NSAC's Blog


30 Days To Comment on VAPG Rule

May 28, 2010

The long anticipated proposed rule for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program was published in today’s Federal Register.  The comment period for the proposed rule is only 30 days with comments on the regulatory provisions due by June 28, 2010. We expect the announcement of VAPG awards from the 2009 competition next week, and will […]

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Rule is Out with NOFA to Follow

May 28, 2010

Today’s Federal Register included the interim final rule for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), one of NSAC’s 2008 Farm Bill priority program.  The interim rule goes into effect on June 28, 2010, but the USDA will be taking public comments until July 27, 2010. RMAP is a new program created in the 2008 Farm […]

Funding for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Assistance

May 28, 2010

On Thursday, the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service announced the availability of $2.4 million dollars in competitive grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses as part of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). State, tribal, and local governments, universities, rural electric cooperatives, and public power entities […]

Mobile Slaughter Units and Untapped Markets

May 25, 2010

On Tuesday USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) published a compliance guide to help operators of mobile slaughter units understand the regulatory requirements that pertain to them.   It should also be must reading for entrepreneurs considering building a mobile slaughter facility. FSIS is requesting feedback on the guidance by July 26 and will incorporate […]

Organic Research RFA Focuses on Environmental Services

May 25, 2010

USDA is making $4.7 million available through the Organic Transitions integrated research, education, and extension program to fund projects examining environmental services provided by organic agriculture that contribute to climate change mitigation and support soil conservation. The Request for Applications (RFA) prioritizes two areas of much-needed research: 1.  Documenting and understanding the effects of organic […]

Moving Legislation – What’s in it for Food and Agriculture

May 21, 2010

With the financial regulation bill approved in the Senate and moving to conference with the House-passed bill, and with the one week Memorial Day recess just a week away, several key legislative items are starting to move quickly.  A brief review follows, highlighting what is in the bills for food and agriculture. Budget Resolution – […]

USDA releases comprehensive Local Food Systems Report

May 21, 2010

This week, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released a comprehensive report on Local Food Systems drawing together findings from the existing academic literature and ERS analysis.  The report is divided into five main sections: local food definitions characteristics of local food suppliers demand for local food from consumers and institutions government programs and policies affecting […]

Farmers Market Directory Registration Deadline Extended

May 19, 2010

USDA has extended the deadline for registering farmers markets for inclusion in the National Farmers Market Directory until June 4, 2010.  The Directory is used by the general public and has also become an important tool for policymakers and researchers.  The deadline extension is part of an effort to ensure the count is accurate as […]

DOJ/USDA Announce May 21 Workshop on Competition in the Poultry Sector

May 16, 2010

The Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced the schedule and panelists for the May 21, 2010 joint workshop on competition and regulatory issues in the poultry sector.  The workshop will be held in Normal, Alabama at the Ernest L. Knight Reception Center at Alabama A & M University from 9 am […]

USDA Rolls Out Conservation Reserve Program Incentive for New Farmers and Ranchers

May 14, 2010

On May 14, USDA issued an Interim Final Rule to implement a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) transition option provided in the 2008 Farm Bill for retiring landowners to transfer land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.  Sign-up for the program, named the Transition Incentives Program (TIP), begins on May 17, 2010.   The […]

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