*SARE EXTENSION FUNDING APPROVED FOR AGENT TRAINING PROGRAM
*PAUL JOHNSON NAMED CHIEF OF SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE
*NATIONAL DIALOGUE TO SHAPE POLICY AGENDA AT THIS MONTH'S
*GRAZING STRATEGIES SEEK SUSTAINABLE RANCHING
*GOVERNMENT'S BGH REPORT "DEVASTATING," SAYS SENATOR FEINGOLD
*BIO-INTENSIVE FARMING: "BIG YIELD IN SMALL SPACE," SAYS NEWSPAPER
*NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT TRAINING HELPS FARMERS PROTECT CHESAPEAKE BAY
*NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT TRAINING HELPS FARMERS PROTECT CHESAPEAKE BAY
SARE EXTENSION FUNDING APPROVED FOR AGENT TRAINING PROGRAM
The contentious issue of how the federal government would
spend the $2.963 million approved for the Sustainable Agriculture
Research and Education (SARE) program, to be administered by the
Extension system, was resolved on January 14, when it was decided
the funding would be used for Chapter 3, the Sustainable
Agriculture Technology Development and Transfer Program (SATDTP).
Since August, when the U.S. House/Senate Budget Conference
Committee approved the funds, it had been unclear whether the
money was to be used for training of extension agents (Chapter 3)
and/or integrated farming systems (Chapter 2). Late last year,
U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Dale Bumpers (D-AR) wrote
to Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, requesting clarification of
"some confusion within the Department as to the intent of
Congress regarding funds appropriated in FY94 for an Extension
Service program on sustainable agriculture," and making it "very
clear" that the funds were to be used for sustainable agriculture
It was decided at the January 14 meeting that the funds
would be allocated to the State Extension Directors, who in
consultation with the four Regional SARE Administrative Councils,
will be responsible for development of policy, allocation of
resources, and development of oversight protocols for the
components of Chapter 3. Operational guidelines for the SATDTP
were accepted, and flexibility is now encouraged in the Regional
SARE structure and program, "to meet the specific needs of
sustainable agriculture." Extension will now conduct statewide
strategic planning in sustainable agriculture involving all
interested parties through the State Extension Coordinator to be
used as input to the Consortia and Regional SARE for program
planning, prioritization, and competitive awards for training
The January 14 meeting, chaired by Acting Extension Service
Administrator Leodrey Williams, was attended by USDA and
Administration officials, SARE Administrative Council members,
state Extension directors, and representatives of non-profit
organizations, including Wallace Institute Executive Director
PAUL JOHNSON NAMED CHIEF OF SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE
Paul W. Johnson, a former board member and consultant with
the Wallace Institute, has been named the new Chief of the USDA's
Soil Conservation Service (SCS). Johnson is a farmer and former
state representative from Iowa. While serving in the
legislature, he helped to establish numerous agriculture and
environmental programs, including the Iowa Groundwater Protection
Act, The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, The Iowa
Integrated Farm Management Program, and Iowa's Resource
Enhancement and Protection Act. Johnson has degrees in Forest
Ecology from the University of Michigan, has served in the Peace
Corps in Ghana, and has done tree-soil-water research in Central
America. He has been a member of the Board on Agriculture of the
National Academy of Sciences for the past six years.
As Chief of the SCS, Johnson will oversee the work of more
than 13,000 full-time employees dedicated to helping private
landowners implement sound conservation practices. "There is no
other government agency more important to the goal of our
achieving a truly sustainable agriculture than the SCS,"
according to Johnson. "The SCS is a unique group of men and
women with a proud history, and I look forward to working with
them as we continue in our efforts to produce food and fiber in
harmony with the land."
NATIONAL DIALOGUE TO SHAPE POLICY AGENDA AT THIS MONTH'S
The National Dialogue on Sustainable Agriculture's Second
National Conference, "Shaping Policy," hopes to "shape the common
agenda for the 1995 Farm Bill" when conference delegates meet in
Alexandria, VA, February 26-27. Sponsored by the National
Sustainable Agriculture Coordinating Council, the Dialogue is an
effort to have sustainable agriculture groups, environmental
groups, progressive farm organizations, animal protection groups,
farmworker groups, and others seek consensus on a number of key
issues before debate begins on the 1995 Farm Bill. By working
together, Dialogue participants hope to move policy decisions
toward more environmentally and socially sound options. Among
the issues to be discussed at this month's conference are
creating a just and humane food system, saving the family farm,
protecting natural resources, and preserving rural economies.
For more information, contact the Council, 32 North Church St.,
Goshen, N.Y. 10924; (914) 294-0633.
