Upcoming Events About Local Food Production

This is short notice (sorry!) but there are two upcoming events that may be interest.

First, a SARE sponsored Local Food and Sustainable Ag Tour is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18 with five stops.  The tour, which begins at 8:30, will start at Jones Produce, located southwest of Lincoln.  Next, the tour stops at Ficke Cattle Company, near Pleasant Dale.  Lunch will be served at Ficke Cattle Company and then the tour proceeds to Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center in Denton.  After viewing the tallgrass prairie reserve, the tour moves a few miles down the road to Shadowbrook Farm and their Dutch Girl Creamery.  The final stop is Hawley Hamlet, an urban garden located in the heart of Lincoln.  The cost of the tour is $25, which includes transportation and lunch.  If you are interested in the tour, contact Gary Lesoing at glesoing2@unl.edu.

Second, this Friday, August 14, the USDA Nebraska Food and Agriculture Council is hosting a one-day seminar titled ‘Local Foods for Local Tables’ at the Omaha Home for Boys and Cooper Farm.  The seminar begins at 9:30 with an address by U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford and then has a variety of information and panels with a wealth of information.  Whether gardening is your hobby or you’re an established agricultural operation, a community leader, a small business venture, or part of a non-profit organization, the “Local Food for Local Tables” conference on Aug. 14 will offer you access to a wide array of experts in the field! There will be time to visit local agriculture organizations’ booths, a chance to eat, and an interactive tour of the farm.  Register by contacting the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) by phone at 402-437-5581 or contacting Gina Germer by email at gina.germer@ne.usda.gov or Sarah Heidzig-Kraeger by email at sarah.kraeger@ne.usda.gov.

SARE Report On USDA Programs

SARE, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education arm of the USDA, recently released an updated guide titled Building Sustained Farms, Ranches and Communities: A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems, and Community Development.

The guide provides background information on 63 government programs, including programs in the 2014 Farm Bill.  Each description provides information on available resources, how to apply and, when applicable, how funding as been used.  Information is also included on finding appropriate funding programs and grant writing.

The guide is a wonderful resource, especially for beginning farmers and ranchers.  Take a look at it!

SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants Due November 20

SARE, or Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, annual Farmer/Rancher grants are due on November 20th.

The grants are for farmers and ranchers to fund innovative ideas to advance sustainable agriculture.  An individual farmer or rancher can receive up to $7,500, two farmers or ranchers working together can receive up to $15,000, and three or more farmers or ranchers can receive up to $22,500 in grant funding.

To gain an idea of the types of projects funded, see here.  If you have any questions or want some assistance with putting together a grant proposal, feel free to contact us!