Category Archives: Home Page Image

to display in the photo grid at the top of the home page

Dairy Goats for the Farm

Dairy Goats for the Farm

By Linda Coffey, NCAT Livestock Specialist Photo at right: Caramel and Rosie Petunia with Caramel’s new owner. Photo: Courtesy Paula Hartgrave. This week, I will be sending a young dairy goat named Caramel to a lovely family. The seven-year-old girl who will be in charge of the goat is so excited; she and her parents… Read More >

Update: Applying for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Update: Applying for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Get Ready to Apply for CFAP The Farm Service Agency (FSA) will begin taking applications for CFAP on May 26. Processing and payments will be made on a first come first served basis, so it will benefit you to do as much preparation as you can! As a reminder, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)… Read More >

Wine Cap Mushroom Production: Getting Started

Wine Cap Mushroom Production: Getting Started

Photos and text by Nina Prater, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Image at right: Jeremy Prater practicing his shiitake mushroom inoculation skills at the mushroom workshop in Fayetteville, AR. Last year, the NCAT Southeast office partnered with the University of Missouri’s Agroforestry Center to host a one-day mushroom cultivation workshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Gregory Ormsby Mori… Read More >

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Get Ready Yesterday: $16 Billion Available to Farmers from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Call or contact your local Farm Service Agency today! No, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is not food for the nation’s hungry, but rather assistance for the nation’s food producers. Details of how U.S. farmers can apply for this assistance… Read More >

Mutual Aid Network Launches

Mutual Aid Network Launches

In response to the global pandemic, NCAT initiated a partnership with non-profits, local agencies, and businesses in Butte, Montana, to launch the Butte Mutual Aid Network to assist folks in need because of Covid-19. This is a neighbor-to-neighbor network connecting people who can help with people who need help. Local residents can visit the website,… Read More >

Adaptive Grazing – You Can Do It

Adaptive Grazing – You Can Do It

By Lee Rinehart, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, NCAT Northeast Back in the late 1990s, I was a new county Extension agent in Texas. I met a Brangus rancher who became a friend and demonstration cooperator, and I pitched him a topic that he became immediately interested in. We laid out 11 paddocks and began grazing 24… Read More >

Peach Leaf Curl

Peach Leaf Curl

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist In Northwest Arkansas I’m seeing peach leaf curl in my orchard. It’s April, but the calendar date is not as important as the growth stage of the peaches. The professionals call this time “shuck split.” The “shuck,” or the last remnant of the flower, is splitting and falling… Read More >

Earth Day Goes Virtual

Earth Day Goes Virtual

As we celebrate Earth Day 2020, the Earth looks and feels quite different than it normally does. This year marks the 50th celebration of Earth Day and the COVID-19 pandemic, has drastically impacted our physical, social, and economic worlds. Even so, people are banding together and finding a “new normal,” — one that demonstrates resilience. We can still pursue our projects and initiatives, though; we just need to do it differently. And, at least for now, our communication must be virtual. Read More >

Rethinking Crop Insurance

Rethinking Crop Insurance

By Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist I have been awakened to a re-evaluation of risk and uncertainty. Going to the grocery store has – hopefully only for a short time – become more risky.  I also have been thinking more and more about how are personal and societal understanding and measurement of… Read More >

Farmer Veteran COVID-19 Listening Session

Farmer Veteran COVID-19 Listening Session

Please join NCAT for a listening and information session on Tuesday, April 14, at 11 a.m. CDT. During these uncertain times NCAT hopes to create a space for farmer veterans where you can share your challenges and strategies for resiliency. Most importantly, we want to give you a chance to connect with each other. Margo… Read More >

Electric Deer Fence Tips and Resources

Electric Deer Fence Tips and Resources

By Luke Freeman, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Photo at right: Kenny Simon presenting at NCAT’s Deer Fence Workshop on October 15, 2019. Photo by Colin Massey, Arkansas Extension. Last November we hosted a workshop in Fayetteville, Arkansas, on constructing a low-cost, solar-powered electric deer fence for a farm, garden, or food plot. Since people are planting… Read More >

Maintain Your Own Tractor

Maintain Your Own Tractor

Maintaining Your Tractor NCAT has released  a five-part video series called “Maintaining Your Tractor”on YouTube. This series walks viewers through the three main factors that keep a diesel engine running smoothly: clean air clean fuel lubrication Farm and equipment educator Shane LaBrake joins NCAT Northeast Regional Director Andy Pressman (author of Equipment and Tools for… Read More >

Elderberries: Easy to Grow Medicine

Elderberries: Easy to Grow Medicine

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist I can hardly think of a perennial fruit easier to grow than elderberries. And I can hardly think of a food item with a stronger claim to health benefits. Coupling the ease of growing with this fruit’s new popularity as an effective medicine, this could be an opportune… Read More >

Welcome, Asha!