GRAZING STRATEGIES SEEK SUSTAINABLE RANCHING
To assure continued viability of ranch grazing, strategies
that are ecologically compatible and economically sustainable are
being researched and identified, with funding from the SARE
program. Traditional season-long methods of domestic livestock
grazing are viewed by some as competitive with ecological
objectives; whole-ranch analyses to address these issues are
needed if ranchers are to adopt ecologically compatible grazing
systems in Oregon and other Western states.
In this project, emphasis is placed on ranch level
ecological impacts of different grazing systems; results for
three sets of grazing strategies -- traditional, management
intensive, and capital intensive -- are being analyzed and
subsequently disseminated. The project is also determining the
impact of alternative grazing strategies on ranch and livestock
performance on riparian zone and adjacent upland conditions,
wildlife habitat, and resident and anadromous salmonids.
For more information, contact Project Coordinator, Ludwig M.
Eisgruber, Professor, Oregon State University, Department of
Agricultural and Resource Economics, 232A Ballard Extension Hall,
Corvallis, OR 97331; (503) 737-1423.
Dairy farm owner seeks person with dairy experience, college
education, to lease farm with demonstration facility in Potomac
Highlands, MD; contact Peter Brown, (301) 277-3779.
National Catholic Rural Life Conference seeks Executive
Director; send resume, three references by March 15; for
inquiries/application, contact NCRLC Search Committee Chair, Sr.
Angela Ann Zukowski, Center for Religious Telecommunications,
Alumni Hall, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-0314.
Tillers International seeks interns from April-November;
send cover letter, resume, and two references to Richard
Roosenberg, Director, Tillers, 5239 South 24th St., Kalamazoo, MI
49001; (616) 344-3233; fax (616) 385-2329.
World Resources Institute seeks a Project Director, U.S.
Sustainability Project; send inquiries, curriculum vitae to
Climate, Energy, and Pollution Program, WRI, 1709 New York Ave.,
NW, Washington, D.C. 20006; fax (202) 638-0036.
GOVERNMENT'S BGH REPORT "DEVASTATING," SAYS SENATOR FEINGOLD
The Clinton Administration's recently released report on the
sale of bovine growth hormone (BGH), or bovine somatotropin
(BST), "contains some potentially devastating information,"
according to U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). The Office of
Management and Budget's report found no health, safety, social,
or economic obstacles to the introduction of the drug, scheduled
for this month. But the report predicted a $1.3 billion decline
in dairy farm income during the next six years as a result of BGH
production, increasing to annual losses of $546 million in 1999;
it also found that if the results of consumer surveys turn into
action, "the likelihood is high that significant reduction in
demand for milk and dairy products is anticipated because of
BST." For a copy of the report, contact the Office of Management
and Budget's publications office at (202) 395-7332.
BIO-INTENSIVE FARMING: "BIG YIELD IN SMALL SPACE," SAYS NEWSPAPER
The bio-intensive gardens of Steve Rioch in Ohio and John
Jeavons in California are demonstrating not only "the subtleties
of double-digging and the steps involved in growing plants bio-
intensively," but also a "big yield in a small space," according
to a recent article in The Washington Post. By following such
practices as double-digging, not walking on double-dug beds,
"growing soil," and composting, the bio-intensive gardener brings
oxygen into the soil, and "with increased oxygen comes increased
productivity," said the article. "If you grow soil, you'll have
to grow crops, but the intention is different," said Jeavons.
"We need to begin to look at what we're doing to the soil, not at
what we can get from gardening, but what we can give." For more
information, contact Rioch, Administrator, Ohio University
Intensive Gardening Program, 5569 State St., Albany, OH 45710;
(614) 698-3681; or Jeavons, Bountiful Gardens/Ecology Action,
18001 Shafer Ranch Rd., Willits, CA 95490; (707) 459-6410.
NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT TRAINING HELPS FARMERS PROTECT CHESAPEAKE BAY
A new Model Bay Area Nutrient Management Training and
Certification Program, provided by the Chesapeake Bay Program, is
the first multi-state effort to standardize nutrient management
training and certification. It provides a framework to guide
Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania in their efforts to enlist,
train, and certify individuals from the private and public
sectors to write nutrient management plans for farms, to help
protect water quality. For a copy of the training and
certification document, call Kate Naughten or Elliott
Finkelstein, Chesapeake Bay Program Communications Office, 1-800-
"Soil Fertility for Organic Farmers" is $4 from Ozark Small
Farm Viability Project, P.O. Box 99, Mt. Judea, AR 72655; (501)
"Farming Alternatives: A Guide to Evaluating the Feasibility
of New Farm-Based Enterprises," $8; "Farming Alternatives:
Innovation on Northeast Farms," a video for $20; and "Composting
to Reduce the Waste Stream: A Guide to Small Scale Food and Yard
Waste Composting," $7, are available from Northeast Regional
Agricultural Engineering Service, Cooperative Extension, 152
Riley-Robb Hall, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853; (607) 255-7654.
