NSAC's Blog


2016 Budget Resolution and Appropriations in Process

April 24, 2015

The House and Senate passed their respective versions of the annual budget resolution at the end of March, leading to expectations that a final version might be hashed out by close to the statutory target date of April 15. Though missing that deadline, the negotiations between House and Senate Budget Committee GOP leadership are now […]

USDA Awards $2 Million for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy

April 24, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first round of fiscal year 2015 awards for the Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). The $2 million will go out to 25 intermediary entities such as universities and electric cooperatives to provide energy audits and renewable energy development assistance to producers and small businesses in […]

House Committee Hearing Highlights Farm to School

April 16, 2015

Guest blog post by the National Farm to School Network. The House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing on Wednesday April 15 to discuss the importance of federal child nutrition programs as the Committee begins an effort to reauthorize these programs within the upcoming Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR). The current bill expires at […]

Program Roundup – SARE Program Doing More with Limited Funding

April 16, 2015

Editor’s Note — This is the latest in a series of periodic blog posts on the latest happenings in each Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) regions as they roll out project solicitations and announce grant awards. The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education or SARE program is a farmer driven research, education, and extension competitive […]

USDA Awards $10 Million in Water Quality Assistance through Mississippi River Basin Initiative

April 10, 2015

On April 7, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack awarded $10 million through the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) for 27 new conservation projects, each located in a watershed new to the Initiative, as well as 13 ongoing projects that have previously received MRBI funding. These new awards build upon $18.5 million that was invested through […]

Upcoming: Organic Working Group Webinar

April 10, 2015

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Organic Working Group will be hosting a webinar on April 29 to showcase a variety of resources for farmers interested in organic. The webinar will take place at 1:00 pm eastern time. The webinar will feature presentations on the process to obtain an organic certification, organic labeling, and […]

Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Food and Farm Programs

April 9, 2015

NSAC has compiled a list of April through June deadlines for grant applications and grant assistance workshops.

FDA Clarifies Facility Rule Exemption for Direct-to-Consumer Sales

April 9, 2015

On April 8, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a proposed rule to amend food facility registration requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This proposed rule includes a long-awaited clarification to the definition of “retail food establishment,” which has particular importance for farms that sell products through direct-to-consumer marketing platforms. One […]

New Study Exposes Conversion of Millions of Acres of Grasslands and Forests

April 3, 2015

On Thursday, April 2, a research team from the University of Wisconsin published a new study revealing the conversion of 7.34 million acres of uncultivated land to cropland between 2008 and 2012. The researchers focused on land that had not been cultivated during the eight years preceding the conversion. “In the US Corn Belt (supplementary figure […]

$31 Million Awarded for Programs Assisting Fruit and Vegetable Purchases by SNAP Participants

April 1, 2015

Today in Orlando, Florida, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced $31.5 million in funding for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program. FINI grants are awarded to organizations to advance incentive programs to improve the nutrition and health status of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households. Authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, FINI is a joint effort […]

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