Welcome, Asha!

NCAT is excited to welcome Asha Tillman to the Gulf States Regional team! Asha has been working with Rock, Liz, and Felicia in our Jackson, Mississippi, office since February 2019 as an intern, and we are so pleased that she will be able to continue as a sustainable agriculture specialist. Asha grew up in Jackson,… Read More >

Gulf States 2019 Review

Gulf States 2019 Review

As 2019 fades into the horizon, we at the NCAT Gulf States Regional office have been reflecting on moments from the past year that stand out to us as particularly meaningful. Our work this year has included a wide variety of efforts, from building more equitable food systems within Mississippi communities, to risk management education… Read More >

Restorative Pruning

Restorative Pruning

It Takes More Than a Nip and a Tuck, but You Can Bring Those Old Trees Back Into Production By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Long-neglected fruit trees quite often simply die of disease or trunk borer damage, especially in the South where I live.  But if they don’t die, one of the two… Read More >

Register Now for Soil Health Innovations Conference

Register Now for Soil Health Innovations Conference

A movement has been growing around the world as farmers, ranchers, food companies, policy makers, and scientists alike realize the importance of soil health. A variety of emerging technologies and innovative practices are being adopted widely by producers to improve soil health, and interest in these technologies and practices is spreading quickly. Registration is open… Read More >

Young and Beginning Farmers Come Together

Young and Beginning Farmers Come Together

A Recap of the Young Farmer National Leadership Convergence By Luke Freeman, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Photo at right: Luke enjoying the Colorado snow! In November I attended the National Leadership Convergence in Boulder, Colorado, hosted by the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). This was a fantastic opportunity to meet other young farmer leaders from across… Read More >

Armed to Farm: 2019 Year in Review

Armed to Farm: 2019 Year in Review

Our 2019 Armed to Farm (ATF) trainings came to a close back in October, after a record seven week-long events. We held our first ATF in the Midwest, and marked a milestone – our 20th training. We also introduced Armed to Farm 2.0, a next-level training created just for Armed to Farm alumni. Want to… Read More >

Dwarfing Apple Rootstocks: Pros and Cons

Dwarfing Apple Rootstocks: Pros and Cons

To Be or Not to Be Little. That Is the Dwarf Fruit Tree Question. By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist At right: The author beneath a full-size Koyama pear tree. Photo courtesy Ozark Natural Foods. Whether ‘tis nobler to suffer the posts and cables of outrageous trellis systems… Okay, I’ll stop. Most professional orchardists… Read More >

NCAT Northeast 2019 Recap

NCAT Northeast 2019 Recap

A Time for Contemplation The thermometer reads well below freezing in Keene, NH, and your NCAT Northeast gang is feeling sentimental about the year that now comes to a close. 2019 kept us all very busy with travels across the country, with projects that ended and with more that began. Meanwhile, Andy, Lee, and Daniel… Read More >

Livestock Guardian Animals: Protecting the Flock

Livestock Guardian Animals: Protecting the Flock

By Linda Coffey, NCAT Livestock Specialist Photo (right) courtesy Lewis Fox, Fox Farms You walk out to check your sheep, and find the best lamb is missing. Your dairy goats go out to graze with their kids, and come home later without your daughter’s best show prospect. One day you come home to find a… Read More >

Grafting Fruit Trees

Grafting Fruit Trees

The Science and Craft (and a Little Magic) By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist People practiced the craft of grafting well before they understood the science. Grafting dates back to at least 1,000 B.C. The ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Romans all knew about grafting as witnessed by their written records. But much of the… Read More >

We Support Report on Climate Crisis

We Support Report on Climate Crisis

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Report Details Suggested Policy Changes to Meet Climate Change Challenges American agriculture is not the major source of greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate disruption, but if agricultural production is done well, it can be a major part of the many needed solutions to climate change. This is a major finding… Read More >

Fall Planting Fruit Trees

Fall Planting Fruit Trees

A Hair’s Breadth Makes a Huge Difference By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist All across the South and as far north as USDA Climate Zone 5, fall planting of fruit trees can help get fruit trees off to a big head-start compared to fruit trees planted in spring. Why? The answer is a small… Read More >

Register Now: Electric Deer Fence Workshop

Register Now: Electric Deer Fence Workshop

Do you struggle to protect your farm or garden from deer damage? Join NCAT and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension for an Electric Deer Fence Workshop on Friday, November 15! You’ll learn how to construct a low-cost solar-powered deer fence for your farm, garden, or food plot. You’ll also learn other ways to keep wildlife… Read More >

Beginning Livestock Workshop: Recap and Resources

Beginning Livestock Workshop: Recap and Resources

On October 4, NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey traveled to Judsonia, Arkansas, to lead a workshop for beginning livestock producers. They share highlights from the day-long event below. We thoroughly enjoyed this workshop, for many reasons. It was a pleasure to work with Ryan Pace, who hosted the group.… Read More >

Learn Grazing with Dr. Allen Williams

Learn Grazing with Dr. Allen Williams

NCAT is excited to be hosting a one-day workshop at The Piney Woods School Farm in Piney Woods, Mississippi, with world-renowned rancher and grazing educator Dr. Allen Williams. Join NCAT agriculture specialists and Dr. Williams on October 29, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for this rare opportunity. Dr. Williams travels all over the… Read More >

Put a Certification Label On It?

