic vegetable production. The project also directly targeted the reduction of pesticides in fruit and vegetable production.
Original Story
Sustainable agriculture research & education project highlights 07/03/2006
Farmers, ranchers and agricultural educators seeking to learn more about profitable and practical agricultural systems will find a wealth of ideas from 2006/07 SARE Highlights, which features 12 of the most innovative research projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program.
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Tribal pesticide and special projects; 2006 request for proposals 07/03/2006
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), in coordination with the EPA regional offices, is soliciting pesticide and special project proposals from eligible tribes, Alaska native villages, and intertribal consortia for fiscal year (FY) 2006 funding. Under this program, cooperative agreement awards will provide financial assistance for projects that assess or reduce risks to human health and the environment from pesticide exposure. The total amount of funding available for award in FY 2006 is expected to be approximately $400,000, with a maximum funding level of $50,000 per project. Proposals must be postmarked on or before August 7, 2006.
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USDA Small Business Innovation Research 07/03/2006
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites science-based small business firms to submit proposals for high-quality research or research and development (R/R&D) that could lead to significant public benefit if successful. Especially encouraged are proposals on: Agriculturally-related Manufacturing Technology, Bioterrorism, or Alternative and Renewable Energy. Phase I projects, up to $80,000 and 8 months, determine the scientific or technical feasibility of ideas submitted by applicants. Phase II awards will be made during fiscal year (FY) 2007 to firms with approaches that appear sufficiently promising as a result of Phase I studies, with each award ranging up to $350,000. Due date: September 1, 2006.
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USDA Releases web-based irrigation energy calculator 06/23/2006
USDA has released "Energy Estimator for Irrigation," a Web-based calculator tool designed to help producers manage their irrigation water resources more efficiently. As more than 55 million acres of agricultural land are irrigated nationwide, proper irrigation management can result in significant energy savings for producers individually and collectively. For instance, a producer can move from a high-pressure irrigation system to a low-pressure system and save up to $66 per acre based on spring 2006 prices. Improving water efficiency by just 10 percent could reduce diesel consumption by 27 million gallons and save farmers and ranchers $55 million annually.
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Forest industry leaders commit to action on global sustainability 06/19/2006
In Ottawa, member companies of the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) signed a major new leadership agreement on sustainability on June 12, 2006. The agreement was signed by 59 company CEOs and association presidents -- representing some of the largest pulp, paper, and wood companies in the world -- during the second meeting of the ICFPA Global CEO Roundtable. According to the ICFPA President, the statement makes a "clear and strong commitment to sustainable development and to working with other stakeholders to ensure that environmental, social and economic benefits of our natural resources are available to current and future generations."
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CO, SD & WY: Conservation partnership & watershed assessment grants 06/05/2006
The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has awarded grants for conservation partnerships and watershed assessment in these 3 states. The Wyoming chapter of Trout Unlimited and the South Dakota Department of Agriculture each received around $100,000 to address conservation priorities in watersheds and airsheds of special significance. Three grants of $50-75,000 each went to the Colorado and South Dakota Departments of Agriculture, and the Mancos, CO Soil Conservation District, as well as $150,000 to the Belle Fourche River Watershed Partnership in SD. The latter grants fund locally-led watershed resource assessment and planning.
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Reduce arsenic exposure through chicken purchases 06/05/2006
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released a new study, entitled "Playing Chicken: Avoiding Arsenic in Your Meat," which reveals that arsenic is present in most non-organic chicken products. Testing of 155 samples from supermarket chicken products found 55 percent carried detectable levels of arsenic, a poison that contributes to various chronic diseases & reduced intellectual function. All 90 fast food chicken products contained arsenic. The toxin levels are due to the unnecessary industry practice of adding arsenic to chicken feed with the goal of killing parasites and promoting growth. Arsenic is not allowed in the feed of "organic" chickens. In the "conventional" (i.e. not "organic") market, Tyson Foods' chickens had among the lowest levels of detectable arsenic.
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Resource: Smart water use on farms and ranches 06/05/2006
A free resource highlights new approaches to water use and conservation in production agriculture. Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch, a 16-page bulletin by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), features ways to manage soil to improve infiltration, select drought-tolerant crops and native forages, and design innovative runoff collection systems. The booklet showcases recent research, and features farm & ranch stories.
