Conservation, Energy & Environment


To Till and to Keep: Towards a New Agriculture

August 21, 2015

Guest Blog by Robert Gronski, Policy Coordinator for Catholic Rural Life and a long-time NSAC member and contributor After the release of Laudato Si: On Care of Our Common Home earlier this summer, Pope Francis has said on occasion that this is a social encyclical, not an ecological one. I believe it can also be […]

Guest Blog: New Study Points to Benefits of Conservation for Food Safety

August 19, 2015

Editor’s Note: This blog was co-authored with Jo Ann Baumgartner. Jo Ann, formerly an organic farmer, is executive director of the Wild Farm Alliance. She works on conservation-based agriculture and is the author of A Farmer’s Guide to Food Safety and Conservation: Facts, Tips and Frequently Asked Questions. Wild Farm Alliance is a represented NSAC […]

USDA Awards $63 Million for Renewable Energy Generation and Energy Conservation

August 11, 2015

On August 7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced $63 million in grants and loans to 264 renewable energy generation and energy conservation projects through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Projects and Funding Breakdown Of the $63 million, USDA awarded $3.6 million as grants and $59.3 million as loan guarantees. According to […]

DARK Act Approved in the House

July 23, 2015

On July 23, the House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, also known as the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” or DARK Act. The final vote was 275 to 150. A dozen GOP members voted no and 45 Democratic members voted yes. Among conservative “blue […]

Cover Crop Survey Confirms Benefits and Points to Future Research

July 16, 2015

For the third year in a row, the results of an annual cover crop survey of farmers around the country confirm the benefits and expansion of cover crops on U.S. cropland. USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program recently released the results of the 2014-2015 Cover Crop Survey, which assessed the benefits, challenges, and […]

What’s in the Senate Funding Bill for Sustainable Agriculture?

July 16, 2015

Pop quiz: What do Frankenfish, Orca Whales, and whole grains all have in common? Answer: They were all part of the amendment process today as the Senate Appropriations Committee advanced their version of next year’s federal funding bill for food, agriculture, and rural development. Read on for our analysis of the Senate funding bill that […]

DARK Act Approved by the House Agriculture Committee

July 14, 2015

On Tuesday, July 14, the House Agriculture Committee approved the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, also known as the “Deny Americans’ Right to Know” or DARK Act by opponents. The passage of the most recent version of the bill gives more authority to the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to oversee voluntary non-GMO […]

National Working Group Recommends Path to Improved Soil Health

July 10, 2015

Late last month, the National Working Group on Cover Crops and Soil Health released a list of ten recommendations for improving soil health and expanding the use of cover crops to achieve that goal. The Working Group rolled out the recommendations in a presentation to a variety of Washington D.C. based agriculture and conservation groups, including […]

House Committee Passes USDA-FDA Funding Bill, Rejects Reform Amendments

July 8, 2015

On Wednesday, July 8, the House Appropriations Committee passed the 2016 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which funds most of the programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You can visit our previous post for a full breakdown of the bill as it stood before debate by the full […]

Conservation Stewardship Program Gets A Makeover

July 8, 2015

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is a comprehensive working lands conservation program designed

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