NCAT Southwest Regional Office

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The NCAT Texas Office

 

The Dirt E-Newsletter

dirt_logoSee past issues of our newsletter, The Dirt. It showcases the Southwest Regional Office’s efforts, programs and services. Browse them to see the important sustainable agriculture and energy work we are doing in San Antonio Texas.

Check out our DIRT e-news archives

Opened in 2010, NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office is located in downtown San Antonio, Texas. We are constantly seeking to meet, learn about, and collaborate with other groups in our region with similar missions. We take a special interest in the states of Texas and New Mexico.

Current projects

  • The ATTRA Program: Providing regionally appropriate technical assistance on organic certification, cover crops, soil health, pastured poultry, water conservation, farm business planning, and many other topics.
  • Subtropical Organic Agriculture Research (SOAR): Connecting students, organic farmers, and researchers, in partnership with the University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley. Visit our website or our Facebook page.
  • Soil for Water: Researching and promoting ways of storing more rainwater in soil. Visit our website.
  • Beyond Fresh: Expanding markets for sustainable value-added food products in Texas.
  • Is Organic Farming Risky?: Improving risk management options for diversified and organic farms.
  • Local food initiatives, including our Feasibility Study for a Texas Organic Food Hub. Read the study.
  • Preparing military veterans for careers in sustainable farming, through field days, e-learning opportunities, business planning help, and our intensive Armed to Farm trainings. Visit NCAT’s Armed to Farm page.

We are seeking collaborators and funding for

  • Regional conservation partnerships: Improving soil health and water quality through the use of cover crops, environmentally friendly grazing, and other methods.
  • More water conservation projects: Irrigation efficiency, riparian protection, and farming and ranching methods that increase the water-holding capacity of soils.
  • More support for organic agriculture: Our region lags behind other parts of the country, and there is great potential.
  • More outreach programs to make appropriate technologies available to the region’s most economically vulnerable people.
  • International partnerships.

Contact NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office

118 Broadway, Suite 524
San Antonio, TX 78205
(866) 319-1669

Mike Morris (mikem@ncat.org) is director of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office.

 

New NCAT Report: Who Are the Organic Farmers of Texas?

New NCAT Report: Who Are the Organic Farmers of Texas?

NCAT has released a new report, Who Are the Organic Farmers of Texas? The report reviews all USDA data, including newly available reports and tools, to arrive at an accurate picture of the number, location, and types of organic farms in Texas. Although Texas is a national leader in organic cotton, rice, and peanut production,… Continue Reading

Feasibility Study for a Texas Organic Food Hub is out!

After a year of research, NCAT staff members Robert Maggiani and Mike Morris have completed their long-awaited Feasibility Study for a Texas Organic Food Hub, as well as an accompanying Food Hub Planning Workbook that can be used by food hub planners and organizers to forecast the financial performance of an existing or hypothetical food… Continue Reading

Texas Veterans Attend Armed to Farm Training

From April 13-17, NCAT hosted 25 Texas veterans for an Armed to Farm training in Castroville, Texas, 30 miles west of San Antonio. The training included classroom presentations, farm tours, and hands-on activities. A grant from the veterans’ organization Swords to Plowshares  helped cover the training costs, as did funds from the USDA Rural Development… Continue Reading

January 29 Drought Summit in San Antonio

All Texans who care about the survival of the state’s small farms and ranches are urged to attend the January 29 Texas Drought Summit at the Hilton San Antonio Airport Hotel in San Antonio. The summit will take stock of damage done to date by the Texas drought, provide a forum for sharing lessons learned,… Continue Reading

Texas Drought Summit Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for Texas farmers and ranchers who would like to attend a January summit to learn how to make their operations more resilient. The “Texas Drought Summit” is being sponsored on January 29 by Farm Aid in conjunction with the annual Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) Conference in San Antonio. Farm… Continue Reading

Terra Preta Farm

Juan Raygoza earned his M.S. degree in Soil Science from Texas A&M-Kingsville. In addition to farming in Edinburg, he works for the University of Texas-Pan American. In 2013 he was awarded a Young Farmer Grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture. He also spoke at the annual meeting of USDA’s Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development… Continue Reading

Organic Consultant Leslie McKinnon

Leslie McKinnon Leslie McKinnon obtained her education and research experience in soil microbiology, entomology, and biological control from Texas A & M University. Her experience led to a career with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) as Coordinator of the Organic Certification Program. After leaving that position, Leslie has been self-employed as a consultant, helping… Continue Reading

Tecolote Farm

Tecolote Farm Farm-at-a-Glance Located near Webberville, 13 miles east of the capital Grow over 150 vegetables Created their certified organic vegetable CSA in 1994 Organic Veggie Delivery Service Contact info: info@tecolotefarm.net Katie Kraemer Pitre and David Pitre are the founders of Tecolote Farm, the longest-running Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the state. David earned his… Continue Reading