Small Farm Funding
The mission of Farm Aid is to keep family farmers on their land. Farm Aid supports organizations that work to maintain a family farm system of agriculture and that promote solutions to the challenges facing rural communities. Grants are awarded in the following general categories: farm resources, including hotlines, training, and assistance programs for family farms; farm action, such as educational campaigns and outreach regarding the benefits of family farm produced foods; food systems, including creating new markets for family farm produced food; and farm policy at the state, regional and national level to create a family farm focused food system. Nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. are eligible to apply. Proposals must be submitted no later than August 31st to be considered in this yearıs grant round.
|2008 Crop Protection Guide for Tree Fruits in Washington|
| EB0419 A two-column format outlines examples of pesticides registered on orchard insect, disease, and weed pests in Washington State. Efficacy and toxicity charts. Control timing by bud, bloom, and harvest stages for apples, pears, peaches, apricots, nectarines, cherries, prunes, and plums. Pesticide safety and regulatory information. Growth and nutrient sprays. Chemical and cultural control methods. Bee toxicity warnings.
Publisher: Washington State University
Published: February 1950. Revised: January 2005. 88 pages.
agriculture workers and workers compensation
New Mexico is hearing a debate over whether agriculture workers need to be included in the state-run workers compensation system.
A group of civil rights organizations is suing to have New Mexico agricultural workers included.
However, many in the agriculture industry have said their employees are already covered and costs would be damaging.
Under current law, agriculture workers and domestic servants dont have to be covered by government workers compensation. An effort to change that in the last legislative session failed.
But several groups and an injured Los Lunas dairy worker are filing suit to try again.
Farm labor is extremely hard and dangerous work,said Carlos Marentes, director of lawsuit plaintiff Sin Fronteras Organizing Project, in a press release. With no health insurance and very low wages, many of the men and women who work our dairies and ranches and harvest the food we eat have nowhere to turn when they are injured in the fields. Their families are devastated.
According to Web site for the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, representing the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, 1 percent of New Mexico and West Texas farm workers have private health insurance.
On the other side, Roosevelt County wheat and beef producer Matt Rush said most farmers and ranchers provide insurance for employees and dont need another government mandate.
The workers compensation task force the Legislature appointed gave the opinion the current system is working and the state shouldnt mandate that agriculture participate in workers compensation, Rush said.
If producers didnt offer health coverage or give employees money to buy their own policies, Rush said, workers would go elsewhere.
Walter Bradley, government and business affairs director for the Dairy Farmers of America in Clovis, said DFA polled New Mexico dairies. Of the 90 percent who responded, all have health insurance for their employees, mainly through private sources.
Bradley said dairies and farms having loans as most do are required by the bank to carry such coverage.
The bottom line is that dairies and farms have coverage, and theres no evidence to show that those costs should be raised,Bradley said.
Joining the state workers compensation system would triple producersexpenses, Bradley said.
Rush said he found estimates the move could increase production costs 50 percent to 60 percent.
It would literally put a large portion of New Mexico agriculture out of business because the profit margins are so slim right now anyway,he said.
Bradley said increasing production costs would raise the cost of food.
However, the press release from the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty said adding farm and ranch laborers to the workers compensation would cost about 1 percent of the industrys annual profit, which was $821 million in 2008.
Rush expects 2009 profit margins to be significantly lower than last year because of low wholesale milk prices and a drop in corn and grain prices from last year.
Rush believes 2008 saw unusually large profits because the demand for ethanol led to high corn and grain prices.
MODESTO, Calif., Aug. 26, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA will soon be accepting applications for grants to assist agricultural producers seeking to add value to the commodities they produce. Approximately $18 million will be awarded nationwide.
President Obama's goal to expand our nation's renewable energy resources by helping farmers develop renewable energy from agricultural products."
Vilsack highlighted a past grant recipient in Ohio as an example of how local producers have used USDA's Value Added Producer Grant funds to expand >markets for locally grown produce. The Chef'sGarden, Inc., in Huron, Ohio,received a $97,500 grant to explore the feasibility of processing and marketing products derived from locally-grown produce. The 40-year-old company has completed market research efforts and is now selecting products to market to consumers. The company projects a 20 percent increase in sales.
USDA plans to award planning grants of up to $100,000 and working capital grants of up to $300,000 to successful applicants. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that use existing agricultural products in non-traditional ways or merge agricultural products with technology in creative ways. Businesses of all sizes may apply, but priority will be given to operators of small and medium-sized family farms - those with average, annual gross sales of less than $700,000.
Applicants must provide matching funds equal to the amount of the grant requested. Ten percent of the funding being made available is reserved for beginning farmers or ranchers and socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. An additional 10 percent is reserved for projects involving local
and regional supply networks that link independent producers with businesses and cooperatives that market value-added products.
Paper and electronic applications must be submitted to the Rural Development state office in the state where the project will be located. A list of state offices is available at www.rurdev.usda.gov/recd_map.html . Electronic applications must be submitted through www.Grants.gov . The Department will publish the official notice for funding availability in the Federal Register within the next week, and will begin accepting applications at that time.
USDA Rural Development's mission is to increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life for rural residents. Rural Development fosters growth in homeownership, finances business development and supports the creation of critical community and technology infrastructure. Further
information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development's web site at www.rurdev.usda.gov .
Labor Department wants to raise H-2A wages
The Department of Labor wants to erase some reforms to the H-2A agricultural guest worker program that the Bush administration approved in January, leading to higher employer expenses if left unchanged. For more on this story click here.
Woman sickened in 2006 E. coli outbreak wants medical bills paid
A Wisconsin woman who fell ill after eating spinach tied to the 2006 E. coli outbreak filed suit Sept. 3 to recover more than $400,000 in medical expenses. For more on this story click here.
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Seeds of Change Seed Give-away and
by Emily Skelton
Every April Seeds of Change hosts a Seed Give-away. We invite local home gardeners who are interested to come to our seed cleaning facility and pick seed from our seed seconds. These "seconds" are a result of the rigorous seed cleaning process performed on every seed lot we sell. All Seeds of Change seed goes through this seed cleaning process to remove any excess chaff, rocks, dirt or other seed species (such as noxious weeds) from the lot before we send it out to a certified seed lab to be tested for germination and purity before sale. The seed seconds are usually comprised of lightweight, immature seed or seed that is broken or cracked and also inert material such as mentioned above. Since we give the seconds away free, home gardeners are happy to receive them and don't mind if the germination rate is lower than that of our number one seed for sale. We have many gardeners tell us that they planted heavily in their gardens thinking that not many seeds would germinate and they have had an abundance of very healthy seedlings to thin. More on this story