Conservation, Energy & Environment


Senate Agriculture Committee Reports Child Nutrition Bill: Farm to School Included; Conservation Cuts Major Point of Contention

March 24, 2010

On Wednesday, March 24, the Senate Agriculture Committee approved the child nutrition reauthorization bill (Healthy Hunger-Free Kids’ Act of 2010) by unanimous consent. The bill increases spending on nutrition programs by $4.5 billion over the next ten years and includes several important school meal program improvements including improved access, nutritional standards, and per meal federal […]

Clean Water Network’s “March Madness” DC Gathering

March 22, 2010

The Clean Water Network, a coalition of over 1,000 organizations working together to protect the nation’s waters, held a “March Madness” fly-in in Washington D.C. on March 14-16.  NSAC and many of our member organizations are Network members. Key fly-in events had an agricultural focus.  A congressional briefing on March 15, entitled “The Mississippi – […]

Lincoln Introduces Child Nutrition Bill for Markup

March 17, 2010

This morning, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) unveiled her “markup vehicle” for Child Nutrition Act reauthorization and scheduled Committee markup of her draft bill for next Wednesday, March 24.  The proposal is titled “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” Farm to School would receive just $25 million in the current Lincoln draft.  However, […]

Organic Initiative Sign-up Extended in Certain States

March 15, 2010

The cut-off date for the 2010 Organic Initiative sign-up was last Friday, March 12, in most states.  At least eight states, however, have extended the 2010 sign-up period.  These include: Colorado:  April 16, 2010 Illinois:  March 26, 2010 Louisiana:  March 26, 2010 Missouri:  March 19, 2010 Nebraska:  April 1, 2010 Nevada:  March 19, 2010 Ohio:  […]

10 Days of Sustainable Ag Advocacy: An Intern’s Perspective

March 15, 2010

by Kara Slaughter, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute “With reference to individual or national welfare, agriculture is of primary importance.”  -George Washington So reads one of the three quotations at the top of the stone edifice at the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Part of what prompted me to quit my “real job” […]

Vilsack and Merrigan At Senate Agricultural Appropriations Hearing

March 10, 2010

Appropriations season is in full swing in Washington, and appropriators are deciding which programs to fund and which to cut. Hearings on funding levels for 2011 are occurring almost daily, as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees begin the annual process that generally results in markups in late spring, floor votes in the summer, and […]

Speed Up the 2010 CSP Sign-up

March 9, 2010

Please join the more than 60 organizations who have signed on to our letter urging Secretary Vilsack to make critical improvements to the Conservation Stewardship (CSP) Program and to initiate a 2010 Sign Up as soon as possible. The letter urges Secretary Vilsack to: •    ensure that the program effectively rewards sustainable and organic farming systems •   […]

2010 Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up Announced

March 5, 2010

At last Saturday’s Pheasants Fest in Des Moines Iowa, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced there will a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) this year, the first general sign-up since 2006.  In testimony before Congress last year USDA indicated there would not be a general sign-up this year, so this week’s announcement represents […]

Ranking the Sustainability of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

February 25, 2010

Results from a recent survey conducted by Tufts University, in cooperation with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, demonstrate that a majority of the conservation practices funded by the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) are ranked as advancing sustainability, while several rank as not advancing sustainability.  The survey results and accompanying article are published in the […]

House Ag Appropriation Hearings kick off with questions for Vilsack

February 25, 2010

Yesterday’s hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture kicked off the annual ag appropriations cycle with a round of questions for Secretary Vilsack on the USDA’s budget proposals for 2011.  Members covered a wide swath of issues, and specifically addressed a number of programs of interest to NSAC members, including the Biomass Crop Assistance […]

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