Henry A. Wallace Institute for
9200 Edmonston Road, #117
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Table of Contents
Sustainable Ag Featured In National Geographic 1
USDA Sustainable Ag Working Group to Release Report 2
Applications for Ward Sinclair Internship Due March 1 2
Proposals for SARE Projects Due in January 3
USDA, DOE Launch Joint R&D Program 3
Western SARE Region Releases Progress Report 4
Upcoming Events 5
SUSTAINABLE AG "REVOLUTION" FEATURED IN NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
"A back-to-basics movement is shaking the very foundations
of agribusiness by getting impressive yields with fewer
chemicals" -- so begins a 30-page article on sustainable
agriculture featured in National Geographic (December, 1995)
entitled "A Farming Revolution." The article describes how the
"practices of the few farmers who resisted the technological sea
change of the past half century...have given rise to a movement
called sustainable agriculture."
"Behind this effort lies the awareness that the enormous
yields of conventional farming have come at a high environmental
and social cost, a cost we're only now learning to acknowledge,"
the article continues. "There are as many visions of the farming
future, of course, as there are definitions of sustainability.
But they have in common greater cooperation with nature, greater
economic independence from banks and government-subsidy programs,
and diminished reliance on chemicals and petroleum."
"Wherever I went," writes author Verlyn Klinkenborg, "I got
the sense that a change of uncertain proportions had begun to
come over agriculture. What I brought back from the road, from
the farm, are some exemplary tales from a few places where
sustainable agriculture has taken hold and is promising to spread
throughout the United States."
One of the farmers Klinkenborg writes about extensively is
Frederick Kirschenmann, a member of the Wallace Institute Board
of Directors, who took over his family's farm in Windsor, North
Dakota, with the intent of operating it organically. "Having
done that, he increased the average yield of spring wheat from 28
to 35 bushels an acre," the article says. "And Kirschenmann no
longer had to borrow money each spring -- as his dad did -- just
to pay for tons of industrial fertilizer. Kirschenmann has come
to liken conventional farming to a treadmill, and organic farming
to a dance. The dance lies in the rhythm of seasons and crops,
in the way the same piece of farmland is made to alternate year
to year between cool-season plants...and warm-season
plants...between broadleaf and grassy plants...between cash grain
crops and soil-building legumes....The dance helps break up
disease and pest cycles and restores nutrients to the soil."
Klinkenborg also talked with Ed Sills, a member of the
Wallace Institute's President's Council, who grows organic crops
at Pleasant Grove Farms in California. Sills and his wife,
Wynette "have taken an active stand to protect the farmland in
their county, alerting neighbors to oppose a housing development
that would destroy thousands of acres of agricultural land."
The article also features a photograph of Cass Peterson, who
will join the Wallace Institute Board of Directors in March,
1996, with a caption saying that "the French Embassy favors her
baby lettuce and black currants, helping her gross $10,000 an
acre -- far above the average for conventional crops."
USDA SUSTAINABLE AG WORKING GROUP TO RELEASE REPORT NEXT MONTH
The USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, a group of
approximately 50 USDA staff people, is meeting for the last time
this month and will release a written report late next month.
That report, which will be presented to USDA Deputy Secretary
Richard Rominger, is "expected to include recommendations on
policies and programs the agency can use to better support
sustainable agriculture," according to Rob Myers of the
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program.
The group held six regularly scheduled meetings during the fall,
beginning on September 8.
APPLICATIONS FOR WARD SINCLAIR INTERNSHIP DUE MARCH 1
Applications for the Ward Sinclair Memorial Internship
Program, which will begin in 1996, are due on March 1, 1996. To
honor the late Ward Sinclair -- an organic farmer, a writer, and
a member of the Wallace Institute's Board of Directors -- the
Wallace Institute will award one internship each year to a person
desiring the "hands-on" experience of working on a farm that
produces and direct-markets food, and with a public agency having
responsibilities related to direct marketing. The internship
will be for three to six months, from late spring to early
Interns will spend approximately half their time working at
the Flickerville Mountain Farm and Ground Hog Ranch in Dott,
Pennsylvania, the farm established and managed by the late Ward
Sinclair and Cass Peterson. Interns will be supervised by
Peterson. The other half of the internship will be spent working
with or at a public agency with regulatory, research, or
education responsibilities related to direct marketing of food,
preferably an agency of the states of Pennsylvania or Maryland.
