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Ohio & Western Lake Erie Basin Agriculture
March Newsletter

March 20th marks the beginning of Spring and national agriculture week. We are excited to welcome warmer weather, blossoming flowers, and support producers preparing for the growing season. Read through this months newsletter to learn about some great grant opportunities and events.
News Dig
2022 TNC Ohio Agriculture Year In Review
Last year was full of implementing exciting new projects while making gainful strides on existing ones. Be sure to read about our accomplishments in the 2022 Impact Statement, which provides useful information on how we work towards our conservation goals.
Welcome Heather to the TNC Ag Team!
Heather Gayton is a niche market grower in central Wisconsin with over 10 years of experience in education, specifically agriculture and environmental literacy. She is a beginning farmer and rancher who owns and operates ZanBria Artisan Farms and is joining TNC as the Farmer Advocate for Conservation Coordinator.  Heather provides TNC a unique perspective regarding food sovereignty and underrepresented populations in agriculture. We are very excited to have her expertise added to our team!
Haney Soil Test Information Sessions
The farmers involved in Farmer Advocate for Conservation meetings and peer groups are invited to 2 free Haney Soil Tests.  We will have 2 webinars with Mitchell Hora and Rick Haney to help facilitate this process.   
1.    March 23 @ 7:30-8:30 am- Attend the webinar on pulling soil samples for your Haney Soil tests.  
2.    May 4 @ 7:30-8:30 am –
Attend the webinar on understanding your Haney Soil Test results.  
Please register for the webinars at Farmeradvocatesforconservation.com.  If you are interested in joining the peer groups and would like to participate in the free Haney Soil testing, please contact stephanie.singer@tnc.org
Cover Crops: The Good & Bad
This article by James Hoorman in the Ohio Country Journal takes an honest look at cover crops, discussing the benefits and challenges that come with implementing them. 
Want Free MILPA Seed Mix?
Inspired by the Maya Milpa tradition, the First Acre Program provides free seed to any grower who is interested in planting up to one acre of our Milpa garden seed mix. In exchange for the free seed, they ask the grower to harvest and donate at least 50% of the harvested produce to their local food banks, community, and neighbors.
Funding Opportunities
Beginner Farmer and Rancher Development Program Applications Open
The purpose of the BFRDP is to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories enter and/or improve their successes in farming, ranching, and management of nonindustrial private forest lands, through support for projects that provide education, mentoring, and technical assistance to give beginning farmers and ranchers the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to make informed decisions for their operations and enhance their sustainability. Applications accepted until April 27th.
USDA Announces RFP's for 3 Agriculture Research Funding Sources
There are three important USDA funding sources that just released Requests for Proposals to support research and engagement around agroecological farming and food systems, including but not limited to organic production.  
  1. Organic Transitions - Deadline April 27
  2. Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative  - Deadline April 12
  3. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Sustainable Agricultural Systems  Deadline - July 13
Forest Farming and Silvopasture Grant Program
Virginia Tech is partnering with Rural Action to increase the adoption of silvopasture and forest farming through the Appalachian region. They are encouraging Ohio producers to apply and are providing $1500 per acre for silvopasture and $1000 per quarter acre for forests farming projects.
Local Agriculture Market Program
LAMP is an umbrella program comprised of 3 programs that support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing; local and regional food markets and enterprises; and value-added agricultural products. Applications due May 2 for all programs.
  1. Farmers Market Promotion Program
  2. Local Food Promotion Program
  3. Regional Food Systems Partnership Program
Upcoming Events
March Lunch & Learn
Our first series of Lunch & Learns discusses various ways that livestock can be introduced into farming operations to further conservation goals and increase soil health. Our March installment will feature a high-level overview of how to properly manage manure and abide by 590 standards. Amanda Douridas from OSU extension will be answering all your burning questions, so be sure to tune in. See you March 29th at 12pm EST!
Cover Crop Symposium
Small Farm Conference & Trade Show
Ohio State Extension announced plans to host a Small Farm Conference in Mansfield Ohio on March 11, 2023.Conference session topics are geared to beginning and small farm owners as well as to farms looking to diversify their operation.  There will be five different conference tracks including: Farm Office, Horticulture and Produce Production, Livestock, Agritourism/ Marketing, Natural Resources.
Conservation Tillage & Technology Conference
Going Green for Ag 
Events List
Submit a Future Event
Connect with Us and Other Farmers 
Agriculture Team at The Nature Conservancy
Please connect with us and other farmers through our Website and Ohio TNC Agriculture Facebook Group where we strive to foster a community of support,  discussion, and information sharing.
Join the agriculture discussion online and keep up to date with activities!
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The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends



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