NSAC's Blog


Farm to School Bill Introduced in Senate

March 17, 2010

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today introduced the Growing Farm to School Programs Act (S. 3123),  a popular proposal to authorize $50 million to USDA to provide start-up funds to communities across the country linking farmers and ranchers to the school lunch program.  Senator Leahy’s bill  is designed to improve the quality of school lunches while […]

Farmers Seek Justice in the Heartland

March 17, 2010

We are thrilled to feature this blog post written by Kristina Hubbard, board member of NSAC member group, the Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO).  Kiki attended the first in a series of hearings sponsored by the USDA and Department of Justice about concentration in the agriculture industry.  Kiki is the author of a recent report, […]

USDA Adds Pork to Existing Poultry Loan Rules Aimed at Preventing Contract Abuse

March 16, 2010

On Thursday, March 11, USDA announced that Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm loan policies already in place for contract poultry production will be extended to contract pork operations as well. The aim of the guidance is to try to put an end to the practice of FSA financing new hog or poultry operations in cases […]

Organic Initiative Sign-up Extended in Certain States

March 15, 2010

The cut-off date for the 2010 Organic Initiative sign-up was last Friday, March 12, in most states.  At least eight states, however, have extended the 2010 sign-up period.  These include: Colorado:  April 16, 2010 Illinois:  March 26, 2010 Louisiana:  March 26, 2010 Missouri:  March 19, 2010 Nebraska:  April 1, 2010 Nevada:  March 19, 2010 Ohio:  […]

10 Days of Sustainable Ag Advocacy: An Intern’s Perspective

March 15, 2010

by Kara Slaughter, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute “With reference to individual or national welfare, agriculture is of primary importance.”  -George Washington So reads one of the three quotations at the top of the stone edifice at the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Part of what prompted me to quit my “real job” […]

FDA Commissioner Hamburg Fields Questions About Food Safety Fees

March 12, 2010

At a hearing on March 10, members of the House Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee had high praise for the FDA’s stepped-up food safety enforcement efforts during Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s tenure.  Inspection efforts will undoubtedly increase even further if Congress moves forward with pending food safety legislation.   Hamburg thanked the House members for their passage of food […]

Individual Development Accounts to support Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

March 12, 2010

Last week’s Drake Forum on America’s New Farmers addressed a myriad of opportunities and challenges that face the new generation of farmers and ranchers: big, small, and mid-sized, urban and rural, all across the country.  In particular, access to land, access to capital, new market development, and education and training, particularly financial education, surfaced again […]

Perspectives on Policy from a Beginning Farmer

March 12, 2010

We are excited to have Sarah Brown, beginning farmer at Diggin’ Roots Farm in Milwaukee, Oregon write a reflection on her experience at NSAC’s beginning farmer fly-in and Drake University’s Forum last week. If you, like Sarah, have suggestions for federal policies to support beginning farmers and ranchers, please email them to us at beginningfarmer(at)sustainableagriculture.net. […]

Vilsack and Merrigan At Senate Agricultural Appropriations Hearing

March 10, 2010

Appropriations season is in full swing in Washington, and appropriators are deciding which programs to fund and which to cut. Hearings on funding levels for 2011 are occurring almost daily, as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees begin the annual process that generally results in markups in late spring, floor votes in the summer, and […]

Speed Up the 2010 CSP Sign-up

March 9, 2010

Please join the more than 60 organizations who have signed on to our letter urging Secretary Vilsack to make critical improvements to the Conservation Stewardship (CSP) Program and to initiate a 2010 Sign Up as soon as possible. The letter urges Secretary Vilsack to: •    ensure that the program effectively rewards sustainable and organic farming systems •   […]

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