Put a Certification Label On It?

Certified Naturally Grown vs. Certified Organic vs. Who Cares By Guy K. Ames, CNG grower and NCAT Horticulture Specialist When you work hard to produce food in an ecologically sound way that customers can purchase without fear of pesticide residues, you may wonder if you should take the next step and make it “official” through… Read More >

Apply Now: Mississippi Food Systems Fellowship

Apply Now: Mississippi Food Systems Fellowship

Attention Mississippians! NCAT and its Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative partners are excited to announce the launch of the first-ever Mississippi Food Systems Fellowship! In order for all Mississippians to have access to healthy local food, we believe that the food system needs transformational change. The Mississippi Food Systems Fellowship will invest in Mississippians working to… Read More >

International Partners Fight Against Internal Parasites

International Partners Fight Against Internal Parasites

NCAT Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey recently traveled to Ghent, Belgium, to attend an international meeting focused on managing internal parasites in sheep and goats. Following is her report on what she learned during the trip. I have been privileged to be involved as a member—along with NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and NCAT Livestock… Read More >

Register Now: Certified Naturally Grown Workshop

Register Now: Certified Naturally Grown Workshop

Are you interested in learning how to become Certified Naturally Grown (CNG)? If so, this workshop is for you! NCAT Horticulture Specialists Guy Ames and Luke Freeman will lead a three-hour Certified Naturally Grown Workshop on Thursday, October 24 from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. The event will take place at Cobblestone Farm, 1210 N. 54th… Read More >

The Latino Farmer Conference is Coming!

The Latino Farmer Conference is Coming!

It’s just over two months until the 5th annual Latino Farmer Conference, set for Tuesday, November 19, in Tulare, California. This year’s conference will be held at the Tulare International Agri-Center. The goal of the conference is to share information about sustainable agriculture production to fill knowledge gaps that are impacting Latino farmers. In order… Read More >

Incubator Farm Project Cultivates Farmers and Community

Incubator Farm Project Cultivates Farmers and Community

Spearheaded by NCAT Southeast’s Luke Freeman, the Woolsey Farm Project is a collaboration between NCAT, Cobblestone Farms, and the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas. It is supported by an EPA Environmental Education Award. We’re a few months into the project now, and we thought it was time for an update on this exciting program! Background and… Read More >

Register Now: NCAT Beginning Livestock Workshop

Register Now: NCAT Beginning Livestock Workshop

Join NCAT for a one-day beginning livestock workshop at beautiful Wholly Cow Farms in Judsonia, Arkansas. NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and NCAT Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey will teach sessions on business planning, marketing, and sustainable livestock production. Farmer Ryan Pace will lead a tour of the farm and share his experiences raising organic… Read More >

Sour Rot on Grapes

Sour Rot on Grapes

By Luke Freeman, NCAT Horticulture Specialist The grape harvest has begun here in Arkansas and we have all been enjoying delicious locally-grown table grapes. If you are growing grapes yourself you may be noticing some diseases that have caused your grapes to rot before you can harvest them. One disease you may see, which is… Read More >

Heirloom Apple Varieties:  “Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used to Be”

Heirloom Apple Varieties:  “Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used to Be”

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist For me it started about forty years ago. Every few months someone will send me or I will by chance find in my reading an earnest, beautiful, mouth-watering homage to an apple variety lost in the fog of history. Or, just as likely, an apple variety rediscovered and… Read More >

Become an Energy Corps Member!

Become an Energy Corps Member!

