Conservation, Energy & Environment


Climate Change and Agriculture – Week in Review

June 26, 2015

Climate change has enormous implications for farmers and ranchers across the country, and, this week, several announcements provided new climate change adaptation and mitigation information for agriculture. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) continues to advocate that this critical nexus between climate change and agriculture must be addressed through farm bill conservation programs, sustainable and organic […]

Millions Available to Help Connect Retiring Landowners with New Farmers

June 24, 2015

Access to farmland remains one of the most difficult challenges that new farmers face when looking to start farming. Fortunately, since 2008, there has been a federal incentive program that encourages retiring landowners to sell or lease long term to new and underserved farmers. The Transition Incentives Program (TIP) is an option for farmers and […]

High Tunnels Continue to Serve New Farmers

June 24, 2015

Jacob and Courtney Cowgill of Prairie Heritage Farm grow fresh vegetables, heritage turkeys, ancient and heritage grains, and lamb in Central Montana. Farming up where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains means that their land is exposed to fierce winds and long winters, presenting unique challenges for their Community Support Agriculture (CSA) and wholesale production in the […]

$17.5 Million Available for Restoration of Wetlands

June 23, 2015

On Monday, June 22, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $17.5 million for wetland restoration partnerships with state and local governments, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations in fiscal year 2015. Proposals must be submitted to NRCS state offices by July 31, 2015. Projects will be funded through the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement […]

Conservation Options Communicated to CRP Contract Holders

June 19, 2015

On Wednesday, June 17, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) wrote to all Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) participants with contracts that expire this year to tell them about their options going forward. For the second year in a row, the FSA letter highlighted some excellent conservation choices for farmers and landowners with 10 and 15 year […]

GMO Labeling Hearing Misses the Mark

June 19, 2015

With GMO labeling a heated issue at the state and federal level, the House Committee of Energy and Commerce hearing on “A National Framework for the Review and Labeling of Biotechnology in Food” drew quite a crowd. The House hearing, on Thursday, June 18, focused on Representative Mike Pompeo’s (R-KS) Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, known as the […]

2016 Funding Bill Opens Payment Loophole, Cuts Conservation and Renewable Energy

June 19, 2015

On Thursday, June 18, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee passed its funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2016. Overall, the bill provides $20.65 billion in discretionary funding, $175 million less than last year’s enacted level and a whopping $1.1 billion less than the USDA request. The full House Appropriations Committee will now take up the […]

USDA Invests $6.7 Million in Rural Energy Projects

June 16, 2015

On Wednesday, June 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an investment of $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through the farm bill’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP grants and loans help farmers, ranchers, and small business owners reduce energy use and develop and install renewable energy sources. […]

Clean Water Rule – NSAC Analysis and Legislative Update

June 16, 2015

On May 27, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had finalized a rule to clarify the scope of the agency’s jurisdiction over “waters of the U.S.” under the Clean Water Act. The rule revises the existing definition of “waters of the US” for purposes of determining which bodies of water are subject […]

Digging into the Nation’s Leading Conservation Program – Part V

June 12, 2015

Yesterday we examined Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) participation trends for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers as well as organic and transitioning-to-organic farmers across the country. We also looked at the distribution of contracts by funding amount, in order to determine how well CSP is serving farms and ranches of a variety of scales. […]

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