NSAC's Blog


Rural Community-based Research Receives $14 Million in Funding

February 27, 2015

Earlier this week, the USDA announced $14 million in funding towards research projects aimed at strengthening rural economies. The awards encompass a wide variety of issues affecting rural communities and small and medium-sized farms including food safety, conservation, marketplace economics, local food systems, and pollinator health. The funding comes from the Agricultural Economics and Rural Communities […]

Good News for Farmers and Kids: Farm to School Bill Introduced

February 25, 2015

Over the past two years, farmers, teachers, school nutrition professionals and engaged community members have made one message loud and clear: the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is crucial to the success of farm to school across the country.

The only problem? Demand for the grants far exceeds supply. In its first three years, the Farm to School Grant Program received more than 1,000 applications but only had enough funding to award 221 grants. In other words, just one in five projects was funded.

Release: Farm to School Act of 2015, Connecting Students to Local Food and Farms, Introduced in Congress

February 25, 2015

Feb. 25, 2015, Washington, D.C. – Today, members of Congress took the first step toward a major win for local economies, farm families and the health of our nation’s children. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH) introduced the bipartisan Farm to School Act of 2015 to […]

Release: Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Extended to March 13

February 23, 2015

Washington, DC February 23, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the sign-up period for the 2015 edition of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) – the federal farm bill’s largest working lands conservation program. Farmers and ranchers now have two additional weeks – until March 13 – to complete the initial application form. Coinciding […]

Nearly $160 Million Available for Agricultural Research and Extension

February 23, 2015

Successful, sustainable farming systems rely on sound research to provide innovative solutions to the challenges that farmers of all kinds face on their farms every day, today and into the future. Since 2008, the Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI), USDA’s largest competitive research grant program, has provided grants to universities and non-profit and private […]

NSAC Policy Director and Former NRCS Chief Pen Guest Blog for AGree

February 20, 2015

On February 18, NSAC Policy Director Ferd Hoefner and former NRCS Chief Bruce Knight published the following blog on AGree’s foodandagpolicy.org website. The blog explores the intersection of crop insurance and conservation practices that could improve the health of the land while also increasing yields. The blog was posted in conjunction with the release of […]

Healthy Food Access Project Funding For FY 2015 Available Through HHS

February 18, 2015

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a modified Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for fiscal year (FY) 2015, updated from last year’s announcement for Community Development Corporations (CDCs) under the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). HFFI is a tri-agency program administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, HHS, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to […]

Community Food Project Funding Now Available

February 17, 2015

Approximately $9 million will be available for this funding cycle. Applications are due 5:00pm EST on March 17, 2015.

House and Senate Bills Would Eliminate Harvest Price Option Subsidy

February 13, 2015

On Thursday February 12, Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) teamed with Representative John Duncan (R-TN) to introduce legislation in both the Senate (S.463) and House (H.R.892) to eliminate the subsidy for the Harvest Price Option (HPO) within the federal crop insurance program. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this legislation, if […]

A Closer Look at the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program in 2014

February 12, 2015

In early September of 2014, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that it had awarded $328 million for 380 wetland, grassland, and farmland conservation easements covering 129,000 acres in the first year of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). At that time, NRCS did not have additional information on the types of easements that […]

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