GMO Answers… a place to go with your GMO-related questions


You might find this website interesting.  http://www.gmoanswers.com is a place to ask your GMO-related questions and have them answered by independent experts (not paid by GMO Answers to answer questions).

The following information comes directly from the website:

Genetically modified organisms — GMOs — are a major topic of discussion today. Across our society, media and the Internet, a growing number of people have shared a wide range of questions and emotions on the topic – ranging from excitement and optimism to skepticism and even fear.

GMO Answers was created to do a better job answering your questions — no matter what they are — about GMOs. The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we acknowledge that we haven’t done the best job communicating about them – what they are, how they are made, what the safety data says.

Who Funds GMO Answers?

GMO Answers is funded by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto Company and Syngenta. The independent experts who answer consumer questions are not paid by GMO Answers to answer questions. Experts donate their time to answer questions in their area of expertise for the website. They do so because they are passionate about helping the public better understand GMOs and how our food is grown.

Read More

SARE Grants – Catch the October 7 Webinar


Introducing the North Central SARE Grants
a funding opportunity just for Hoosier Farmers

sare-northcentralOne of the perennial challenges for small, beginning, diversifying, and /or urban farmers who are working toward some aspect of sustainability is finding a source of funding.
Often these farmers are seeking funding for enterprise startup or expansion but sometimes they are just looking for funds to test an idea or to develop a production or marketing concept. They may wish to compare new ways of streamlining some farm task, reducing environmental impact, growing a new crop, conducting research or an educational program, becoming more energy efficient, adding value to a raw farm product or developing a local food system.

corn-field-440338_1280North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education (NCR-SARE) currently has several open calls for proposals that have the potential of offering much needed funding for farmers and others for education and research related to the very broad topic of sustainable agriculture.

Current grants include

*         2016 Farmer Rancher Grant Program Proposals are due December 3, 2015.
*         2016 Youth Educator Grant Program Proposals are due November 12, 2015.
*         2016 Partnership Grant Program Proposals are due October 29, 2015.

Each of these grants can provide thousands of dollars to successful applicants to advance their research and/or educational outreach or efforts to educate youth about some aspect of Sustainable Agriculture.

The Farmer Rancher Grant encourages farmers and ranchers to submit grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch.
Proposals should show how farmers and ranchers plan to use their own innovative ideas to explore sustainable agriculture options and how they will share project results. Projects should emphasize research or education/demonstration and may have a marketing component to them.

There are three types of competitive grants: individual grants ($7,500 maximum), team grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($15,000 maximum), and group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($22,500 maximum).

Youth Educator Grants –  projects provide opportunities for youth in the North Central Region to learn more about sustainable agriculture (farming and ranching that is ecologically sound, profitable, and socially responsible). Grants may include proposals involving traditional agriculture but also urban agriculture, aquaponics and season extension among others. Educators use the grants to encourage young people and their parents to try sustainable practices and see sustainable agriculture as a viable career option. Projects should help youth discover that sustainable farming and ranching is profitable; good for families, communities, and their quality of life; and good for the environment long term. The maximum amount for grants is $2,000.

Partnership Grants – this  program is a recent addition to the grant lineup which is intended to foster cooperation between agriculture professionals and small groups of farmers and ranchers to catalyze on-farm research, demonstration, and education activities related to sustainable agriculture. Individual grants are limited to $30,000.
Examples of appropriate Partnership Grant Program projects include:  developing a curriculum about food storage for farmers and processors, on-farm testing of cropping system strategies or grazing systems, cooperative efforts to develop new marketing approaches, or investigations into new approaches to processing and/or adding value to sustainably produced farm products.
Funding considerations are made based on the relevance and potential of the project to increase the sustainability of agriculture in the region, as well as how well the applicant articulates the research and education components of their sustainable agriculture grant proposals.

Webinar October 7th – 10:00a

WebinarTo help potential applicants learn more about these funding sources, how to apply and perhaps increase the chances of success a FREE webinar has been scheduled for the morning of Wednesday, October 7, 2015 from 10:00 am- Noon Eastern. This webinar entitled Funding Opportunities for Farmers and Others will be a free live interactive on line program which will provide some basic introduction into some of the current grants, applicant eligibility and how to apply for funding. Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension Educator, ANR, Hancock County/ Indiana SARE Coordinator will offer basic information about the available grants, insight on SARE priorities. Kris Parker, Purdue Community Development Regional Educator, will offer a few tips for grant writing success in 2016 and beyond.

It is recommended that participants viewing from home or office log in to the site ahead of time to assess their connection and to make sure they have downloaded any necessary software ahead of time. The session will be recorded and made available for later use via a web connection.

More information about NCR-SARE grants can be found at: http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Our-Grant-Programs/

Video tutorials for the various NCR-SARE grant programs are online at: http://www.northcentralsare.org/Grants/Write-a-Successful-Grant/Video-Tutorials

For information on how to take part in this webinar please contact Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension Educator for Hancock County and Indiana SARE State Coordinator at 317-462-1113 or by e-mail at rballard@purdue.edu or log in to the WebEx meeting room at https://purdue.webex.com/join/rballard on the 7th !
While not a part of this webinar program it is also important to note that a fourth grant -the NCR-SARE Research and Education (R&E) program is also currently accepting preproposals. R&E grants support sustainable agriculture innovators with competitive research and education grants. Individual grants range from $10,000 to $200,000. 2016 R&E preproposals are due October 22, 2015.

Additional Resources

*         Ag Answers
*         Plant and Pest Diagnostic Laboratory
*         Chat & Chew Cafe
*         Small Farms
*         Purdue Pesticide Program
*         Renewable Energy
*         Home Based Food Business
*         Center for Food and Agricultural Business
*         International Programs in Agriculture
*         Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network

Connect with Purdue Extension

Roy W Ballard
Extension Educator – Agriculture & Natural Resources, Hancock County
Indiana SARE Coordinator
Hancock County Solid Waste Management District Director
802 North Apple Street
Greenfield, IN 46140
317-462-2424 FAX

Read More

Moonlight Madness 2015!


Moonlight Madness is upon us!

Click on over to the Flora Community Club’s website for details!

2015 Moonlight Madness Poster V3

Read More

Northbound I-65 at Lafayette…


An INDOT contractor estimates the solution to bridge pier settlement would reopen I-65 northbound between Lebanon and Lafayette in mid-September.

For more information: http://www.in.gov/indot/3395.htm

Meanwhile, here is their official Detour Map.

INDOT 65 map

Read More

County Community Assessment – June 1


The Hoosier Heartland Indiana Small Business Development Center, OCRA, and the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, launch the Community Entrepreneurship Initiative – a chance for community leaders and entrepreneurs to join together to develop their entrepreneurial community. This initiative will provide consulting services to community economic development leaders, elected officials, small business owners, and citizens interested in developing their entrepreneurial community.

Date:  Monday, June 1 – 5:30 to 7:30 pm

Location:  4H Building (Event & Education Center)

Cost:  No cost to attend; however, pre-registration is required.  A light meal will be provided

More info:  Download the flyer.CEI Flora June 1 2015

Read More