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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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sustainable agriculture initiative

USDA Announces Funding to Help Ag Producers Integrate Renewable Energy Tech into Operations

October 30, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON – Oct. 19, 2012 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced funding for 244 projects nationwide that are focused on helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs, and use renewable energy technologies in their operations. Funding is made available through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Read More

UW-Madison Leads Effort to Help Growers and Processors Demonstrate Sustainability

October 12, 2012 |

News Release – CALS researchers are leading a new $2.1 million, USDA-funded project designed to help vegetable producers and processors get rewarded in the marketplace for producing their products in a sustainable manner. Scientists in five states will collaborate to create a system for reporting the sustainability of agricultural practices that will be credible to consumers and workable for producers.

The grant, funded through USDA’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative, was announced by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack during a visit to Madison on Oct. 1. Read More

San Diego Org Offers Unique Urban Farming Training Program, Preps Students for Careers in Sustainable Ag

October 2, 2012 |

In downtown San Diego, on San Diego City College’s campus, [email protected] Urban Farm is growing a variety of crops, as well as grooming students for careers in sustainable agriculture. Formed in 2008, the 1-acre urban farm—a cooperative of San Diego City College and San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project—gives students hands-on training in sustainable urban farming.

[email protected] was created to fill a void in southern California for those who want to learn about organic farming in an urban setting,” explains Erin Rempala, associate professor of biology and [email protected] program manager. Read More

Food Safety Issues Focus of New Research and Extension Outreach Venture

September 22, 2012 |

News Release – FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Faculty from Michigan State University, Ohio State University and Purdue University gathered earlier this month in a new effort to strengthen both research and Extension outreach in food safety issues.

“These are all exceptional agriculture institutions in their own right, but when you combine them you suddenly have a phenomenal research and Extension powerhouse,” said John Baker, associate director of MSU AgBioResearch. “We’re striving to stimulate and develop our regional efforts by honing in on the synergy across these three universities.” Read More

Making Most of Vacant Building, Urban Farming Org Hopes to Create Viable Indoor Food Production Model

September 21, 2012 |

With the increasing rise in popularity of the local food movement in cities across the country, many people are getting creative about the spaces they use in order to bring fresh food to urban communities. Rooftop and community gardens have become major trends in recent years, but some people are thinking beyond outdoor spaces to include buildings that might otherwise continue to sit vacant.

FoodChain is one such organization that is thinking outside of the box, or garden plot, bringing an educational and demonstration facility—that will be teaching aquaponics, food processing and more—to the diverse downtown community of Lexington, Ky. The organization makes its home in the former Rainbo Bread Factory building, which operated downtown as early as the late 1800s and stayed in business for about 100 years. Read More