Applicants are encouraged to develop their own plans for
working at or with a public agency. To assist applicants in
developing such opportunities, the Wallace Institute can provide
names of possible agencies and persons to contact. For more
information or a brochure about the internship, contact the
Wallace Institute, 9200 Edmonston Road, Suite 117, Greenbelt, MD
20770; (301) 441-8777.
PROPOSALS FOR SARE PROJECTS IN THREE REGIONS DUE IN JANUARY
Proposals for research, education, and on-farm demonstration
projects under the SARE/ACE programs are due in January, 1996,
for the North Central, Northeast, and Southern regions. In the
North Central region (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD
and WI), the deadline for receiving full proposals is January 22,
1996; for more information, contact Steven S. Waller, SARE
Coordinator, 13-A Activities Building, University of Nebraska-
Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0704; (402) 472-7081. In the
Northeast region (CT, DE, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT, and
WV), the deadline for receiving SARE Training (Extension)
proposals is January 12, 1996; the deadline for receiving
SARE/ACE research and education proposals is January 19, 1996;
for information, contact Fred Magdoff, SARE/ACE Coordinator, 10
Hill Building, Carrigan Drive, University of Vermont, Burlington,
VT 05405-0082; (802) 656-0471; e-mail email@example.com. In
the Southern region (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, OK, PR, SC,
TN, TX, VA, and VI), the deadline for submitting full proposals
is January 5, 1996; for more information, contact Paula Ford,
Program Manager, SARE/ACE Program, 1109 Experiment Station,
Griffin, GA 30223-1797; (770) 412-4788; e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for proposals in
the Western region has already passed.
The Chesapeake CSA seeks an experienced head gardener and
several interns for the 1996 season; the gardener will work for a
five to nine-month season, and the interns, for at least eight
weeks; for more information, contact the Chesapeake CSA, 11904
Old Marlboro Pike, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772-2925; (301) 627-3050.
Capon Springs and Farms seeks a farm supervisor; send letter
or resume by Dec. 29 to Eddie Brill, Personnel Manager, Capon
Springs and Farms, Box O, Capon Springs, W.V. 26823; (304) 874-
USDA, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY LAUNCH JOINT R&D PROGRAM
The USDA and Department of Energy (DOE) last month announced
a five-year research and development collaboration designed to
prepare U.S. agriculture for "competition in the global
marketplace" and reduce "agriculture's reliance on fossil fuels
and the use of pesticides." The joint project "couples DOE's
expertise in physics, engineering, and computer science with
USDA's expertise in plant breeding, biological pest control, soil
and water conservation, and other areas," according a DOE press
release. According to the USDA, "This new, joint research and
development pact aims to: create solutions to complex problems
associated with maximizing crop yield; improve food quality and
safety; and investigate agricultural application of new
technologies and environmentally-benign processes."
Research and development will concentrate on five areas,
according to Bruce Kinzel of the USDA's Agricultural Research
Service: product quality, integrated pest management, the use of
defense technologies for precision farming, aquaculture, and food
safety. For more information, contact Matthew Donoghue at the
DOE, (202) 586-5806, or Tom Amontree or Maria Bynum at the USDA,
WESTERN SARE REGION RELEASES EIGHT-YEAR PROGRESS REPORT
The Western SARE Region has released a 12-page progress
report on its "Eight Years of Progress, 1988-1995." The report
"provides an overview of scientific findings and educational
accomplishments of funded projects and regional endeavors in the
West. These accomplishments exemplify the value of the program
and build on the 'good science' and 'good government' attributes
of SARE." The report highlights 22 projects funded by the SARE
program in the region, and has chapters on Resource Conservation,
Beneficial Biology at Work, Talking Dollars and Cents, Science in
the Field, Home on the Range, Agriculture in Concert with the
Environment (ACE), Rural Vitality and Diversity, and High Tech-
High Touch. It also describes research and education efforts now
underway and being planned for the future.
For more information or a copy of the report, contact V.
Philip Rasmussen, Regional Coordinator, Western Region SARE
Office, ASTE Building, UMC 2310, Utah State University, Logan, UT
84322-2310; (801) 797-3537; e-mail email@example.com; or
Kristen Kelleher, Communications Specialist, SARE, University of
California, Davis, CA 95616; (916) 752-5987; e-mail
"1995/96 Washington Tilth Directory" is $2 from Tilth
Producers, Chapter of Washington Tilth, P.O. Box 85056, Seattle,
WA 98145-1056; 1-800-731-1143.
"Down on the Farm: the Real BGH Story" and "Recombinant
Bovine Growth Hormone: Alarming Tests, Unfounded Approval" are $3
each, or $5 for both, from Rural Vermont, 15 Barre St.,
Montpelier, VT 05602-3504; (802) 223-7222.