Join Energy Corps and Enjoy a Year of Service and Learning in Beautiful Montana! The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is looking to fill a number of Energy Corps AmeriCorps positions in Montana. This is a great opportunity for a fulfilling service experience while helping to promote clean energy. The current positions cover a… Read More >

Milestones and a Reunion at Armed to Farm Indiana

Milestones and a Reunion at Armed to Farm Indiana

We completed our twentieth Armed to Farm training, and our first in the Midwest U.S., back in May! We were excited to partner with Farmer Veteran Coalition of Indiana and AgrAbility to host a group of 18 veterans in Crawfordsville, Indiana, May 13-17. It was great to reconnect with Sara Creech, alumnus of our very… Read More >

NCAT Names Campus for Long-time Leader

NCAT Names Campus for Long-time Leader

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is honoring its recently retired longtime leader with more than an inscribed gold watch or a plaque bearing her name. Rather, the nonprofit will name its iconic Butte headquarters building and grounds after Kathy Hadley during a ceremony on July 26. Hadley retired earlier this year after 21… Read More >

Alternative Poultry Feeds

Alternative Poultry Feeds

By Margo Hale, NCAT Livestock Specialist and Southeast Regional Office Director Finding sources of feed often presents a challenge for sustainable or organic poultry producers. Many producers would like to source local and organic feeds, and many would prefer diets that do not rely heavily on corn and soybeans. In order to do this, farmers… Read More >

Japanese Beetles: Exotic Pests and Domestic Defenses

Japanese Beetles:  Exotic Pests and Domestic Defenses

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Ever since Columbus sailed the ocean blue, travel and trade between the eastern and western hemispheres have been responsible for releasing stowaway pests and diseases into ecosystems unprepared for their devastations. Some of these are quite famous, like Dutch elm disease and chestnut blight, both brought from the… Read More >

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Cleveland, OH

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Cleveland, OH

In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and Holden Forests & Gardens, NCAT is bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) veterans training to Cleveland, Ohio, for a special event focused on urban farming. Armed to Urban Farm will give military veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn… Read More >

New Partnerships Will Grow Farm to School Efforts

New Partnerships Will Grow Farm to School Efforts

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) are pleased to announce their partnership with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop farm to school trainings for agricultural producers. The goal of the partnership is to help agricultural producers build their… Read More >

The Disease Triangle and the Rotten Rainbow

The Disease Triangle and the Rotten Rainbow

Excessive Rain Causes Challenges for Fruit Growers By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist The so-called Disease Triangle is a Venn diagram that illustrates the interplay among the factors that cause disease. The factors that must be present for disease to occur are: a susceptible host, the presence of the pathogen, and a conducive environment.… Read More >

Disease Resistance Among Apple Varieties

Disease Resistance Among Apple Varieties

It’s Relative, Not Absolute! By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist The concept of disease resistance among apple varieties seems to be often misunderstood.  Rarely is resistance so strong that it is absolute or immune. There are some bona fide scab-immune apple varieties (e.g., Williams Pride, Liberty, Pristine, and Enterprise). And there are some cedar… Read More >

Our Own Rose Sullivan Retires

Our Own Rose Sullivan Retires

Rose Sullivan, librarian at the National Center for Appropriate Technology since 1978, has finally retired – at age 98.  After more than 40 years of service, she has decided to move on and enjoy time with family, friends, and a few good books. Staff at NCAT honored Rose with a party earlier in May and… Read More >

Land Management Monitoring Strategies and Workshop Announcement

Land Management Monitoring Strategies and Workshop Announcement

by Kara Kroeger As an effective land steward/manager we often contend with a number of factors that affect our plans and goals for our terrain. We are constantly faced with fluctuations in weather conditions that swing between droughts to floods. Due to these constant changes it can sometimes be hard to determine whether our management… Read More >

NCAT’s Annual Electronics Recycling Event

NCAT’s Annual Electronics Recycling Event

On Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 from 10:00am to 6:00pm. NCAT will host its annual electronics recycling event. It will be held in the parking lot on the north side of our building, located at 3040 Continental Drive in Butte. [map] New for 2019! Please note: we are not accepting CRT TVs and Monitors (the older… Read More >

NCAT Southeast Wraps Up Six-Session Workshop Series

NCAT Southeast Wraps Up Six-Session Workshop Series

NCAT Southeast staff recently wrapped up a series of workshops—one per month for six months—with the same group of farmers from Arkansas and Oklahoma. The “Taking Your Farm to the Next Level” workshop series started in November 2018 and concluded in April 2019. The participating farmers had several years of production experience, but wanted to… Read More >

“Petal Fall” Is a Key Time for Managing Fruit Tree Pests

“Petal Fall” Is a Key Time for Managing Fruit Tree Pests

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Major pests of apples, peaches, plums, cherries, and pears enter and/or become active in orchards as soon as the petals begin falling from the flowers. In the eastern half of the United States the plum curculio (photo at right) moves from overwintering sites in or near the orchard… Read More >

Authors Quinn and Carlisle Speak at NCAT

Authors Quinn and Carlisle Speak at NCAT

Bob Quinn calls himself the “green economy cowboy.” On Earth Day, the organic agriculture innovator and sustainable energy entrepreneur stopped by NCAT’s Butte, Montana, headquarters to talk with staff and community members about his new book, Grain by Grain. His co-author, Liz Carlisle, also made the trip to NCAT. She’s a professor at Stanford University’s… Read More >

