Category Archives: Home Page Image

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Soil Health and Adaptive Grazing with Dr. Allen Williams

Soil Health and Adaptive Grazing with Dr. Allen Williams

Adaptive grazing is a regenerative livestock production system that uses multiple paddocks, frequent moving of livestock with short grazing intervals, and long rest periods to provide full pasture plant recovery. It is a proven method of increasing the resiliency of pastures by building soil organic matter, increasing soil water infiltration, promoting water conservation, adding diversity,… Read More >

Military Veterans: Applications Now Open for Urban Farm Training in Baltimore

Military Veterans: Applications Now Open for Urban Farm Training in Baltimore

Applications are now open for Armed to Urban Farm, an intensive training program for military veterans interested in sustainable urban farming. Developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden, Armed to Urban Farm allows attendees to get an in-depth look at sustainable, profitable, small-scale urban farming enterprises… Read More >

Series of Virtual Sustainable Agriculture Workshops Now Online

Series of Virtual Sustainable Agriculture Workshops Now Online

Our NCAT Gulf States team has been working hard throughout the pandemic to provide quality technical assistance to farmers that we’re known for. Instead of meeting with farmers in-person, we shifted to virtual events. In-person on-farm workshops will always be our favorite way to teach, but we found that there are benefits to embracing the… Read More >

‘Soil for Water’ Regenerative Agriculture Project Expands to Montana

‘Soil for Water’ Regenerative Agriculture Project Expands to Montana

Building on a successful peer-to-peer network of Texas ranchers who are implementing innovative grazing techniques to improve soil health and increase profitability, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is scaling up its Soil for Water project to support livestock producers and farmers across seven southern states and Montana. The Soil for Water project grew… Read More >

NCAT’s Annual Electronics Recycling Event

NCAT’s Annual Electronics Recycling Event

On Tuesday August 24th 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. Please enter on the north side by the fence and exit onto Bayard Street. There will not… Read More >

Combating the Megadrought with ‘Soil for Water’

Combating the Megadrought with ‘Soil for Water’

Column by Steve Thompson, NCAT Executive Director The soil that covers 93 million acres of sprawling Texas rangeland holds a remarkable story. It’s a tale of opportunity and ruin. At its best, the soil beneath our feet is the source of life, food, and economic security. At its worst, that same soil can crumble ranchers’… Read More >

Armed to Farm Alum Featured in Hometown Paper

Armed to Farm Alum Featured in Hometown Paper

Mark Stewart, a Navy veteran and 2019 Armed to Farm alum, launched a micro-farm business last year on Whidbey Island, Washington. Now, Stewart and his wife Melissa are featured in the Whidbey News-Times. They saw a need for local chicken on Whidbey Island and opened One Willow Farm last year. Now the busy couple sells… Read More >

New Sustainable Agriculture Specialists Expand the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Reach

New Sustainable Agriculture Specialists Expand the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Reach

With its four new agriculture specialists onboard, the National Center for Appropriate Technology will have at the ready first-hand sustainable-agriculture expertise in even more parts of the country.    NCAT has boasted national credentials for decades. Its premier sustainable-agriculture information program, ATTRA, for example, has been on the cutting edge and connecting farmers with trusted,… Read More >

Access Soil Health Conference Recordings

Access Soil Health Conference Recordings

Did you miss it? Our inaugural conference was held Monday and Tuesday, March 8 and 9, 2021. The virtual conference offered live, interactive talks, which were hailed by attendees as outstanding for their cutting-edge content and entertaining presentations. The conference offered a forum for leading experts and innovative farmers from around the U.S. sharing the… Read More >

Reflections on Soil Health Innovations Conference

Reflections on Soil Health Innovations Conference

By Nina Prater, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Everyone has their “thing” – that topic or interest that they just can’t get enough of. That topic that you bore people with at parties (remember parties?) when you talk about it just a little too long. For me, my “thing” is soil. I find the topic of… Read More >

