Organic Initiative: EQIP GRANT INFORMATION!!!

For those of you who may be interested in pursuing grant funding via the 2009 EQIP Organic Initiative:

PLEASE JOIN A Q&A WEBINAR SESSION ON Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) ORGANIC INITIATIVE Thursday, Jun 4, 2:00 to 3:00 PM at https://breeze.psu.edu/AgEnvPartnership

A live question and answer webinar session on the new Organic Initiative will be cosponsored by Penn State Cooperative Extension, the Penn State Agriculture & Environment Center and the Pennsylvania Natural Resources Conservation Service. Pennsylvania’s organic farmers – and those transitioning to organic farming – are urged to sign up with NRCS by Jun 12 to have an opportunity to tap $880,000 set aside for conservation practices for organic operations. This Thursday’s Q&A session will feature NRCS’s Dan Dostie, State Resource Conservationist, and Gwendolyn Crews, Resource Conservationist for Organic Agriculture. They will provide a brief overview of the program; however, the primary objective of the session will be to enable participants to interact with NRCS with questions about the new Organic Initiative.

Pennsylvania’s organizations working with organic farmers, are also encouraged to participate in the session. Producers are also welcome to attend.

To Participate: To access the webinar – Obtain a Friends of Penn State Account. Sign up for a free “Friends of Penn State Account” to obtain a user ID and password that will give you access to the webinar the day/time of the program. The Friends of Penn State Account can be obtained by clicking the above link. NOTE: You are encouraged to set up the Friends of Penn State Account prior to the webinar session so that you can easily sign on at the meeting time.

Sign on to the Webinar at the start time: On Jun 4, the webinar site will open at 1:45 PM – and the program will begin at 2 PM. To access the webinar, go to: https://breeze.psu.edu/AgEnvPartnership and sign on using your Penn State user ID and password obtained from Friends of Penn State. NOTE: A high-speed internet connection is needed.

Alternative viewing options. If you wish to view this program live – and are unable to do so at your office or home, please contact your county Extension office. If you need an alternative method (CD or hardcopies of the presentations) for viewing this program, please contact Anna Marie Nachman, amn6@psu.edu, 814-865-9468.

Background: The 2008 Farm Bill created a provision for organic producers and those who are in the process of becoming organic producers. Over $880,000 has been designated by NRCS for Pennsylvania’s organic producers in 2009 in support of conservation practices that protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources. Online resources are available that offer details about the Organics Initiative including:

NRCS’s Organic Initiative Overview: http://www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov/Farmers/Organic/index.html.

A recorded session with key NRCS staff working with the Organics Initiative in Pennsylvania can be viewed at https://breeze.psu.edu/p37532470/ .

The PowerPoint presentation from this session is available at http://www.pa.nrcs.usda.gov/Farmers/Organic/finalNRCSHelpforOrganicAgriculture.pdf

For more information about Thursday’s webinar, please contact Kristen Saacke Blunk, director of the Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center, 814-863-8756, ksaackeblunk@psu.edu.

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About The University of Scranton SBDC

The University of Scranton SBDC provides no cost small business consulting services that are tailored to fit the needs of small business clients of Bradford, Lackawanna, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne & Wyoming Counties. The center offers confidential individualized assistance designed to identify and address the problems of small business owners as well as individuals interested in establishing a business. The program is jointly funded by the US Small Business Administration, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and The University of Scranton.
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