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Farm income from carbon sequestration 05/31/2006
Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana has enrolled his own 600-acre corn and soybean farm in the Chicago Climate Exchange. According to a Reuters news story, his farm will devote about a third of its acreage to growing hardwood trees. The Chicago Climate Exchange will estimate the carbon dioxide tons the trees will absorb, and Lugar is then eligible to sell those credits on the Exchange for $3.50 per ton.
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Funding: EPA regional Source Reduction Assistance Grants 05/31/2006
Tribal entities in all of EPA's regions except Regions 1, 8 and 9 are eligible to apply for funds to support source reduction/pollution prevention and/or resource conservation activities. Each region has developed a list of projects it will consider under this program. A 5 percent funding match is required. Due date: June 19, 2006
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Compostable packaging in use at Wal-Mart 05/19/2006
A new line of completely compostable kiwifruit packaging is in use at Wal-Mart stores in the U.S. The Earthcycle tray is a moulded pulp package made from palm fiber of the Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB), a waste product left over after the palm fruit is harvested and pressed for oil. Previously incinerated or landfilled, this fiber is now made into FDA food grade packaging which is certified compostable (ASTM D6400). It will biodegrade in less than 90 days. To protect the kiwifruit, the pack is covered in NatureFlexTM film, a certified compostable (ASTM D6400) material made with cellulose derived from wood pulp harvested at managed plantations. Even the paper label is earth-friendly, designed with water-based ink and a special adhesive. It is certified by the OK Home Compost program in Europe (EN13432).
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UT: Zollinger Fruit and Tree Farm preserved as agricultural open space. 05/19/2006
Facing increased farming expenses, changing family priorities, and rapidly rising land values that prevent farms from expanding, many farmers have had few options other than selling their land for development. A 48-acre orchard of apples and nursery stock, the farm has been in the Zollinger family for over 100 years. It is an authentic place for families to experience the historic life of the region, enjoy the farm's beauty, and taste local food in an increasingly developed valley. The Zollinger family solution was to sell a conservation easement to the Trust for Public Land (TPL) while it continues to own and manage the farm. TPL, with local, regional, state and federal help, raised $1,478,000 in public and private funds for the purchase of some of the farm's development rights. TPL conveyed the easement to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food with the responsibility for compliance with its provisions in perpetuity.
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Slow Money supports slow food 05/16/2006
The "Slow Food" movement values sustainability, cultural and biological diversity, artisanal food production, pleasure and quality in everyday life, inclusiveness, authenticity, and integrity. "Slow Money" is a project of the Investors' Circle (IC), the only national network devoted specifically to investing in early-stage companies and funds that are working to solve major social and environmental problems. Slow Money connects venture capital, $3.4 Million so far, with entrepreneurial food companies that address social and environmental issues such as organic foods, fair trade, and humane animal husbandry.
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Organic apples prevent pollution 05/01/2006
Fertilizing apple trees with synthetic chemicals produces more adverse environmental effects than feeding them with organic manure or alfalfa. Nitrogen compounds from fertilizer can enter the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. They also enter watersheds and can have distant effects such as contaminating water tables and causing biological dead zones at the mouths of major rivers.
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Graduate fellowships in sustainable agriculture 04/26/2006
The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program invites proposals for Graduate Student Fellow Grants to address issues in sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the Western region. These grants provide a maximum of $20,000 and may last for up to two years. Western SARE will consider applications from graduate students (masters and Ph.D.) enrolled full time at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region. Proposals are due May 31, 2006.
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MT: Growers develop 'Homegrown' label 04/26/2006
A group of 12 organic farmers in Western Montana have developed a "Homegrown" label to certify that food is locally and sustainably raised. Western Montana Sustainable Growers Union members will sign a pledge to use sustainable practices and to market their products within a 150-mile radius. The label is designed to foster a closer relationship between growers and their customers within the local community, in place of the impersonal third-party certification of the National Organic Program.
