Agriculture News Stories from the Center for Rural Affairs: Value Added Producer Grants Available USDA announced that $37 million is available to develop high-value, niche markets. Beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers have a special set aside. Application closes Aug. 29th. Click for more Sod Busting on Fragile Lands Soil erosion is a growing concern in areas of the country where native sod and fragile lands are being busted up in response to high grain prices. In fact, the concern is coming from farmers themselves. See photos and read more Economics of Climate Change Climate change is an economic threat. And insurance companies are responding by raising premiums and narrowing coverage. Read more Access to Capital Key to Small Business How many times have you heard someone say access to capital is critical for small business? Plain and simple, access to capital for startup and existing small business is critical, hugely important to overall economic recovery and growth. Read more Land Link Sneak Peek Kevin Ford and Family - Kansas: Kevin (former high school teacher with 2 young daughters) and his wife currently farm 3 acres of "borrowed" land near Topeka where they grow organic vegetables. The young family would like to expand their operation and is looking for 5-15 acres to farm. Click for more Central Oklahoma Pasture and Vineyard: Dorothy and Dave Davis own a 45 acre farm located near Agra, pop. 360, in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, The farm has 40 acres of unimproved pasture/native grass hayland, a one-acre pond and a four-acre vineyard. Click for more Grassfed Exchange Conf. Mark your calendar for Sept. 15-17, 2011, in Norfolk, NE, for this exciting 3-day event, which kicks off with 2 ranch tours, followed by the main conference. You'll learn about raising high quality, nutritious, hormone and antibiotic free, and humanely treated animals while improving your bottom line with less price volatility. Click for more.