Great Pasty Throwdown Set for June 8

Great Pasty Throwdown Set for June 8

It seems like every grandmother and every restaurant in Butte, Montana, claims to make the tastiest pasty in town. Well, soon it will be time to put your pasty where your mouth is. All those boasts will be put to the test during the first annual Great Pasty Throwdown on Saturday, June 8, at the… Read More >

Join Our Wholesale Readiness Trainings in Texas

Join Our Wholesale Readiness Trainings in Texas

NCAT and The Common Market Texas are seeking produce growers looking to prepare for and succeed in selling to wholesale markets. The Common Market, originally started in Philadelphia, is a “nonprofit regional food distributor with a mission to connect communities with good food from sustainable family farms.” Common Market has recently expanded to Houston. NCAT… Read More >

Free Workshop: Learn to Put Your Land to Work

Free Workshop: Learn to Put Your Land to Work

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the City of Fayetteville, and Cobblestone Farms are partnering to conduct the free “Putting Your Land to Work” workshop. Join us on Thursday, June 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Cobblestone Farms in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Learn what you can do with your farm property, or what… Read More >

New Food Processing Guidebook for Farmers Available!

New Food Processing Guidebook for Farmers Available!

With help from a team of farmers, economists, and food experts, Mike Morris (National Center for Appropriate Technology) and Sue Beckwith (Texas Center for Local Food) have created an entertaining and useful new workbook, Beyond Fresh: a Food Processing Guide for Texas Farmers. Available from NCAT’s ATTRA website here for just $19.95, the book walks… Read More >

Growing Edible Mushrooms Workshop: Recap and Resources

Growing Edible Mushrooms Workshop: Recap and Resources

Twenty-five participants came from all over Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois to attend the Growing Edible Mushrooms workshop on Tuesday, April 2, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. NCAT’s Southeast Office partnered with Phillip Owens of the USDA ARS Dale Bumpers Small Farm Research Center and Gregory Ormsby Mori of the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry to… Read More >

Beginning Farmer Workshop with NCAT’s Luke Freeman

Beginning Farmer Workshop with NCAT’s Luke Freeman

Join NCAT Horticulture Specialist Luke Freeman and University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension staff for an information-packed evening designed to help beginning farmers plan for success. Workshop Details This workshop is geared towards beginning farmers or those who are considering getting into farming. Luke will talk about whole farm planning and selecting the right farm enterprise.… Read More >

Register Now! Lambing Production Weekend with NCAT’s Linda Coffey

Register Now! Lambing Production Weekend with NCAT’s Linda Coffey

Join NCAT Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey, Heifer Ranch staff, and USDA Agriculture Research Service’s (ARS) Dr. Joan Burke for an information-packed weekend all about lambing production! This Lambing Weekend will take place April 12-14, 2019, at the beautiful 1,200 acre Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. This event is the final in a series of four… Read More >

NCAT Southeast Hosts Inaugural Armed to Farm 2.0

NCAT Southeast Hosts Inaugural Armed to Farm 2.0

We held our first Armed to Farm 2.0 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, February 25-March 1, 2019. This training was open to veterans who had previously attended one of our Armed to Farm training events. We had a fantastic group of 18 participants, from 10 states, for the week. They represented nine Armed to Farm events from… Read More >

Livestock Workshop at Reyer Farms a Success

Livestock Workshop at Reyer Farms a Success

This blog post was written by NCAT Intern Asha Tillman Five days before spring, a combination of aspiring farmers and established farmers participated in a livestock workshop held on Reyer Farms of Lena, MS. NCAT Gulf States Regional Director Rock Woods and farm owner Jody Reyer led the workshop in partnership with Alcorn State University’s… Read More >

New at ATTRA: Videos on Pruning Grapes

New at ATTRA: Videos on Pruning Grapes

Have you pruned your grapevines yet? Annual pruning is critical to healthy, productive grape vines. Growers should prune grapes in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, then return mid-season to cluster thin. In two new videos from NCAT, which are part of the High Tunnel Grape Project video series, we’ll show you… Read More >

Applications Available for Indiana Armed to Farm Veteran Training

Applications Available for Indiana Armed to Farm Veteran Training

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is now accepting applications from military veterans who want to attend our week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training. ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. About Armed to Farm ATF’s engaging blend of farm tours,… Read More >

Pruning Fruit Trees for Organic Disease Management

Pruning Fruit Trees for Organic Disease Management

The following blog is an excerpt from a soon-to-be completed publication on pruning fruit trees by NCAT Horticulture Specialist Guy Ames (right).  Given the season—time to prune!—we wanted to get this out to our clients. You can contact Guy or our other horticulture specialists with questions about fruit tree production by emailing askanag@ncat.org or calling… Read More >