"Competitiveness of U.S. Agriculture and the Balance of
Payments" is $12 from the Council for Agricultural Science and
Technology, 4420 West Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014-3447; (515)
"Biological Control: Learning to Live with the Natural
Order," a 25-minute video, is available from the National
Biological Control Institute, 4700 River Road Unit 5, Riverdale,
MD 20737-1229; (301) 734-4329; orders can be placed on the World
Wide Web at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/nbci/nbci.html
"Pesticides and Groundwater: A Guide for the Pesticide User"
(NRAES-34, $5) and "Designing a Modern Milking Center" (NRAES-73,
$30) are available from Northeast Regional Agricultural
Engineering Service, 152 Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853-
5701; (607) 255-7654.
"A Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce" is $18 from
Environmental Working Group, 1718 Connecticut Ave., NW, #600,
Washington, D.C. 20009; (202) 667-6982; it is also on the World
Wide Web at http://www.ewg.org
January 3, 1996, is the deadline for abstracts for poster
presentations for "Rocky Mountain Rendezvous: Renew Yourself in
the High Country," to be held at the Keystone Resort, CO, July 7-
10, 1996; contact the Soil and Water Conservation Society at 1-
January 4-8, 1996, "Responsible Water Stewardship: A Forum
on Water Conservation Technology, Strategies, and Solutions" will
be held in Orlando, FL; contact the American Water Works
Association, 6666 West Quincy Avenue, Denver, CO 80235; (303)
January 8, 1996, Sustainable Ag Training and Economic
Development course will be held at Newfarms; for catalog and
information, contact Dan Hobbs, HC 69 Box 62, Rociada, N.M.
87742; (505) 425-8431.
January 10-13, 1996, a four-part course, "Take Your Farm to
School with the Biodynamic Method" begins at Michael Fields
Agricultural Institute; contact Walter Goldstein at MFIA, (414)
January 11-13, 1996, National No-Tillage Conference will be
held in St. Louis, MO; contact No-Till Farmer, P.O. Box 624,
Brookfield, WI 53008; (414) 782-4480.
January 12-14, 1996, "Capital, CSA and Community Renewal"
will be held in Kimberton, PA; contact Bio-Dynamic Association,
P.O. Box 550, Kimberton, PA 19442; 1-800-516-7797.
January 13, 1996, 18th Annual Dairy Goat Conference will be
held at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; contact Leon
Meger, Extension Special Programs, 1-800-367-5363 or (612) 625-
January 19-21, 1996, Fifth Annual Conference and Trade Show
of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group will be
held in Lexington, KY; contact Community Farm Alliance, 200 Short
St., #10, Berea, KY 40403; (606) 986-7400; or Keith Richards,
Southern SAWG Conference, P.O. Box 324, Elkins, AR 72727; (501)
292-3714; e-mail HN3551@handsnet.org
January 24-27, 1996, 16th Annual Ecological Farming
Conference will be held at the Asilomar Conference Center,
Pacific Grove, CA; contact Committee for Sustainable Agriculture,
P.O. Box 838, San Martin, CA 95046; (408) 778-7366.
January 24-27, 1996, "Today's Vision for Tomorrow's
Agriculture," the annual meeting of the National Alliance of
Independent Crop Consultants, will be held in Orlando, FL;
contact NAICC, 752 E. Brookhaven Circle, $240, Memphis, TN 38117;
January 26-28, 1996, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture
Conference will be held in Mandan, N.D.; contact Sue Retka
Schill, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, HC5 Box
104, Langdon, N.D. 58249; (701) 256-2424; or Theresa Podoll, 9824
79th St. SE, Fullerton, N.D. 58441; (701) 883-4304.
January 26-27, 1996, "Organic Farming Comes of Age" will be
held at the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; contact Hugh
Martin, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs,
(519) 631-4700; or Tomas Nimmo, Canadian Organic Growers, (705)
January 27, 1996, 20th Anniversary Dinner of Canadian
Organic Growers will be held at Conference Centre of Ignatius
College, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; contact Anne Macey, (613) 259-
January 31-February 4, 1996, Herb Business Winter Getaway
Conference will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico; contact Herb
Growing & Marketing Network, P.O. Box 245, Silver Spring, PA
17575; (717) 393-3295.
February 2, 1996, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society
Western Area Conference will be held in Ogallala, NE; contact
Jane Sooby, High Plains Ag Lab, 3257 Rd. 109, Sidney, NE 69162;
* * *