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Prevent Gulf of Mexico pollution with farm subsidy reform? 04/26/2006
Each year, an average of $270 million worth of wasted fertilizer flows down the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, creating a "Dead Zone" of more than 5,000 square miles that is completely devoid of marine life. Now, a new Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of government and industry data shows that reforms of wasteful federal farm programs could lead the way to restoration of America's most valuable fishery. According to the report, Dead in the Water, shifting a modest portion of crop subsidies, particularly those that go to the largest and wealthiest growers, into programs that encourage more careful fertilizer use, wetland restoration and the streamside planting of grass and trees to absorb runoff, could reduce dead zone pollution significantly while also boosting the bottom line for family farms.
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MT: Funds for sustainability projects 04/05/2006
Montana's Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO) is offering grants of up to $800 for groups to work together on projects ranging from sustainable on-farm research and demonstration to renewable energy or food security issues. The Community Grants applicants must be a group of at least four participants who work together on a project in Montana. Proposals are due April 21, 2006.
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Tribal Pollution Prevention events, workshops and conferences 04/05/2006
Tribal Pollution Prevention events, workshops and conferences are featured on the Peaks to Prairies events listing.
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WA: WSU has a new Biologically Intensive Agriculture and Organic Farming program 04/05/2006
BIOAg is a program of Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR), recently funded by the state Legislature with a one-year appropriation of $400,000. CSANR's vision is to provide the state with research, demonstration farms, more educational offerings, and more research into links between food production and nutrition. Biologically intensive agriculture refers to farming practices and systems that emphasize natural biological processes that can reduce the use of costly chemical fertilizers, pest controls, and other synthetic farm inputs. Organic farming is one example of the application of BIOAg systems.
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WalMart increasing organic foods line 04/05/2006
Business Week reports in its online edition that Wal-Mart intends to double its offering of organic produce, dairy, and dry good products. Some U.S. organic producers are not happy with the news, fearing that the retail giant will pressure prices downward while increasing foreign imports. For example, Silk brand soy milk is made from organic soybeans imported from China and Brazil, where prices are lower. Dean Foods, a major food retailer invested in the organic market owns the Silk label. Nonetheless, Business Week reports organic producers everywhere are struggling to meet demand. Demand exceeds supply by 10 percent currently for organic dairy products.
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CO: Using coal to reduce pollution? 03/30/2006
Denver-based Rentech Inc. expects to be first in the U.S. to utilize a unique technology that can squeeze ultraclean diesel, naphtha and jet fuel out of Colorado's abundant coal. The Fischer- Tropsch reaction has been used only in South Africa to convert gas derived from coal to produce diesel. Coal is relatively inexpensive compared to petroleum, and though it takes more energy to produce the Fischer-Tropsch fuel from coal than the energy derived from it, the same is true of petroleum, and even more so of ethanol. When ethanol & biodiesel are derived from energy intensive and soil-degrading crops such as corn or soybeans, their environmental impacts can be many times worse than turning coal to liquids. Producing one gallon of ethanol requires 1,700 gallons of water and generates 12 gallons of waste. Rentech plans to switch the fuel source of an existing nitrogen fertilizer plant in Illinois to coal by 2009. Nitrogen fertilizers are typically produced from natural gas, a high quality energy source less available than coal. The plant will use the Fischer-Tropsch technology to produce 1,750 barrels of fuel per day, 24 megawatts of electricity and 920 tons per day of ammonia fertilizer, all from coal.
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New study confirms the ecological virtues of organic farming 03/15/2006
A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) provides strong evidence to support the claim that organic farming is better for the environment. The researchers found that fertilizing apple trees with synthetic chemicals produced more adverse environmental effects than feeding them with organic manure or alfalfa.
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Funding: Study effects of agricultural conservation practices 03/03/2006
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's research funding agency, CSREES, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service have $2.6M available for grants up to $660,000 to evaluate effects of watershed conservation practices. The agencies want to foster understanding of how a combination of conservation practices, their timing, and their distribution throughout a watershed affect the achievement of locally defined water quality goals. Deadline for proposals is 4/11/06.
