Beginning and Minority Farmers


Vilsack: Farm Bill Should Emphasize Beginning Farmers

July 1, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to a Senate Agriculture Committee farm bill hearing to review progress on implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill’s commodity, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs.  As the lead witness at the June 30 hearing, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack did not read a single word or convey a single […]

Rural Coop Development Grants Available

June 25, 2010

On Friday, June 25, USDA announced the availability of almost $8 million in competitive grant funds through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG). The RCDG program is designed to improve the economic conditions in rural areas by funding the establishment or operation of Coop Development Centers that can help start up, expand or improve […]

Farmers Fly to Washington D.C. to Have Their Voices Heard

June 25, 2010

On June 23rd, 11 farmers from around the country flew to Washington D.C. to have their voices heard. NSAC hosted the Budget and Appropriations “Fly-In” at a critical juncture as the USDA prepares it’s budget proposals for the Fiscal Year 2012 and Congress starts work to finalize 2011 agricultural appropriations.  The farmers and NSAC staff […]

Comments Invited on the Value-Added Producer Grant Program

June 18, 2010

Family farm advocates have an important opportunity to help shape the Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG).   USDA has requested comments on the administrative rules that will govern the implementation of this important program.   VAPG offers competitive grants to farmers and ranchers developing new farm and food-related business enterprises that boost farm income, create jobs, and increase […]

2009 Value-Added Awards Announced

June 3, 2010

As part of today’s activities associated with the National Rural Summit hosted by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in Hillsboro, Missouri, USDA announced the long-awaited awards for the 2009 round of Value-Added Producer Grants.  Read the full press release here. Some $22.5 million in grants were available.  Grants were made in 45 states, with Wisconsin, California, […]

Congress Yet to Finish on Pigford, Farm Credit, Child Nutrition Funding

May 28, 2010

Last week we reported on several major pending pieces of legislation.  At that time, two bills — the so-called tax extenders bill and the emergency supplemental appropriations bill — seemed like they might be resolved by today, the beginning of the congressional recess week for Memorial Day.  Alas, while progress was made on both this […]

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 […]

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 […]

Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grants

April 30, 2010

The USDA announced Wednesday that almost $3.5 million will be available for the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program (SSDPG) which provides competitive grant funds for cooperatives or an association of cooperatives to provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged, small-scale producers. Applications are due by July 27, 2010.  Applicants may propose projects up to $200,000 […]

And We’re Off: Farm Bill 2012

April 23, 2010

Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK) described Wednesday’s House Agriculture Committee Hearing on the Farm Bill as “two-and-a-half hours to kick off two-and-a-half years.” The hearing was the first of Committee Chairman Collin Peterson’s (D-MN) meetings to get a head start on planning for the next Farm Bill, scheduled for completion in 2012. Over the past […]

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