NSAC's Blog


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” […]

Update on Food Safety: Wins and Future Directions in the Senate

February 18, 2010

At the end of January, we sent out an action alert supporting Senator Stabenow’s Growing Safe Food Act (S. 2758) which would provide scale-appropriate training and technical assistance on food safety for small and mid-sized producers and small processors and wholesalers. In it, we outlined the deficiencies in the pending Food Safety Modernization Act (S. […]

NSAC’s 2010 Policy Priorities

February 15, 2010

Each year, the NSAC membership engages in a set of discussions within NSAC’s four policy issue committees and then at our annual face-to-face meeting in January about the coming year’s policy priorities.  The NSAC Policy Council, made up of formally represented members, makes the final decision about the slate of issues the coalition will together […]

Organic Access to Pasture Final Rule Released

February 12, 2010

On a call with press and stakeholders this afternoon, Deputy Secretary Merrigan announced the release of the final rule governing the National Organic Program (NOP) regulations on livestock access to pasture.  A long time coming, this final rule aims to provide clarity in the organic regulations on livestock feed and living condition provisions and to […]

Farm to School Included In Administration’s Child Nutrition Priorities

February 11, 2010

Secretary Vilsack’s much anticipated speech at the National Press Club outlining the Administration’s priorities for Child Nutrition Act reauthorization was canceled Monday as the federal government remained snowbound, but excerpts of his comments were made available Tuesday in conjunction with the roll-out of the First Lady’s childhood obesity initiative. Monday’s speech included support for the […]

USDA Proposal for Biomass Crop Assistance Program Falls Far Short of Promoting Sustainable Bioenergy Production

February 10, 2010

This week USDA issued a proposed rule for the increasingly controversial Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). The department will take public comments on the proposed rule until April 9, 2010. The 2008 Farm Bill and the accompanying Manager’s Statement clearly spells out BCAP’s primary focus: to promote the cultivation of perennial bioenergy crops that show […]

Beginning Farmer Project Grants Program Open for Proposals

February 10, 2010

USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has issued the 2010 Request for Applications (RFA) for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).  A priority program of NSAC, the BFRDP funds education, training and technical assistance projects that help new farmers get started in agriculture. For 2010, $18.2 million is available.  Grants are […]

Let’s Move to Beat Childhood Obesity

February 9, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama today unveiled Let’s Move, her comprehensive approach to eliminating childhood obesity in this generation. The morning began with President Obama establishing the Task Force on Childhood Obesity, a group of government agency representatives tasked with implementing an action plan to improve child nutrition and increase physical activity. At noon, Tiki Barber […]

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