NCAT Staff Savor Southern SAWG Conference Experience

NCAT Staff Savor Southern SAWG Conference Experience

NCAT Southeast agriculture specialists Margo Hale, Linda Coffey, Guy Ames, Nina Prater, and Luke Freeman made the (relatively) short trip from Fayetteville to Little Rock, Arkansas, last month for the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) Conference. Following is a reflection on their experience at this popular annual event. The SSAWG Conference draws a very… Read More >

NCAT Hosting Listening Sessions with Mississippi Farmers

NCAT Hosting Listening Sessions with Mississippi Farmers

As agriculture specialists, we tend to spend a lot of our time at the front of the room teaching at workshops or conferences but this winter we’ve had a chance to listen and take notes ourselves. In January, NCAT Gulf States staff Rockiell Woods, Felicia Bell, Liz Broussard, and Sam Humphrey organized the first two… Read More >

Defeating Parasites in Sheep and Goats: Webinar Series

Defeating Parasites in Sheep and Goats: Webinar Series

Internal parasites are the worst health problem for small ruminants, and can be devastating to a flock or herd. It is possible to combat this persistent enemy, though! ATTRA – Sustainable Agriculture and Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) are teaming up to offer a three-part webinar series that will teach producers tools and strategies to… Read More >

Armed To Farm Heads To Bozeman, Montana

Armed To Farm Heads To Bozeman, Montana

Applications due February 28th, 2019 The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is now accepting applications from military veterans who want to attend our Armed to Farm (ATF) training in Bozeman, Montana, set for April 8 through 12. The week-long ATF training gives veterans and their spouses an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable, small-scale farming… Read More >

High Tunnel Tour Recap, Research Results, and Resources

High Tunnel Tour Recap, Research Results, and Resources

High tunnel production had top billing at the recent Arkansas-Oklahoma Horticulture Industries Show held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in January. NCAT’s Horticulture Specialist Luke Freeman helped lead a pre-conference tour of high tunnels at the University of Arkansas Research Farm on Thursday, January 3. Several presenters discussed high tunnel fruit and vegetable production during the conference… Read More >

Apply Now for Incubator Farm Plots in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Apply Now for Incubator Farm Plots in Fayetteville, Arkansas

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is excited to announce that applications are open for incubator farm plots through our Woolsey Farm Project! Spearheaded by NCAT Southeast’s Luke Freeman, the Woolsey Farm Project is a collaboration between NCAT, Cobblestone Farms, and the City of Fayetteville. The project aims to provide beginning farmers with access… Read More >

NCAT Northeast: Year in Review

NCAT Northeast: Year in Review

2018 was a full year for us. Join NCAT Northeast Regional Director Andy Pressman as he takes a short look at some of our major successes and what we have in store for the coming years. Read More >

NCAT Southeast Ag Specialists Set to Speak at Southern SAWG Conference

NCAT Southeast Ag Specialists Set to Speak at Southern SAWG Conference

Are you headed to the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group’s (SSAWG) annual conference in Little Rock, Arkansas later this week? Almost all of the NCAT Southeast staff will be there! Margo Hale, Linda Coffey, Guy Ames, and Luke Freeman will speak at concurrent general conference sessions on Friday. On Saturday, Margo and Linda will facilitate… Read More >

How May We Serve You Better?

How May We Serve You Better?

For the past 43 years, NCAT has helped Americans develop sustainable agriculture, build community food systems, and create local energy solutions. Now we’re looking to the future, and we want to hear from you. Please help us help you more effectively! NCAT is working with an independent communications firm to conduct a short survey to… Read More >

Conference Sneak Peak: Horticulture Industries Show and High Tunnel Tour

Conference Sneak Peak: Horticulture Industries Show and High Tunnel Tour

Thinking ahead to your New Year’s resolutions? Add attending the Oklahoma & Arkansas Horticulture Industries Show (HIS) in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to the list! Join NCAT Horticulture Specialists Guy Ames and Luke Freeman at this popular event on January 4 and 5, 2019. Each year, HIS brings dozens of speakers together to provide regionally-appropriate information on specialty… Read More >

Ruminating on Small Ruminants at the Missouri Livestock Symposium

Ruminating on Small Ruminants at the Missouri Livestock Symposium

NCAT Southeast Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey traveled to Kirksville, Missouri, last week for the very popular Missouri Livestock Symposium, which draws thousands of attendees from across the U.S. Linda shares her reflections on the trip below. Friday Evening Activities and Keynote I enjoyed representing NCAT at the Missouri Livestock Symposium. As usual, a great crowd… Read More >

Meeting with a Mission: Helping Veterans Succeed in Agriculture

Meeting with a Mission: Helping Veterans Succeed in Agriculture

NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and Armed to Farm Coordinator Robyn Metzger recently traveled to Kansas City for the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) Stakeholders Conference. Following is their report on the trip. From November 14-17, we joined hundreds of farmer-veterans, representatives from government agencies, and other support organizations at the FVC Stakeholders Conference. These… Read More >