Fruit and the Freeze of 2021

Fruit and the Freeze of 2021

Better Than I Feared but Worse Than It Looks By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Photo at right: Peach flowers from a previous spring, a sight we won’t be seeing much of this year because of the deep freeze. A dipping polar vortex delivered a cruel and chilling Valentine’s gift to the Midwest and… Read More >

Juneberry: the Delicious Native American Fruit with a Thousand Names

Juneberry: the Delicious Native American Fruit with a Thousand Names

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist At right: Juneberry fruits look quite like medium-sized blueberries, but the juneberry is actually much more closely related to apples and pears. Photo: Guy Ames, NCAT. Of the many names for this plant, “chuckleberry” is certainly my favorite, but I’ve only seen it in writing, never heard it… Read More >

Creating Habitat for Beneficials to Control Aphids

Creating Habitat for Beneficials to Control Aphids

By Rex Dufour, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Photo: Cover crop mix on April 28, 2020. Red crimson clover, mixed with orange California poppy, blue California Phacelia, and pink Persian clover (lower left). These flowers support large populations of predators, parasites, and pollinators.   For the past growing season, my staff and I have been involved… Read More >

Getting Started in Livestock: Lessons Learned

Getting Started in Livestock: Lessons Learned

By Linda Coffey, NCAT Livestock Specialist Thinking back to 1986 and our first farm is a fun thing to do. From then until now, we’ve raised a lot of livestock and have done several types of enterprises—feeder to finish, dairy, eggs, breeding stock, birth to finish. NCAT Southeast Regional Director and Livestock Specialist Margo Hale… Read More >

Famed Ecologist Is Conference Speaker

Famed Ecologist Is Conference Speaker

Fred Provenza, one of the country’s leading ecologists, will link the health of soils and plants with the health of livestock and, ultimately, the people who consume them at the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s inaugural Soil Health Innovations Conference. Provenza is professor emeritus of Behavioral Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah… Read More >

Farm Equipment and Infrastructure

Farm Equipment and Infrastructure

By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist Last week, I shared a few thoughts about getting started with livestock. In the Getting Started with Livestock Podcast, NCAT Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey and I discussed our farm goals, how our livestock enterprises help us meet those goals, and… Read More >

Getting Started with Livestock

Getting Started with Livestock

By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist My day begins with a hot cup of coffee and a quick check of our farm. What a thrill to find a new baby calf from our Belted Galloways, to watch the antics of our pig, to have my girls… Read More >

Network Offers Neighbor-to-Neighbor Help

Network Offers Neighbor-to-Neighbor Help

With COVID-19 still raging in southwest Montana, the organizers of the Butte Mutual Aid Network remind local residents that help is still available for those struggling from the impact of the pandemic. If you and your family are having difficulties because of the pandemic, the Network has volunteers who can help ​with a variety of… Read More >

Billions Available for Farmers

Billions Available for Farmers

NCAT Agriculture Specialists Can Help with CFAP2 Applications Specialists from the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology are available to help farmers and ranchers apply for assistance through the U.S.  Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) 2. The CFAP2 program has almost $14 billion available to help almost… Read More >

Project Promotes Solar Energy for Ag Land

Project Promotes Solar Energy for Ag Land

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will launch an online information clearinghouse in 2021 to promote solar-energy development on agricultural lands while protecting — and even improving — those lands’ agricultural capacity. NCAT was selected for a $1.6 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop the Agri-Solar Clearinghouse (ASC), a… Read More >

USDA Programs Can Help Farmers Succeed

USDA Programs Can Help Farmers Succeed

By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist I have worked on NCAT’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program as an Agriculture Specialist and educator for more than 15 years. Over the years, I have taught thousands of farmers through workshops and presentations. I am often surprised by the number… Read More >

Healthy Animals, Happy Farm

Healthy Animals, Happy Farm

Strategies for Sheep and Goat Care By Linda Coffey, NCAT Livestock Specialist If you have raised sheep or goats, you likely have experienced the joy of “lamb races,” in which a group of lambs will suddenly get the urge to run and play, just for the fun of it. This week, I watched for at… Read More >

