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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Village Capital Seeks Applications for Agriculture Accelerator Program; Top Two Companies to Receive $50,000

September 4, 2015 |

VilCap Ag AcceleratorSponsored Post – Village Capital, a leading organization that finds, trains and funds global entrepreneurs, is looking for the top innovative startups tackling major challenges in agriculture to participate in their third annual AgTech Accelerator Program.

The top two companies as selected by their peers will each receive $50,000 in investment at the end of the program, for a combined total of $100,000 of pre-committed capital offered by Village Capital and Radicle Capital, a Kentucky-based early stage venture capital firm. Read More

Last Day to Grab Discounted Early Bird Special Tix for Seedstock’s ‘Innovation and the Rise of Local Food’ Conference

September 3, 2015 |

early bird registrationToday is the FINAL day to obtain discounted registration for the upcoming 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference: Innovation and the Rise of Local Food in San Diego on Nov. 3 – 4, 2015.

More info here:

http://seedstockconference.com/

Conference Summary:

Day 1 – The Future Farm Field Trip

The event will kick off with the Future Farm Field Trip on Tuesday, Nov. 3, which will offer a limited number of attendees an excursion into the diversity of urban and state-of-the-art indoor agriculture operations in Southern California. To learn more about the field trip, click here: http://seedstockconference.com/program. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup Thursday, September 3, 2015

September 3, 2015 |

seedstock1 Agriculture chief touts local products in Fayette County visit [Triblive.com]

Excerpt: Although the number of acres devoted to agriculture has declined in Fayette County since 2007, state Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding said a number of younger people, including women, are attempting to get into farming and related agricultural businesses.                                

2 Atlanta looking for its first Urban Agriculture Director [Atlanta Daily World]

Read More

USDA Expands Farm Safety Net, Offers Greater Flexibility for Beginning, Organic and Fruit and Vegetable Growers

September 3, 2015 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleWASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2015 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance will be available in every county in the nation in 2016. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also making changes to the policy to help farmers and ranchers with diversified crops including beginning, organic, and fruit and vegetable growers, better access Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. Read More

New Pittsburgh Urban Ag Law Passes, Boosts Options for Residents

September 2, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Grow Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of Grow Pittsburgh.

by Julianne Tveten

Pittsburgh City Council passed an ordinance in July to ease restrictions on maintaining chickens, ducks, goats, and apiaries in the city.

Drafted by a collection of agricultural nonprofits, the ordinance follows a 2011 regulation that required residents to undergo a hearing process lasting up to three months and pay up to $340 in cumulative fees. Under the new law, Pittsburghers can obtain a permit for $70 and be approved within a day. Read More

Urban and Local Food Systems Experts to Address Seedstock Sustainable Ag Conference

September 1, 2015 |

Agriculture innovation, urban farming, local food access, and sourcing from sustainable and hydroponic farms are just a few of the topics to be discussed at Seedstock’s 4th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference: “Innovation and the Rise of Local Food,” scheduled for Nov. 3-4, 2015, at UC San Diego – http://seedstockconference.com

In addition to keynotes Pierre Sleiman, founder and CEO of Go Green Agriculture, and Daron “Farmer D” Joffe, Director of Agricultural Innovation and Development for the Leichtag Foundation, this year’s Seedstock slate of speakers includes Gus Schumacher, Vice President of Policy at the Wholesome Wave Foundation and former Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at the United States Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration. Read More

Activist Coalition Pushes University of Maine System to Source More Local Foods

September 1, 2015 |
The University of Southern Maine in Portland is one of six campuses in the UMaine system, whose food vendor contract ends next year. The UMaine system recently released a request for proposal to source more of its food locally. (Wikimedia Commons phot

The University of Southern Maine in Portland is one of six campuses in the UMaine system whose food vendor contract ends next year. The UMaine system recently released a request for proposal to source more of its food locally. (Wikimedia Commons phot

On August 31, the University of Maine (UMaine) System released a formal request for proposals (RFP) designed to significantly increase sourcing of locally grown foods across its six campuses.

A contract between UMaine and corporate food vendor Aramark will conclude on June 30, 2016, ending a 10-year relationship. The move comes after a coalition of activist groups had lobbied the UMaine system to source more of its food locally. 

The Maine Food for the UMaine System project is a coalition of 20 organizations, 170 farmers and more than 1,500 students, faculty and staff within the UMaine system. It’s spearheaded by Farm to Institution New EnglandMaine Farmland TrustReal Food Challenge and Environment Maine. Read More

Slow Money Northwest Breathes Life into Local Agriculture

August 31, 2015 |
Courtesy of Slow Money Northwest

Courtesy of Slow Money Northwest

by Traci Knight

In 2009, a group of angel investors in Santa Fe, New Mexico came together to build a mission to help local food systems grow and thrive. 

During this two-and-a-half-day conference with representatives from 43 states and six countries, Northwest participants caucused and continued to meet on a quarterly basis.

These meetings inspired Tim Crosby to spearhead Slow Money Northwest. He now serves as the group’s director. To date, the organization has helped investors connect over $7 million to under 20 area businesses. Serving thirteen different northwest regions, Slow Money Northwest has provided different levels of technical assistance for over 100 businesses. Read More

Southern California’s Temecula Valley Becoming an Epicenter of Local Food and Agriculture

August 26, 2015 |
Carrots are harvested in the Temecula Valley. (photo courtesy of Don Webber/Cultivating Good)

Carrots are harvested in the Temecula Valley. (Photo courtesy of Don Webber/Cultivating Good)

Grass-fed beef, yams, ostrich eggs, duck eggs, quail eggs, wild game—all of these and more can be found in or near Temecula, California.

Located in southwestern Riverside County and at the southwest point of the Inland Empire region, Temecula is located in the Temecula Valley, home to many vineyards and wineries.

While Temecula is now a thriving epicenter of the local foods movement, this was not always the case.

When local food artisan and chef Leah Di Bernardo decided to move back to Southern California from New York City (she grew up on both coasts), Riverside County was the last place she thought she would end up. But she landed in Temecula. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

August 26, 2015 |

seedstock1 Lillooet food hub cuts out the middleman [Pique News Magazine]

Excerpt: A new Lillooet-based food hub aims to cut out the middleman between farmers and consumers, allowing them to spend more time doing what they do…     

                        Read More