NSAC's Blog


The Incredible Shrinking Local Market

January 29, 2010

By Annette Higby The Growing Safe Food Act would support small local growers by providing training and technical assistance on food safety standards. Call your senator today and suggest that he or she co-sponsors the bill. While we all cheer this Administration’s emerging emphasis on local and regional food production, let’s not forget that the […]

“Where the Future is Planted”

January 27, 2010

By Ariane Lotti, NSAC Credit: California Farmlink — Rebecca King is a beginning farmer in northern California. She owns and operates Monkey Flower Ranch When USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan addressed the crowd at the Ecological Farming Association’s 30th Anniversary EcoFarm Conference last week, she was talking to a crowd of seasoned organic pioneers as well […]

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen to be appointed Food Safety Under Secretary: on the to-do list, meat label claims

January 26, 2010

By Ferd Hoefner, NSAC It has taken more than a year, but USDA finally has a proposed presidential appointment to the position of Under Secretary for Food Safety (see USDA press release below).  After all that time, with many prominent names from the outside floated over the last 12 months, the Administration has settled on […]

2010 RFA and Teleconference: Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers

January 25, 2010

The Office of Advocacy and Outreach has released the 2010 Request for Applications for the Outreach Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program (also known as “Section 2501”). The program is designed “to enhance the coordination of outreach, technical assistance, and education efforts authorized under USDA programs through eligible entities and to […]

2010 EQIP Organic Initiative Sign-up Announced

January 23, 2010

By Ariane Lotti, NSAC USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has opened the 2010 sign-up for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative. 2010 Organic Initiative Snapshot: $50 million has been allocated for 2010; The sign-up is open through March 12, 2010; Existing certified organic farmers and farmers transitioning to organic production are eligible; Applicants who […]

Updated Farm Bill Programs and Grants Page

January 22, 2010

By Jess Daniel, NSAC Introducing… an updated “quick-guide” to federal programs and grants for farmers, ranchers, food entrepreneurs, and the researchers, educators and community groups who serve them. This chart is a one-stop shop for links to the relevant USDA program websites (where they exist), brief descriptions of programs, and important dates and deadlines. Check […]

Kemp responds to comments on “BCAP Boondoggle”

January 20, 2010

By Loni Kemp, consultant to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy in response to a comment by  FSA employee Paul Harte on the article “BCAP Boondoggle” from January 11, 2010. Mr. Harte from USDA is quick to accuse, but the BCAP law is quite clear about where there is discretion that the Farm Service […]

Food safety bills reach too far, cost too much

January 19, 2010

In an editorial in today’s Capital Times, Margaret Krome, Policy Director at NSAC member group, the Michael Fields Agriculture Institute, gives her perspective on the two upcoming food safety bills making their way through Congress: “Food safety is a serious concern, and action is needed to protect the nation’s food safety supply. Private food safety […]

Avalos Addresses Family Farm Issues at NSAC Annual Meeting

January 15, 2010

At the annual meeting of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) in Santa Fe this week, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Edward Avalos told the gathered delegates of his desire for USDA to listen to and serve the needs of small and mid-sized farms, including through buy local campaigns, value-added agricultural development, […]

BCAP Boondoggle

January 11, 2010

By Loni Kemp, consultant to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy While the Biomass Crop Assistance Program designed to help farmers plant new energy crops languishes in administrative limbo—the BCAP that NSAC and others fought so hard for in the 2008 farm bill—the other BCAP has grown into a monster.  What started out as […]

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