WEBINAR: “Evaluation for Transformation”: A Cross-Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School

“Evaluation for Transformation: A Cross-Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School” provides common language for defining farm to school core and supplemental elements, guidance on program articulation, a comprehensive literature review of farm to school and farm to preschool outcomes, priority outcomes, indicators and measures for the four sectors of public health, community economic development, education, and environmental quality, and evaluation resources and tools. The webinar will introduce the different components of the framework, and highlight how different users can use it effectively for their unique needs.

DATE: August 26, 2014 

TIME: 12 – 1 p.m. Central Time

REGISTER: Here

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The State of Food Waste: Freeganism

wJack turbin 8334Jack Paxton is a UC Davis alumnus, professor emeritus of UIUC, teacher at UC-San Diego, and looks every bit the part of a respectable academic. Yet he’s trying to get
ordinary people to talk about a topic that many consider the territory of young hippies – freeganism. Freeganism is a lifestyle based on minimizing consumption and waste. In part, this means what  Freegan.info  calls “waste reclamation” – something I, Paxton, and most Americans refer to as “dumpster diving.” Continue reading

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Application Open for “Preparing a New Generation of Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Farmers”

first logoAspiring Illinois farmers, new growers with less than five years’ experience, commodity farmers interested in diversifying to include fruit or vegetable production, and high school and community college agriculture teachers are invited to apply now for the next session of a free training program offered through the University of Illinois crop sciences department. Continue reading

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Ceres Trust Organic Research Initative

Application due date:  September 25, 2014ceres-trust-logo-300b
Ceres Trust, a privately administered charitable trust based in the Midwest, has as its main focus the support and promotion of organic and sustainable agriculture. The competitive Organic Research Initiative (ORI) program awards grants of up to $60,000 per year for up to three years. Ceres Trust anticipates that up to ten grants will be made to universities and other nonprofit applicants in the 12-state North Central Region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Seven research areas that are of interest have been identified and appear online. Find the full list of research areas and more detailed information at the Ceres Trust website.

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September 4th Field Day: Keystone Cover Crops, Soil Health, and Value Adding with Diversity Workshop

Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 4th and plan to be a guest at this Workshop/Field Day which showcases three separate ongoing research projects being conducted at Dave Bishop’s PrairiErth Farm as well as other conservation practices. 

PrairiErth Farm’s Dave Bishop will discuss the 3-crop system of farming being used on his farm, as well as other value adding techniques that can be utilized on small or large scale farming operations. Continue reading

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NCR-SARE announces the 2014 “NCR-SARE Hero” Award, Honors Dale Mutch

NCR-SARE is pleased to announce Dale Mutch of Portage, Michigan is being honored as a 2014 “NCR-SARE Hero.”

Coordinated by the NCR-SARE Alumni Organization, this recognition honors the leadership, vision, contributions, and impact that these heroes have made in the field of sustainable agriculture in the north central region. The NCR-SARE Hero Award recognizes individuals who 1) have provided service to NCR-SARE, sustainability, and/or national SARE, 2) have shown leadership in sustainable agriculture locally and regionally, and 3) have made lasting impacts to sustainability in the North Central region.  Continue reading

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Last day to register for the 2014 Midwest Biochar Conference

Register Today!

Today, Wednesday, July 30, 2014, is the last day to register for the 2014 Midwest Biochar ConferenceToday is also the deadline to submit a poster.

Some oral and poster presentation topics included: Biochar as a replacement for coal; Biochar and the Emerald Ash Borer; Biochar and Soils; How biochar relates to water quality, storm water runoff, and greenhouse gas; and biochar production. Plus there will be ample opportunities for networking and an opportunity to tour the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center laboratories.

For more information, visit the conference website.

Please note: if you are giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster, the registration for the conference is separate.

Questions or missed deadlines? Email or call Nancy Holm (Co-Conference Coordinator) at naholm@illinois.edu or 217-244-3330.

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New “Food for Thought”

The University of Illinois College of ACES recently released the second installment of its publication “Food for Thought.” The magazine focuses on the research conducted and solutions found by the scientists within the college. It can be read and/or downloaded here. The first issue (published in 2012) can be found here.

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Thoughts from “Growing Cities”

Photo courtesy of Prosperity Gardens

Last night, the Prosperity Gardens held a fundraiser at the Art Theater in downtown Champaign, with refreshments, t-shirts, the first public appearance of their new bus (still without a name, but I hear that they’re taking suggestions), and a screening of the new documentary “Growing Cities,” about the current state of urban agriculture in the United States. The Urbana Park District screened the film earlier in the summer, and there may be further opportunities to see it during the coming year. Continue reading

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Farm Foundation Forum: The Soil Renaissance

Healthy soil is key to maintaining vibrant, profitable and sustainable natural resource systems. Without healthy soils the challenge of feeding the world’s population becomes more daunting.

The July 16 Farm Fouforumlogondation Forum will examine the Soil Renaissance, an initiative by Farm Foundation, NFP and the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation to make improving soil health the cornerstone of land use management decisions. Continue reading

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