Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Washington State Grape Society Scholarship available

The Washington State Grape Society is proud to offer
a scholarship to a deserving young person who
plans to attend Washington State University and engage
in a field of study relating to the growing of
grapes. This scholarship is targeted towards graduate
students, but undergraduate students may also apply.
To apply for a scholarship you will need to complete all forms. Click here to go to SCHOLARSHIP FORM. The completed Personal Information Sheet will need to be returned to the Washington State Grape Society, along with a Letter of Application,
as outlined in the guidelines. Three letters of recommendation or completed and confidential reports on applicant
forms must also be submitted.
The deadline for receiving applications is April 15, 2010. A decision will be made by the scholarship trustees and the award
will be announced at our Annual Meeting held in November. If you have any questions or comments, we would encourage
you to call (509) 786-7888 or e-mail the Washington State Grape Society.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Farmland Preservation Grant News Update

Conservation Commission Accepting Applications for Farmland Preservation Grant Sponsorship

The Washington State Conservation Commission will begin accepting applications for proposals seeking Commission sponsorship of Farmland Preservation Program grants. Applications will be accepted by the Commission beginning February 23 and concluding on March 12 at 5:00pm for grants to protect farmland.

In 2009, the legislature amended the Farmland Preservation Program (FPP) within the larger Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program (WWRP) to include the eligibility of the State Conservation Commission (SCC) to apply for funds through the program. According to the new statutory language, a match is not required for proposals from the SCC.

Grants may be used to buy conservation easements to protect valuable farmland from being converted to another use. Portions of grants may also be used to enhance the agricultural production of preserved farmland or to help restore or enhance ecological functions, including providing benefits to wildlife. Eligible farmland may include ranch land and irrigated or dry cropland.

The pre-proposal process is open and competitive. Pre-proposals are reviewed and scored by SCC staff based on criteria established by the SCC. Staff will submit a prioritized list of projects to the SCC commissioners who will then determine how many projects to advance.

To download the announcement, go to: 2010 WWRP-SCC Announcement

To download a pre-proposal form, go to: 2010 SCC Pre Proposal

For information on the WWRP Farmland Preservation program, please see: RCO WWRP Farmland Preservation Policy Guide

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Josh Giuntoli at jgiuntoli@scc.wa.gov 360-407-7474, or Ron Shultz at rshu461@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-7507

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cider Making - Principals and Practices

The Northwest Agriculture Business Center is bringing internationally-recognized cider production expert Peter Mitchell to lead an intensive week-long class in cider and perry production. Mitchell has over 25 years of practical experience in hard cider production. He is a certified UK and USA cider competition judge and an award-winning producer in his own right. If you have wanted to develop your skills in hard cider and perry making this is the course to attend.

“Cider Making-Principles and Practice” will be held at the Skagit Valley College campus in Mount Vernon, WA. The course will run 8:00am - 5:00pm daily, June 28 - July 2, 2010. Mitchell will cover industry foundations such as the cider market, business opportunity, orcharding, production methods and management, and quality control. The class will provide practical processing and laboratory work along with lectures. The week will also be filled with cider making workshops and a field-trip visit to commercial cideries. The format and content of the class is suitable for beginners, new businesses and existing producers (large & small-scale) alike.

You may register for “Cider Making-Principles and Practice” online at the NABC website, www.agbizcenter.org or contact Jake Fowler at NABC (360-336-3727). Registrants will be sent directions and schedule prior to the class.