"Preventing Pesticide-related Illness in California
Agriculture: Strategies and Priorities" is available from
California Policy Seminar, 2020 Milvia Street, #412, Berkeley, CA
94704; (510) 642-5514.
"Alternative Agriculture: Selected Information Sources" is
available from Irwin Weintraub, Library of Science and Medicine,
Rutgers University, P.O. Box 1029, Piscataway, N.J. 08855-1029.
"The Wetlands Reserve Pilot Program: An Assessment Based on
State Leadership Workshops" is available from American Farmland
Trust, 1920 N St., NW, #400, Washington, D.C. 20036; (202) 659-
March 7-10, National Pesticide Management Conference will be
held in St. Louis, MO; contact Lyn Kirschner, Conservation
Technology Information Center, 1220 Potter Drive, #170, West
Lafayette, IN 47906; (317) 494-9555.
March 8, Nutrient Management Workshop will be held at
Oakland Community Center, Oakland, IA; contact Marco Buske, ISU
Extension Crops Specialist, (712) 323-2300.
March 10, Organic Farm Fresh Table Top Exhibition will be
held in Anaheim, CA; contact Pam Breen, Natural Products Expo,
March 10-11, Public Voice's 1994 National Food Policy
Conference will be held in Washington, DC; contact Public Voice,
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, #522, Washington, DC 20036;
March 12-13, "Cultivate Community," the annual conference of
Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New York, will be held
at Tompkins/Cortland Community College, Dryden, N.Y.; contact
NOFA-NY, P.O. Box 21, South Butler, N.Y. 13154; (315) 365-2299.
March 16-17, Michigan Grazing Conference will be held in Mt.
Pleasant; contact Ben Bartlett, MSU Extension dairy/livestock
agent, (906) 228-4830.
March 18-23, the 59th North American Wildlife and Natural
Resources Conference will be held in Anchorage, AK; contact
Wildlife Management Institute, 1101 14th St., NW, #801,
Washington, D.C. 20005.
March 18-20, "A New Day for American Corn and American Corn
Farmers," the 1994 convention of the American Corn Growers
Association, will be held in Kansas City, MO; contact the ACGA,
218 E. Bedford St., Dimmitt, TX 70927; (806) 647-4224.
March 19-November 15, Tillers International workshops on
small farm and rural economic development will be held; topics
include animal power, blacksmithing, woodworking; contact Peter
Rice, Tillers, 5239 South 24th, Kalamazoo, MI 49002; (616) 344-
3233; fax (616) 385-2329.
March 21-25, "International Conference on Shaping the Future
by Law: Children, Environment & Health" will be held in New
Delhi, India; contact S. Ratnavel Pandian, phone: 091-11-388942.
March 22-23, Wildlands Conference, including vegetative and
wetlands management, will be held in Houston, TX; contact
Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Council, 1010 Wayne Ave., #920,
Silver Spring, MD 20910; (301) 588-8994.
March 23-27, Annual Assembly of the Rural Coalition will be
held in Sea Islands, S.C.; contact the Coalition, P.O. Box 5199,
Arlington, VA 22205-0299; (703) 534-1845.
March 25-27, "Biological Diversity: Exploring the
Complexities" will be held in Tucson, AZ; contact Dept. of
Biochemistry, University of Arizona, Biosciences West, Tucson, AZ
85721; (602) 621-7961.
March 28-30, "Site-Specific Management for Agricultural
Systems" will be held in Bloomington/Minneapolis, MN; contact
Gene Anderson, Program Director, University of Minnesota,
Educational Development System, 405 Coffey Hall, 1420 Eckles
Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108; 1-800-367-5363 or (612) 625-7084.
April 3-14, New Zealand agroforestry tour will be held;
contact Professional Forestry Services, P.O. Box 424, Rotorua,
New Zealand; 64-7-349-4523; fax 64-7-345-5083.
April 6-9, "People's Rights and Security: Sustainable
Development Strategies for the 21st Century" will be held in
Mexico City, Mexico; contact Society for International
Development -- USA Chapters Center, 1401 New York Ave., #1100,
Washington, DC 20005.