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Funding: USDA requests proposals on water quality 03/03/2006
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's NATIONAL INTEGRATED WATER QUALITY PROGRAM has published its invitation for INTEGRATED RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND EXTENSION COMPETITIVE GRANTS. Proposals are due April 11, 2006. Funded projects should lead to science-based decision making and management practices that improve the quality of the Nation’s surface water and groundwater resources in agricultural, rural, and urbanizing watersheds.
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New Tool: Southern Organic Resource Guide 01/18/2006
The Southern Organic Resource Guide is a 136 page reference handbook of organic resources in the South including Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. It lists organic certification agencies, education and outreach resources, certified organic operations and suppliers of inputs for organic producers.
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US Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Pesticide Buffers Around Salmon Streams 01/18/2006
The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal last week regarding the banning of pesticides near Western salmon streams. Patti Goldman, an attorney with the environmental law firm Earthjustice, said she was pleased with the ruling. "There have been many attempts by the chemical industry and the growers to get rid of the buffers; we now know they will remain in place." In January 2004, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour in Seattle imposed a buffer of 100 yards for aerial spraying and a 20-yard buffer for ground application of a myriad of pesticides, from agricultural sprays to household weed-killers.
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Colorado: New Bill Introduced for Selling Water 01/17/2006
Legislation introduced Monday proposes an easier way for farmers to sell a portion of their water to cities, while holding onto enough to keep farming. The Rotational Crop Management Bill would make water a renewable crop, instead of a one-time sale that puts farmers out of business. Proponents of the bill maintain that this would help preserve Colorado's agricultural industry. Farms and ranches consume more than 80 percent of the state's water, and according to some people, hold better promise than continuing to tap mountain rivers.
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Cuts to Agricultural Pollution Prevention Programs 01/03/2006
In the recently passed budget, Congress cut back significantly on the Conservation Security Program which provides incentives for farmers to engage in a wide array of conserving and pollution preventing practices. Other programs that foster pollution prevention were cut as well: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
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Utah and Montana: State University Faculty Support Ag EMS Networking 01/03/2006
Recently agricultural producers formed a network for technical assistance and mutual support of agricultural Environmental Management Systems. The Ag EMS Network website has been launched. John Harrison of Utah State University is supporting the network by providing the web site. Gene Surber of Montana State University is the primary information contact from the web site. Founding producers met in a networking meeting in June 2005 organized by leaders of a research/extension project called Partnerships for Livestock Environmental Management Systems .
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Growth in Organic Farming Acreage 12/28/2005
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service has issued a report that documents growth in organic production from 1992-2003. Certified organic cropland for grains, fruits, vegetables and other crops more than doubled from 1992 to 1997, and doubled again for many crops between 1997 and 2003. Two organic livestock sectors—poultry and dairy—grew even faster. By 2003, farmers in 49 States dedicated 2.2 million acres of cropland and pasture to organic production systems. The report notes that while adoption of organic farming systems showed strong gains between 1992 and 2003 and the adoption rate remains high, the overall adoption level is still low--only about 0.4 percent of all U.S. cropland and 0.1 percent of all U.S. pasture was certified organic in 2003.
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Managed Grazing Pays Better than Confinement for Dairy Cows 12/28/2005
Farms using managed grazing typically produce less milk per cow than confinement farms. However, a series of economic studies in Wisconsin and elsewhere show that, for many dairy farmers, the savings they realize using managed grazing more than offsets the loss in milk revenues due to lower production. These studies show that grazing farms are economically competitive with confinement operations.
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NEW TOOL: Ecological Farm Insect Management 12/28/2005
The Sustainable Agriculture Network has published "Manage Insects on Your Farm: A Guide to Ecological Strategies." The guide highlights ecological strategies that improve a farm’s natural defenses and encourage beneficial insects to attack the worst pests. Examples of successful pest management strategies show how to develop a more diverse farm ecosystem.
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Toronto’s Pesticide Ban Upheld 12/28/2005
Despite pressure from the pesticide industry, Canada's top court has upheld Toronto's pesticide ban. Toronto's council passed a bylaw in 2003 outlawing pesticide use on lawns and gardens. The pesticide industry has now exhausted all legal avenues of reversing the ban. A number of other Canadian municipalities say they will follow Toronto's lead and pass similar bylaws.