NCAT Partnering With Foot Print Farms for Upcoming Workshop

NCAT Partnering With Foot Print Farms for Upcoming Workshop

Local farms play a critical role in increasing healthy food access for urban and rural communities alike.  An upcoming workshop in Jackson, MS, will be highlighting opportunities in urban farming, backyard production, and marketing direct to consumers and restaurants, as well as other related topics.  The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), with the support… Read More >

Fall on the Demonstration Farm: Season of Transition

Fall on the Demonstration Farm: Season of Transition

Farm Manager Sam Humphrey has been transitioning from summer crops to fall crops for weeks now.  It is a slow process as summer crops gradually taper off.  Meanwhile the fall crops that thrive in cooler weather make the journey from seed to transplant to field. Sam has pulled out the tomatoes that he painstakingly grew… Read More >

Energy Audits Available for Healthcare Facilities

Energy Audits Available for Healthcare Facilities

Our Energy Services team is working with the Montana Facility Finance Authority (MFFA) to help nonprofit hospitals, clinics, senior living facilities, group homes, and pre-release centers become more energy efficient. MFFA is providing grants of up to $15,000 to these nonprofits so that our professional staff can conduct an energy audit of your facility. NCAT… Read More >

‘Grant Writing for Farmers’ Workshop Proves Popular

‘Grant Writing for Farmers’ Workshop Proves Popular

Producers can add value to raw agricultural products in a multitude of ways such as drying or canning, but often this requires an upfront investment in materials, processing equipment, or marketing that can be difficult to fund. This is where a USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) can help, but the application process can be daunting. … Read More >

First Workshop in Series a Success

First Workshop in Series a Success

Back in the heat of August, around 30 farmers convened at the 34th Street Wholistic Garden & Education Center in Gulfport, MS, for a hands-on workshop titled “Growing in the City.”  Gulf States Regional Director Rock Woods and Agriculture Specialist Felicia Bell joined with 34th Street’s Executive Director, Mr. James Franklin, to lead this one-day workshop,… Read More >

NCAT Hosting Small Farm Equipment Workshop in Mississippi

NCAT Hosting Small Farm Equipment Workshop in Mississippi

Farms come in all types and sizes, from hundreds of acres to tens of square feet.  Knowing what tools are the best fit for your purpose, scale of operation, and budget can be hard.  An upcoming workshop in Mound Bayou, MS, will be focused on how to select the right equipment for a wide range… Read More >

NCAT Specialist Pens Biochar Article

NCAT Specialist Pens Biochar Article

NCAT’s own Jeff Schahczenski, agriculture and economics specialist, published an article about biochar and organic agriculture that was featured in the Organic Farmer magazine. Jeff writes that biochar in agriculture has become a “movement” but points out the difficulties in even establishing a definition for it. “The range of topics and issues surrounding biochar are… Read More >

Battling Borers in Organic Apple Production

Battling Borers in Organic Apple Production

NCAT Horticulture Specialist Guy Ames has operated Ames Orchard & Nursery since 1983. In this guest post, he shares his hard-earned wisdom on strategies for dealing with apple tree borers. ORGANIC APPLE PRODUCTION IN THE SOUTHEAST UNITED STATES has many challenges, and controlling trunk borers is one of the most serious. Left unchallenged, borers can… Read More >

Thompson Takes NCAT Helm

Thompson Takes NCAT Helm

Steve Thompson has been named the new Executive Director for the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Thompson replaces Kathleen Hadley, who has served as the organization’s leader since 1997 and on staff for over 30 years. Ms. Hadley, who is retiring, will remain in an advisory role for the organization for the near future.… Read More >

Register Today for Oct. 18 Beginning Farmer Livestock Workshop

Register Today for Oct. 18 Beginning Farmer Livestock Workshop

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the University of Arkansas are teaming up to offer a workshop for beginning livestock farmers on Thursday, October 18, 2018. The workshop will take place at The Farm at Barefoot Bend in Lonsdale, Arkansas, which is located between Little Rock and Hot Springs. NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and… Read More >

Apply Now for ATTRA Farm Management Course

Apply Now for ATTRA Farm Management Course

Are you ready to take your farm to the next level? The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is now accepting applications from farmers who would like to participate in the “Taking Your Farm to the Next Level” training course. This six-part course will equip farmers and ranchers with the business and financial management skills… Read More >

Mississippi Food Systems Leaders Convene for Training

Mississippi Food Systems Leaders Convene for Training

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative – which includes Mileston Cooperative, Choctaw Fresh Produce, Mississippi Farm to School Network, FoodCorps, and the Steps Coalition – hosted a two-day gathering of current and emerging leaders who are passionate about further building equitable Mississippi food systems. On June 27-28, a cohort of 36… Read More >

Produce Growers: Register Now for Postharvest Handling Workshop

Produce Growers: Register Now for Postharvest Handling Workshop

On Wednesday, October 10, NCAT agriculture specialists Luke Freeman and Andy Pressman will team up with educators from the University of Arkansas and Heifer USA to present Scaling up Your Produce Farm: Postharvest Handling for Intermediated Markets. This one-day workshop is designed to help fruit and vegetable growers enter new markets. Workshop Details This on-farm workshop will… Read More >

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Washington, D.C.

