NSAC's Blog


Opportunity for Farmers to Speak About Justice to Power

February 25, 2010

The U.S. Department of Justice and USDA have announced the agenda for the first in a series of 5 workshops intended to give these agencies and the public in-depth information about the increasing concentration and decreasing competition in the agricultural sector.  The workshop will be held March 12 in Ankeny, Iowa.  Attendance at all the […]

House Ag Appropriation Hearings kick off with questions for Vilsack

February 25, 2010

Yesterday’s hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture kicked off the annual ag appropriations cycle with a round of questions for Secretary Vilsack on the USDA’s budget proposals for 2011.  Members covered a wide swath of issues, and specifically addressed a number of programs of interest to NSAC members, including the Biomass Crop Assistance […]

Delayed, not diminished: Vilsack on Child Nutrition priorities, including Farm to School

February 25, 2010

After being postponed for two weeks by the blizzard that shut down the capitol, USDA Secretary Vilsack outlined the Administration’s priorities for the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization yesterday at a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The Child Nutrition Act includes authorization for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, summer food, […]

Policy Considerations in Revitalizing Local and Regional Food Systems

February 23, 2010

Last week, Ferd Hoefner, NSAC’s Policy Director, addressed an audience at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum 2010 with an assessment of the policy opportunities and barriers to strengthening local and regional food systems. The USDA’s increasing focus on connecting farmers with local and regional markets for their products is evident in cross-cutting initiatives like Know […]

Position Announcement: NSAC Executive Director

February 23, 2010

NSAC seeks a new Executive Director to provide leadership to the coalition and coordinate activities in the Washington DC office and among member groups. The Executive Director promotes the mission of NSAC through a wide variety of public engagements, by overseeing efficient and responsible use of organizational resources and the implementation of the coalition’s priorities […]

Want to support sustainable ag? Serve as a federal grant reviewer.

February 22, 2010

NSAC advocates for federal grant programs that provide resources for farmers, researchers, and grassroots organizations to get things done on the ground. But once a program is established, money is secure, and applications are in, there’s still at least one more step before policy can translate to action. Someone has to decide which projects to […]

$320 Million to Improve Health of Mississippi River Basin

February 22, 2010

In November of last year Secretary Vilsack announced a commitment of $320 million over the next four years for a Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative (MRBI) to address water quality, wildlife habitat and natural resource conservation concerns in the Basin.   The Agency’s focus will bring badly needed resources to bear on the very serious water quality problems in the Basin. […]

Pigford: One step closer to closure?

February 19, 2010

On Thursday USDA and the Justice Department announced a $1.25 billion settlement agreement in a class action brought by African American farmers on outstanding discrimination claims, which were not covered by the 1999 consent agreement in the case Pigford v. Glickman (Pigford I). Under the Pigford I consent agreement, USDA paid 16,000 farmers about $1 […]

Peterson and Vilsack endorse local and regional food at Home Grown

February 19, 2010

More than 200 people braved chilling western Minnesota February weather on Monday and Tuesday to hear House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Collin Peterson and USDA Secretary Vilsack speak about the need to develop better local food systems at the Home Grown Economy conference at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.  At least another 100 participants […]

A Sustainable Outlook?

February 19, 2010

By Ariane Lotti USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum is one of the last places where I would expect to hear Wendell Berry quoted, but that’s exactly how Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appetit Management Company, ended his presentation on the 2010 forum’s distinguished panel about how the company is addressing topics from the “veil of silence” […]

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