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Colorado and Montana Top List of USDA Conservation Fund Recipients 12/06/2005
Colorado and Montana are among the top recipients of U.S. Department of Agriculture funds awarded for private land conservation programs in fiscal year 2006. The states will receive $66.8 and $63.6 million, respectively. The funds are distributed among programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (a program that rewards producers who are meeting the highest standards of conservation and environmental management on their operations), and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (a cost-share program to improve soil, air and water quality on farms. An additional $168 will be made available for programs across Wyoming, Utah, and the Dakotas.
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Sustainable Agriculture Conference Seeks Presenters 12/06/2005
The 2006 National Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Conference will be held Aug. 15-17 in Oconomowoc, WI. The theme of this year's conference is "A Midwest Homecoming: Sharing a New Tradition of Sustainability." The conference seeks submissions for oral or poster presentations, roundtable discussions, or workshop sessions which share research findings, educational successes and on-farm experiences. Applications must be postmarked no later than Dec. 30, 2005. The biennial conference will bring together university research and extension, farmers, ranchers, youth/students, agribusiness representatives, policymakers at all levels of government, and nongovernmental organizations to explore current issues in sustainable agriculture. The conference sponsor, USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, advances farming and ranching systems that are profitable, environmentally sound, and good for communities.
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EPA Soliciting Grant Proposals for Region 8 Projects 11/28/2005
Region 8 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requesting proposals for the Fiscal Year 2006 Regional Priorities Grant Program. This competitive process solicits project proposals that will achieve measurable environmental and public health results within the priority areas of energy, agriculture, and enhancing capacity to provide public health and environmental protection in Region 8 states and Tribal lands. EPA Region 8 serves Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and 27 Tribal nations. Proposals are due by December 20, 2005. View the Request for Proposals.
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EPA Seeks Proposals for Pollution Prevention Grants 11/15/2005
Region 8 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requesting proposals to achieve measurable environmental and public health results in the following areas: energy; agriculture; and enhancing capacity to provide public health and environmental protection in Region 8 States and Tribal Lands. EPA Region 8 serves Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and 27 Tribal nations. Proposals are due by December 20, 2005.
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Pilot Program to Make Emergency Exempted and Special Local Needs Pesticides Available In Indian Country 11/08/2005
Under federal pesticide law, growers in Indian country do not explicitly have access to pesticide emergency exemptions or special local needs registrations. On November 1 the EPA Administrator authorized two findings that will allow farmers to use the same pesticides for combating pests in emergency situations as is used on neighboring lands. To test the feasibility of this approach, the Agency is implementing two pilot projects. One project involves growers in the Yakama Reservation and other Yakama Nation Indian country in Washington State, and the other applies to growers in Indian country nationwide. The pilots will expire in December 2007, after which EPA will assess whether this approach should be continued or expanded.
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Pollution Prevention through Sustainable Farming 11/08/2005
The Western Region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program has issued the final results of a University of Arizona survey of its Farmer/Rancher grant recipients and their technical advisors. Of those who responded, 79% said they improved soil quality, 69% increased wildlife habitat, 58% decreased soil erosion, 54% improved water quality and 47% said they improved air quality. An executive summary of the survey and the full 48-page report can be accessed at the website
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Dept of Agriculture Awards $25 Million in Risk Management Partnership Agreements 10/26/2005
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $25.05 million in awards for Risk Management Partnership Agreements. Awards support projects to develop new risk management tools and outreach and education programs for women, minority, limited-resource and other traditionally underserved farmers and ranchers. Of the total, $8 million went to research and development projects, $7 million to outreach projects, and $10 million for risk management education. Several awards were made in Western states. View the complete listing of award recipients (pdf).
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EPA Approves New Non-Chemical Control for Corn Rootworm 10/26/2005
After an intensive, multi-year scientific analysis, EPA has approved applications submitted by Mycogen Seeds (c/o Dow AgroSciences, LLC) and Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. for the use of a new corn plant-incorporated protectant (PIP) designed to control corn rootworm. Corn rootworm is a widespread and destructive insect pest responsible for the single largest use of conventional insecticides in the United States. The new product is the second PIP to offer protection against corn rootworm and is expected to result in a further reduction of chemical insecticide use by growers. The new product, Event DAS-59122-7 Corn, produces its own insecticide within the corn plant derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a naturally occurring soil bacterium. The Bt proteins used in this product, called Cry34Ab1 and Cry35Ab1 (Cry 34/35), control corn rootworm.