Applications Open for Armed to Urban Farm in Washington, D.C.

In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden (USBG), NCAT is bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training to Washington, D.C., for a special event focused on urban farming. Armed to Urban Farm will give veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn about urban farming as a viable career.… Read More >

Spring at the Mississippi NCAT Demonstration Farm

Spring at the Mississippi NCAT Demonstration Farm

Spring is well underway at the Mississippi NCAT Demonstration Farm!  New to our operation this year is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. This is basically a subscription program: Customers sign up for  a weekly veggie box delivery, lasting 12-weeks. Sam Humphrey, farm manager, has delivered this to customers for four weeks so far, and… Read More >

May 25 Webinar: Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business

May 25 Webinar: Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business

Wondering how to get started with social media on your farm? Looking for ways to improve your social media skills? Join Lauren Manning, partner at Ozark Pasture Beef in Fayetteville, AR, and NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Luke Freeman as they present a FREE webinar on social media marketing for farms. This hour-long webinar begins at 12:00… Read More >

Get Involved ~ Energy Corps

Get Involved ~ Energy Corps

We are recruiting now for members to begin service in October 2018. We invite you to check out our Available Positions, page. There you’ll find several open opportunities that we hope will inspire you. The Energy Corps AmeriCorps program was created to address unmet community energy needs by promoting sustainable energy consumption and education, fostering… Read More >

Free Screening of Wendell Barry Documentary

Free Screening of Wendell Barry Documentary

Join us for an exclusive screening, hosted by NCAT, of the Sundance Films documentary LOOK & SEE, a cinematic portrait of American farmer and writer Wendell Berry, on Tuesday, June 5, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Star Theater in Whitehall, Montana. Wendell Berry is one of America’s most significant living writers. The documentary captures… Read More >

Sheep and Goat Producer Dewayne Smith Shares his Wisdom

Sheep and Goat Producer Dewayne Smith Shares his Wisdom

At a Small Ruminants workshop NCAT held in 2016, Mississippi goat producer Mr. Dewayne Smith spoke to the attendees about the learning curve for farming.  He said, “No matter what we’re talking about, you cannot skip a step, you cannot find a shortcut.  A shortcut will cost you in the end.  You have got to… Read More >

Resources for Veterans: Armed to Farm

Resources for Veterans: Armed to Farm

NCAT’s Armed to Farm program gives military veterans and their partners an opportunity to explore the realities of profitable, small-scale, regenerative farming as a viable career. These intensive trainings bring veterans to the farm to get their hands dirty and feel what it’s like to operate diverse agricultural enterprises. Since 2010, NCAT has partnered with… Read More >

Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Published every Wednesday, the Weekly Harvest e-newsletter is a Web digest of sustainable agriculture news, resources, events and funding opportunities gleaned from the Internet. It has all the news you need to keep your operation sustainable and profitable. You can check out past issues on our ATTRA Sustainable Ag site, and sign up to receive… Read More >

“Our Farms, Our Future” Conference A Great Success!

“Our Farms, Our Future” Conference A Great Success!

More than 900 people made it to the “Our Farms, Our Future” conference in St. Louis – a celebration of the 30th anniversaries of both NCAT’s ATTRA Sustainable Ag program and USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). And the crowd included a hearty sprinkling of NCAT folks: Guy Ames, Devona Bell, Felicia Bell, Linda… Read More >

Applications Available for Armed to Farm in New Hampshire

Applications Available for Armed to Farm in New Hampshire

Deadline to Apply is April 27 The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing its Armed to Farm training to New Hampshire. Armed to Farm gives military veterans an opportunity to learn about transitioning to a farming life. Armed to Farm combines engaging classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. Participants learn about… Read More >

Cultivating Accessible Opportunities for Veterans in Agriculture

Cultivating Accessible Opportunities for Veterans in Agriculture

A Beginning Farmer Training NCAT Northeast Regional Office Director Andy Pressman is teaming up with Growing Warriors, the Kentucky AgrAbility Project, and Kentucky State University (KSU) to present Cultivating Accessible Opportunities for Veterans in Agriculture. This FREE, one-day workshop will take place April 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the KSU Research Farm,… Read More >