NSAC's Blog


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 […]

Times may be tough, but there’s room in the Farm Bill tent

May 14, 2010

Thursday’s hearing in the House Agriculture Committee brought in two panels of farm and food policy experts to continue the conversation kicked off on late April in preparation for the 2012 Farm Bill. As in the first hearing in late April, the witnesses’ testimony and Representatives’ questions covered a wide range of topics, but consistently […]

Let’s Move! Plan to Beat Child Obesity Ventures Into Ag Policy

May 14, 2010

On Tuesday May 11 the White House released its action plan to reduce childhood obesity.  Tied to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, the plan clearly endorses a role for local agriculture in improving food environments and suggests “discussion areas” to explore the role agriculture policy plays relative to the prices of healthy food and […]

Senate Funding Bill Includes Needed Boost in Farm Credit

May 13, 2010

In approving a $59 billion emergency supplemental funding bill to fund the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Haiti relief efforts, U.S. natural disaster aid, and disability compensation for Vietnam veterans, the Senate Appropriations Committee endorsed an amendment proposed by Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chairman of the Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, to boost direct and guaranteed […]

Agriculture Featured in Chesapeake Bay Watershed Protection and Restoration

May 13, 2010

This week, the Obama Administration unveiled a comprehensive strategy for dealing with nutrient and sediment pollution in Chesapeake Bay watersheds and issued guidance for federal land managers in the region for reducing nutrient and sediment pollution.   In addition, EPA announced a settlement in Fowler v. EPA, a case in which plaintiffs alleged that EPA […]

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