vol. 1, #1 march 2006

website links:

small farm the wsawg e-newsletter vol. 1, #1 march  2006

wsawg 2006 annual meeting: 

dear friends of western sustainable agriculture working group  -

        we are planning to have our 2006 annual meeting of member organizations in conjunction with the sw marketing network's meeting, to be held in grand junction, colorado, march 27, 28, and 29. we invite you to join us, and to help us steer an effective course for the wsawg. our meeting will be tuesday evening, the 28th. to encourage you, we are making an offer to cover a goodly portion of your costs.  (see below)

        we think building local food systems is the key to reversing a host of negative trends in our industrial  food system and also the key to increasing sustainable agriculture. the focus of this conference is on farm to cafeteria programs and food policy councils. we are excited to be gathering around these issues, and will be studying how we can help to promulgate these programs throughout our region.   
        you will have the opportunity to choose among 25 - 90 minute workshops  -- 5 specifically on food and farm policy (including the next farm bill) and others on alternative marketing, local food systems, food security, heritage foods, cattle id and marketing, nutrition, branding and labeling, and farm to school. the full agenda (and registration) is posted on this website -- www.swmarketing.ncat.org

   =-o     our offer to you     registration for the conference is $150 which includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and the monday night local foods reception. lodging is $75/night w/ taxes (double or single room). we will cover your registration and one night's lodging (both nights if you share a room) - - a $225 value - - but you also must renew your membership with wsawg, and attend our annual meeting of members which will be held tuesday evening at the hotel, starting around 6 p.m., and will include a dinner (at a small extra cost). our membership categories are:  individual - $30, affiliate institution - $45, grassroots organization - $60. see our website,   www.westernsawg.org we will reimburse our offered amount to you at the annual meeting.    
        >:d<  please join us in colorado. we need your input to help us chart our course for the coming year(s).
please rsvp to me that you are accepting our offer and that you will register right away at the sw marketing network website (above).
        these funds are part of our js noyes grant that is to be applied toward building our regional capacity to promote sustainable agriculture, toward mobilizing our members and keeping them connected, and toward education. the board plans to follow this event within 6 months with a facilitated board retreat to capture the ideas of this conference and apply them to wsawg work.

hoping to hear from you soon -
    @>---- - jill davies (interim ed) | please rsvp: | po box 59, | rivercare@blackfoot.net | 406/ 642-3601

[email jill for a conference brochure to be sent by mail and/or our annual meeting agenda to be sent by mail or email.]


in this issue... (this enews is still under construction, patience please)


national campaign for sustainable agriculture
update and sign-on letters
below are sign-on letters and some items that may be of interest:

1)  sign-on letter: appropriations for farm to cafeteria program (due thursday, noon):    well, we missed this deadline, but you can still contact your congress persons and mention the letter.   also, there may be a 2nd letter if enough people contact steph.

linked is a letter to be delivered to congress urging $5 million in appropriations to address problems of climbing childhood obesity rates and struggling family farms by assisting schools in overcoming the barriers to purchasing locally-grown foods.

      to sign on, please contact steph larsen (cfsc)at: steph@foodsecurity.org or 202-543-8602.




2)  sign-on letter re:  appropriations for the farmers market promotion program:

linked is a letter that will be delivered to members of the house and senate agriculture appropriations subcommittees urging them to provide $5 million in

fy 07 funding for the farmers market promotion project (fmpp). (although the fmpp was authorized in the 2002 farm bill, last year was the first time congress funded the program � at a level of $1 million.  this funding will be made available through an rfp scheduled to be released in march.)

      to sign on the letter, please contact: sac intern julie hudak at: hudjul24@evergreen.edu.   

deadline:  5:00 pm, friday, march 10.


3)  sign-on letter re: sec. 9006 - renewable energy & energy efficiency program

sign on to a letter that will be sent to the house of representatives and the senate subcommittees on agriculture appropriations to help protect funding for sec. 9006 � the renewable energy & energy efficiency program. this program once again has been cut by the administration's fy07 budget from its authorized $23 million to $10.2 million.

       to sign on, please contact:  jetta wong, environmental and energy study institute, at: jwong@eesi.org or 202-662-1885.  (i�m sorry -- i was unable to link the letter.)

deadline:  5:00 p.m. tuesday, march 14.

solicitation of sec. 9006 proposals:

on february 13, the rural business-cooperative service released a solicitation of proposals for section 9006.  deadline for proposals: may 12, 2006

federal register:

4)   ncsa on-farm renewable energy meeting, feb. 15, 2006  -- notes

the national campaign convened a meeting regarding on-farm renewable energy in washington, dc on february 15.   next steps:  the stewardship incentives committee will be taking up the issue of developing sustainable criteria for energy crops, and the rural development committee will be looking at usda and doe programs that offer renewable energy incentives to determine how these can be improved and made more available to small and mid-size farmers.  if you are not already a member of the national campaign�s stewardship incentives committee and/or the rural development committee, i encourage you to join us. 

linked are notes from the feb. 15, on-farm renewable energy meeting:



5)  deadline for value added producer grants program--march 31:

grant proposals for 2006 value added producer grants are due march 31.  if you need assistance writing your grant proposal or have questions, contact your state usda rural development office.  for more information and templates for grant proposals, see:



6)  deadline for csp sign-up -- march 31

the 2006 conservation security program sign-up ends march 31.  csp is being offered this year in at least one watershed in every state.    for more information, maps of watersheds, and self-assessment workbooks, see: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/



for csp outreach and education materials, see the minnesota project�s website at:

call to action     (under construction)

 if you have any questions, suggestions please

contact jill clipboard.jpgdavies at rivercare@blackfoot.net.

further information on special eqip funds for limited resource and beginning farmers and ranchers

on december 12, 2005, nrcs announced that more than $10 million in environmental quality incentives program (eqip) funds will be used to assist limited resource and beginning farmers and ranchers nationwide to implement conservation practices on their land. this funding has since been allocated among individual states. usda offers an online limited resource farmer/rancher self-determination tool that you can use to see if you meet the definition. farmers or ranchers interested in applying for these special eqip funds should contact their state or local nrcs office. nrcs offices that need more information on this special program should contact robert molleur, the national small, limited resource, and beginning farmers program manager for usda-nrcs, at 202-720-6521.


health: usa: organic diets keep kids pesticide free

by christine dell'amore, upi consumer health correspondent, 22 feb 06
children who switched their diets for only a few days to organic foods dramatically and immediately lowered the amount of toxic pesticides in their bodies, researchers report. lead author chensheng lu of emory university found that when kids eat organic foods, pesticides in their body plummet to undetectable levels -- even when following the diet for only five days.
"an organic diet does provide protective measures for pesticide exposure in kids," said lu, who presented his research at a panel at the american association for the advancement of science meeting in st. louis. his study appeared in the journal environmental health perspectives.

full article at http://washtimes.com/upi/20060222-044543-1356r.htm

calendar of events (more to come next time)

calendar of events
  • march 27, 28, 29:  wsawg annual meeting in conjunction with the sw marketing network conference.   (see top article)

wsawg manages 3 listservs:
wsawggmo dealing with genetically modified organisms
wsawgconserv dealing with conservation programs
and wsawg for general issues.

to subscribe, (or unsubscribe)  send an email to   rivercare@blackfoot.net

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mission: the western sustainable agriculture working group is a non-profit organization bringing together diverse individuals and groups working in sustainable agriculture and food systems to share successful models, realize our collective strengths, build regional capacity and inform the agriculture policy debate.
visit us online at www.westernsawg.org