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Help for Native American and other Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers 10/26/2005
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a request for proposals for Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (OASDFR) Grants. The "Section 2501" program will disburse $5.9 million. The closing date for grant applications is December 2, 2005. This program provides funds to organizations to provide hands-on assistance, for example through workshops and site visits, to encourage and assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. It supports outreach and assistance activities in farm management, conservation and environmental protection programs, financial management, marketing, and other areas. OASDFR's purpose is to assure opportunities for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to successfully acquire, own, operate, and retain farms and ranches; and assure equitable participation in the full range of USDA programs. Eligible entities include Native American Tribal Governments and Native American Tribal Organizations.
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North Dakota: University of North Dakota to Determine Health Risks from Pesticides 10/26/2005
UND’s Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) has been awarded $496,000 for a program to determine the health risks caused by exposure to pesticides. This is the first phase of a planned multi-year $9 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Exposure to pesticides is associated with a number of health problems including neurologic dysfunction. The program will provide a better understanding of how people are exposed to pesticides and the impacts of pesticide exposure on human health. The first step is to investigate a correlation between the occurrence of neurological diseases and pesticide use in the northern Great Plains. Next, researchers will evaluate the transport and potential neurological effects of pesticides and their by-products. Finally, strategies will be developed to reduce the risk of pesticide exposure for at-risk populations. “This program will build on the EERC’s role as a national leader in environmental issues and the UND Medical School’s expertise in neurodegenerative diseases,” said EERC director Gerald Groenewold.
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Dakota Beef Launches Launches Online Organic Resource Center 10/05/2005
Dakota Beef, LLC has launched the Organic Resource Center to connect organic foods consumers and producers with news stories, organic food companies, and organic trade associations worldwide. You can visit the website at
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South Dakota - Dakota Beef Sponsors New Organic Resource Center 09/26/2005
Dakota Beef LLC has announced the creation of the new online Organic Resource Center. The goal of the website is to provide consumers and trade groups with a comprehensive source of information about sustainable agriculture, organic foods, and the environment. The Organic Resource center can be found at
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Montana: Agricultural Innovation Center Funds Value-Added Agriculture Proposals 09/14/2005
The Montana Agriculture Innovation Center decided to fund three Montana value-added agricultural producer business enterprises. The businesses receiving the grants are Timeless Natural Foods of Conrad, Fort Peck Water Users Association and Peaks and Prairies Oilseed Growers LLC. With the funding, Timeless Natural Foods will study options in expanding its current operations. The Fort Peck Water Users Association will study a barley based micro-ethanol facility. Peaks and Prairies LLC will develop marketing materials and provide further testing of its line of biobased oils and lubricants developed from local oil seed crops. Montana agricultural producers who have a value-added project requiring additional technical or financial support should contact the nearest regional center or visit
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National Bioenergy Center Receives Technology Development Awards 09/14/2005
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory's National Bioenergy Center was honored with two "Notable Technology Development" Awards. The first award recognizes Clean Fractionation, an innovative technology that separates organic materials such as corn, wheat, oat hulls, and waste from cotton, and other lignocellulosic material, into products such as lignin, cellulose and dissolved sugars that can be used to produce chemical products for a variety of industries such as pulp and paper, chemical, food, and packaging. The second awards was for developing key innovations to cultivate the world's first fully integrated "biorefinery." Biorefineries can produce a range of fuels, chemicals, and value-added products from a variety of low-cost plant-material or biomass feedstocks.
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Utah: Department of Environmental Quality, EPA to Study Agricultural Emissions 08/29/2005
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality will work with the EPA to develop and implement the Utah Animal Feeding Operation Air Quality Strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to gather air emissions information from animal feeding operations and implement programs to reduce emissions. “This strategy places a higher focus on local input and local solutions, allows an evaluation of best management practices for reducing air emissions and helps maintain a viable agriculture industry in Utah,” said DEQ Executive Director Dianne Nielson.
