Beginning and Minority Farmers

USDA Publishes Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program Final Rule

January 24, 2011

On Monday, January 24, NRCS published its final rule (FR) for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) in the Federal Register.  You can download a pdf version of the final rule here. USDA published its interim final rule (IFR) for public comment on January 16, 2009, and subsequently published an amendment to: Clarify […]

2011 Sign-up for EQIP Organic Initiative

December 20, 2010

On Monday, December 20, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced $50 million in available funding for the 2011 sign-up of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative. The EQIP Organic Initiative, administered by USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), provides financial and technical assistance to certified organic producers and producers transitioning to organic to […]

Senate Omnibus Appropriations Bill Released

December 14, 2010

(Updated Version — 12/15/10 — of Original Post) The Senate Appropriations Committee released the long-awaited omnibus, government-wide appropriations bill the afternoon of December 14.  The $1.1 trillion bill is a less than two percent increase over FY 2010, $26 billion less than what the Obama Administration requested in February, $18 billion more than the long-term […]

USDA Issues FY11 Request for Proposals for CCPI and AWEP

December 14, 2010

On Tuesday, December 14, USDA published its FY 2011 Request for Proposals for the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI) and the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP), both of which are administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Both CCPI and AWEP are partnership programs, through which NRCS partners with Indian tribes, State and local […]

USDA Introduces Online Farm Link Tool for Beginning Farmers

December 13, 2010

On Monday, December 13, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of TIP Net, an online tool to help link retiring farmers who have expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts with beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers who want to buy or rent land for their operations. CRP contracts covering millions of acres of […]

Beginning Farmer Advisory Committee Meeting Next Week in DC

December 10, 2010

USDA’s Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers will be holding a public meeting next Wednesday and Thursday, December 15th and 16th, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Advisory Committee makes recommendations to the Secretary of the USDA on the development, administration, and improvement of USDA’s beginning farmer programs. The meeting will […]

House Approves Funding for Pigford II Settlement

November 30, 2010

On Tuesday, November 30, the House of Representatives passed the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which authorizes nearly $4.6 billion to fund the settlements in two class-action discrimination lawsuits.  The measure passed 256-152.  It now goes to the President for his signature, ending a long, tortuous, but ultimately successful path to becoming law. The lawsuits […]

Pigford II Settlement Funding Clears Senate

November 19, 2010

On Friday, November 19, the Senate finally passed a bill to fund the Pigford II class action lawsuit settlement between black farmers and USDA, along with funding for the Cobell settlement between Indian tribes and the Department of the Interior. Also included in the legislation was resolution of tribal water rights claims for the White […]

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Moving Forward

November 17, 2010

By Amy Bacigalupo, Land Stewardship Project, Farm Beginning Program Director As I addressed the group of 60 participants for the first Project Director’s meeting for USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), I was struck by a strong sense of excitement.  It is truly momentous that the 29 projects represented at the meeting are […]

USDA to Host Grant Writing Webinar for Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program

November 4, 2010

On November 22, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will host a webinar on how to write grants for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).  The webinar, lasting from 2:00-3:30pm (EDT), will discuss the program, eligibility, changes in FY 2011, and major “dos” and “don’ts” of writing proposals. The request for applications […]

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