Beginning and Minority Farmers


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 […]

Call for Nominations to Minority Farmer Advisory Committee

April 23, 2010

Yesterday’s Federal Register announced the call for nominations to the Minority Farmer Advisory Committee, organized by the Office of Advocacy and Outreach at the USDA. The Secretary will select no more than 15 committee members including at least four socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers, two nonprofit representatives and two representatives from colleges or universities with […]

NSAC Announces Farm and Agriculture Resources for the Media (FARM) Project

April 21, 2010

We’re excited to announce the launch of FARM (Farm & Agriculture Resources for Media), a NSAC project that champions the voice of sustainable agriculture by providing media training and tools for farmers.  FARM includes a new three-part NSAC toolkit that helps  farmers share their personal and authentic story and strengthen their media connections. The three […]

Target Date Passes for Black Farmer Settlement

April 1, 2010

The settlement reached between the government and black farmers denied USDA funding and services included a target date of March 31.  That date has now passed, but the issue remains very much alive. The major remaining hurdle is for Congress to find a funding source or “offset” to allow it to provide the additional $1.15 […]

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