Commodity, Crop Insurance & Credit Programs

Beginning Farmers Tell Their Stories at Hill Briefing

March 9, 2012

This week, four beginning farmers and ranchers came to Washington, D.C. to participate in a congressional briefing on the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act (S.1850, H.R.3236).  The briefing was hosted in the House by Reps. Tim Walz (D-MN-1) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1), and in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). The farmers came […]

New Ally for Sustainable Agriculture in the Finance Department

February 15, 2012

Non-profit, community lenders get involved in healthy food supply chain by guest bloggers Nessa Richman, Brightseed Strategies and Patty Cantrell, Regional Food Solutions Loan funds, credit unions, community development corporations—these mission-driven organizations traditionally provide credit and financial services to poor and underserved urban and rural areas.  Yet food and farming rarely registered on their radar […]

Obama’s FY 2013 USDA Budget Request

February 14, 2012

On Monday, February 13, President Obama submitted his budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013.  For sustainable agriculture interests, the budget proposal is a mixed bag, with big cuts to working lands conservation programs, and both cuts and increases to discretionary spending accounts for sustainable agriculture programs. As far as the upcoming 2012 […]

Lenders Learn how to Bank on Small Farms, Local Food

February 2, 2012

Financing team offers training as part of healthy food initiative By Patty Cantrell Nic Welty employs himself full time year-round raising lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens in three low-cost passive solar greenhouses, which together cover less than one acre of land. His Nine Bean Rows farm near Traverse City, MI, is one of many […]

Women and Latino Farmers Now Eligible for Larger Discrimination Claims

January 27, 2012

On January 25th, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Obama Administration has increased the maximum cash recovery for claims from Latino and female farmers and ranchers discriminated against when seeking USDA loans.  Now, Latino and female farmers claiming discrimination in the USDA loan process between 1981 and 2000 are eligible to receive up to $250,000, […]

If you eat and live in America

December 6, 2011

If you eat and live in America, you should be concerned about the future of farming in this country.  The average age of our nation’s farmers is 57 years old, with more than a quarter of all farmers 65 or older.  There are many people inspired to farm, but as recent studies show, our nation’s […]

Food and Farm Bill Alive in 2012!

December 5, 2011

Dear Supporters, We previously reported to you that a 2011 Food and Farm Bill appeared imminent.  Days before Thanksgiving the Congressional “Super Committee” failed to reach agreement on $1.2 trillion in budget cuts.  With that, the 2011 Farm Bill proposal intended for inclusion in the Super Committee’s deficit reduction bill is thus no more. The […]

Beginning Farmer Land Contract Program to Launch in 2012

December 2, 2011

On Thursday, December 1st, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) issued the final rule for the Land Contract Guarantee Program, which was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill.   This program was first authorized as a pilot program under the 2002 Farm Bill, but was expanded to be made permanent and offered nationwide in the last […]

The Farm Bill is Dead! Long Live the Farm Bill! – Part Two

November 22, 2011

In part one of this post, we discuss what might be next for the ongoing congressional budget debate and in turn for the new farm bill.  In part two we turn to details about what was in the short-lived and now dead 2011 Farm Bill deal. What We Know About the Farm Bill that Did […]

Senate Bill Would Promote Lending to Local Food Entrepreneurs

November 18, 2011

On November 17, an innovative bill that would establish a revolving loan fund program that would support local farm businesses and market gardens was introduced in the Senate.  The Growing Opportunities for Agriculture and Responding to Markets (GO FARM) Act of 2011 (S.1888) was introduced by Senators Robert Casey (D-PA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA). The […]

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