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Colorado: Rancher Turns Waste into Energy 08/16/2005
Teague Diversified, Inc., a Fort Morgan cattle feeding business, is generating electricity from manure with cutting-edge technology. Instead of a covered pit used by several other waste-to-energy operations, Gary Teague will use an above-ground, stainless steel tank that processes waste in a quarter of the usual time making the process more profitable. Teague has been making high quality compost from manure and animal carcasses for the past 10 years. After several years of phased development, the completed system could produce as much as 8 MW of electricity, and up to $2.5 million in annual income from energy and compost sales.
Original Story
Thousands Sign Up for Animal Feeding Operations Air Compliance Agreement (EPA) 08/15/2005
More than 2,000 animal feeding operations (AFOs) have signed agreements for EPA's air compliance initiative. Sign-up ended Friday, but the agency will continue to process agreements postmarked with Friday's date. Many of the companies that signed up have several farms that will come under the agreement. Applicants originate from more than 37 states across the United States and include representation from the pork, egg layers, meat birds, and dairy industries. After EPA makes an official determination as to whether all types of animals are adequately represented, the agency will request approval from EPA's Environmental Appeals Board (EAB). Once the EAB approves the agreements, the monitoring study can begin.
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Wyoming Launches New Solar- and Wind-Powered Stock Pump Project 08/05/2005
Wyoming ranchers will soon have access to new solar and wind technology to provide water for their livestock. A new state pilot project plans to deploy solar- and wind-powered stock watering pumps at selected ranches in each Wyoming county, with the goal of promoting renewable energy and eventually providing pumps to all ranchers who qualify for the program. The pumps, developed by the University of Wyoming Electric Motor Training and Testing Center, can help improve rangeland health by providing more watering locations in more remote areas of the ranches. Since livestock usually stay close to watering locations, more dispersed pumps can reduce livestock concentrations on the range and resulting impacts on the land. Applications are being considered by a committee of conservation districts, rural electric cooperatives, UW Cooperative Extension and rural ranching organizations, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture.
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Colorado: Parks and Resorts Company Expands Sustainable Cuisine Offering 08/01/2005
Xanterra Parks & Resorts is expanding their use of sustainable seafood through an aggressive program that includes a wide variety of new innovations in sustainable cuisine. Xanterra has made sustainable seafood a company policy for four years in all of its restaurants as well as its catering and employee dining operations.
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Montana: Land Sale Protects Ranch for Public Use 07/29/2005
Dolly and her brother, James "Bud" McMaster have sold their 5,636-acre ranch to the nonprofit Conservation Fund who then will sell it to the Bureau of Land Management. The ranch has long been coveted by developers who have wanted to subdivide the land. Now the ranch will become public property where people can ride bikes and horses, and be able to hike and hunt. The plan also calls for a portion of the Ranch, along with the 1,900 acres that abut the Missouri River between Eagle Bay Drive and Keir Road, to be managed as a grass bank. This will allow that during times of drought, wildfire or other difficulties, ranchers who run out of forage for their cattle can ask to graze their animals there.
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Utah: Funding Opportunities From Western SARE 07/26/2005
Western SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education), a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will have grant funds available for competitive proposals. The grant program areas include: Research and Education (R&E) grants, calls for preproposals are issued in April and following the scrutiny of a technical review, the best preproposals are asked to submit full proposals, due in November; Farmer/Rancher (FRG) grants, the technical review is held in January, and the grant awards are announced early the next year; Professional + Producer (APP) grants, the technical review of proposed projects is held in January, and the grants are announced early the next year; and Professional Development Program (PDP) grants, whose proposals are reviewed in January and chosen early the next year.
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Montana: Blackfeet Tribe Creates Successful Composting Project 06/30/2005
The Blackfeet Indian Reservation has been featured in EPA's Tribal Waste Journal for their effort in using an EPA grant to reduce waste. The grant has helped the tribe to get their vermicomposting program started. According to Gerald Wagner,director of the Tribal Environmental Office, vermicomposting is a great way to get tribal members into a recycling mindset and into the habit of separating wastes.