Farm Update: Late Summer in the Ozarks

Farm Update: Late Summer in the Ozarks

Army Worms, Bees, No-Till Drilling, Soil pH By Nina Prater, NCAT Agriculture Specialist As we round the corner from summer into fall, I always like to look back and assess how we did on our farm during the busy summer months. We did not suffer a bad drought this summer, though it was touch and… Read More >

Apples and Pears: How to Tell When They’re Ripe

Apples and Pears: How to Tell When They’re Ripe

By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist It’s the time of year when apple and pear growers are watching their trees like hawks. . .because the crows are watching the trees, too—like, well, crows. Ripening fruit becomes attractive to crows and many other critters. The fruit sugars are just too much to resist. And beating… Read More >

Farmer Equity National Assessment

Farmer Equity National Assessment

Farmers of color play a major role in America’s food system, but they face unique challenges and have developed innovative solutions that are not well documented at a national scale. To better understand the challenges and opportunities, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) with the Intertribal Agriculture Council (IAC), Hmong American Famers Association (HAFA),… Read More >

Incubator Farm Project in its Second Season

Incubator Farm Project in its Second Season

By Luke Freeman, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Photo at right: Sunflowers bloom in the farm plot of Jenni Vaughn, who joined the Incubator Farm Project in 2019. New Incubator Farmers We are excited to announce that we have two new incubator farmers participating in the Woolsey Incubator Farm program in Fayetteville, AR! Their names are Lucy… Read More >

Workshops on Building Codes and Energy Use

Workshops on Building Codes and Energy Use

NCAT will host two virtual workshops about building codes and energy use in residential and commercial applications. These half-day sessions are designed for architects, designers, builders, contractors, and building officials and inspectors. The first workshop, Residential Building Session: Residential Plan Review and the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), takes place on Wednesday, August 12,… Read More >

Need for Energy Assistance Programs During a Pandemic

Need for Energy Assistance Programs During a Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had deep impacts upon Americans. Mandatory closures and physical distancing put many people out of work and required them to stay home. The bills do not stop coming in though. And in the case of energy bills, staying home means using more energy, which results in higher bills. Because many Americans were furloughed or terminated from their jobs, paying those bills became a challenge, if not impossible. In some areas, threats of shutoffs were looming over many families, as well. This created an urgent need for assistance. Read More >

NCAT Commits to Racial Justice

NCAT Commits to Racial Justice

A Message From Steve Thompson, Executive Director Layered upon the pandemic and a national economic freefall, the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans has sparked frustration, anger and sorrow across the country, not least here at NCAT. The convergence of crises has prompted us to examine our internal culture and the… Read More >

Selling Meat During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Selling Meat During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director and NCAT Livestock Specialist When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I, like many of you, was focused on working from home while also homeschooling my daughters. I was busy postponing and rescheduling several NCAT training events and figuring out how to best serve our ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture clients. As… Read More >

Pear Trees Exemplify Resilience

Pear Trees Exemplify Resilience

By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist Photo: New leaves provide a startling and beautiful contrast to the diseased leaf on the left. “Resilience” is the latest buzz-word in the lexicon of sustainable agriculture. . .and for good reason. Resilience is the ability to recover or bounce back after a challenge or setback. In agriculture, it… Read More >

Avocados: Fruit Set Challenges and Propagation

Avocados:  Fruit Set Challenges and Propagation

By Omar Rodriguez, NCAT Agriculture Specialist Having decided to settle down in a suburb, my parents had limited space to grow all of the plants that they wanted. One thing was for certain: avocados would be a part of the mix. Starting with one tree in the back yard, yields were lacking and we couldn’t… Read More >

What the Brown Rot Hath Wrought

What the Brown Rot Hath Wrought

By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist I don’t grow peaches. That unhappy confession is despite the fact that I grow peach trees. And rot. I grow a lot of brown rot. In the humid eastern half of the United States, if you don’t somehow protect your peaches from both brown rot and the plum curculio, chances are your… Read More >

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 >

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 >

Update On Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Update On Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

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 >

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 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 >