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NEW TOOL: Find E-85 Gas Stations, Save Money 06/29/2005
E-85 is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that can be used in flexible fuel vehicles. Costing 30 to 60 cents less per gallon at the pumps, it's generating big interest in the Midwest where much U. S. ethanol is produced. The National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition keeps an updated E85 refueling location map on their web site and also lists makes and models of vehicles that can burn it. In EPA Region 8, North Dakota, South Dakota and Colorado are tied for having the most E-85 gas stations.
Original Story
Animal Feeding Operations Air Compliance Agreement Signup Period Extended 06/24/2005
The EPA is extending the deadline for the Animal Feeding Operations (AFO) Air Compliance Agreement signup period to July 29, 2005, in order to provide more time for the AFOs operators to make informed decisions about participation. The agency has not changed the agreement since it was published in the Federal Register Jan. 31, 2005. The agreement is part of EPA's ongoing effort to minimize air emissions from AFOs and to ensure that they comply with the Clean Air Act and other laws.
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Intertribal Agriculture Council Publishes Newsletter 06/24/2005
The Intertribal Agriculture Council publishes a quarterly newsletter (on-line and hard copy) with reports from each region about agriculturally related success stories. The spring 2005 issue includes information about the Wampanoag Aquinnah Shellfish Hatchery, the Indian Nations Conservation Alliance, and a 4-H youth program in Texas to plant, grow and eventually sell Christmas trees. Site visitors can sign up to receive notification when new newsletters are posted.
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Montana: Powell County Receives Recognition for Being Nature Friendly 06/24/2005
The territory around Deer Lodge won recognition for its innovative wildlife overlay zone that reduces home-building impacts on elk, moose and deer. In Powell County, a grass-roots movement formed around the desire to preserve both its ranching heritage and big-game populations, according to county planner Ron Hanson. Other areas listed in Chris Duerksen's "Nature-Friendly Communities," include Fort Collins, Colorado, and Teton County, Wyoming.
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Colorado: $8.2 Million in Grants Help Open Space and Outdoor Recreation 06/17/2005
The Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) board has awarded $8.2 million in grants to help protect more than 7,000 acres of open space and fund outdoor recreation projects in 31 Colorado counties. GOCO began with a citizen's initiative passed in 1992. Under a constitutional formula, GOCO receives up to half of all lottery proceeds in Colorado, including proceeds from multistate games such as Powerball. They then use this money to fund various projects.
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Montana: Community-owned Forests Conference 06/15/2005
A national conference will be held in Missoula, Montana, June 16-19, 2005 in response to a surge of interest in community forests in the U.S. The target audience is people from communities facing forest land conversions and either considering the possibility of a community forest or already involved in one.
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Colorado: University Heads Forest Restoration 06/14/2005
Colorado State University has been selected to develop the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, as a result from the passage of the Southwest Forest Health and Wildfire Prevention Act enacted by Congress in 2004. Their purpose, is to restore the health of Colorado forests and reduce catastrophic wildfires by providing the best available science in forest ecology, restoration and management.
Original Story
2005 National Small Farm Conference 06/10/2005
The 4th annual National Small Farm Conference will be held October 16-19, 2005 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Solicitations are currently being accepted through June 30, 2005 for topic presentations, speakers, poster presentations, exhibit displays, and success stories. The conference will focus on six tracks: Alternative Enterprises; Risk Management; Professional/Program Development; Marketing, Risk Management and Bridging Gaps in Programs and Services.
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South Dakota: Conservation Districts Receive Project Funding 06/10/2005
The State Conservation Commission awarded a total of $577,447 to 15 conservation districts from the state's Coordinated Soil and Water Conservation Grant Fund. The grants will be used to provide a variety of conservation practices to improve range and pastureland, reduce soil erosion and improve water quality. A complete listing of receipients is posted on the website.
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Montana: Social Entrepreneur Highlights Mexico's Sustainability Movement 06/07/2005
Hector Marcelli Esquivel will be speaking at the Stensrud Building in Missoula June 16 at 7:00 pm about linking fair trade producers and global consumers related to sustainable development in Mexico, and Central and South America. Marcelli created the Bioplaneta Network in the late 1990's to help rural communities compete in sustainable agricultural development and eco-tourism.
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