Conservation, Energy & Environment

USDA Announces Iowa REAP Grant Recipients

October 14, 2010

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $32 million in loans and grants for 433 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Iowa under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Grants and loans totaled $14.5 million and $17.4 million, respectively. REAP, which is administered by USDA’s Rural Development agency, makes grants and loans available to […]

EPA Farm, Ranch, & Rural Communities Advisory Committee Meeting

October 14, 2010

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  Farm, Ranch, and Rural Communities Federal Advisory Committee met in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 30-Oct. 1.  NSAC Senior Policy Associate Martha Noble is a member of the Committee. The Committee is currently charged with one major task – the preparation of a paper with recommendations to EPA Administrator Lisa […]

USDA Farm Service Agency Releases Report from 39th CRP Signup

October 14, 2010

From August 2-27th of this year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) held a general signup for its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  On October 8, FSA released its report on the sign-up, which detailed the variety and distribution of acreage accepted into the program.  Read the full report here. On September 14, Secretary Vilsack announced that […]

Kerr Center’s President Receives First Bellmon Award

October 11, 2010

Dr. James “Jim” Horne, President and CEO of the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, received the inaugural Henry Bellmon Award for Sustainability last month in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Horne was honored for taking “a balanced approach toward quality of life for all, responsible economic growth, and environmental stewardship.” Horne, who also garnered the Quality of Life […]

10/10/10 Global Work Party Features Food and Farming

October 8, 2010

Food and farming are playing a prominent role in many of the events taking place on Sunday for the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, “the single largest day of carbon-cutting action in the planet’s history,” according to, which is organizing the day of action in partnership with hundreds of organizations around the world. Over 7,000 […]

EPA Publishes FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

October 8, 2010

On Thursday, October 7, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a 5-year strategic plan outlining strategies for advancing its mission and priorities. The plan presents 5 strategic goals that will dictate EPA’s actions over the next 5 years.  The strategic goals are: Taking action on climate change and improving air quality Protecting America’s waters Cleaning […]

NRCS Extends CSP Sign-up Period, Releases Latest Enrollment Data

October 8, 2010

On Thursday, October 7, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the extension of the FY 2011 sign-up period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) until January 7, 2011.  NRCS will use the additional time to expand and improve program marketing and outreach to producers.  We had previously announced the decision to extend the sign-up […]

37 Programs Will Lose Baseline Funding in 2012 Farm Bill

October 7, 2010

On September 29, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a new report, “Previewing the Next Farm Bill: Unfunded and Early-Expiring Provisions,” which details the 37 programs that will no longer have baseline funding in the next farm bill cycle. Together, these programs account for $9-10 billion dollars (depending on estimation approach), or 4% of the […]

USDA to Issue Over $1.6 Billion in Annual CRP Payments to Producers This Month

October 5, 2010

During the month of October, USDA will distribute more than $1.6 billion in annual Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments to producers enrolled in the program. Since October is the first month of the federal fiscal year, all CRP annual payments are distributed during this month.  Producers use these payments to establish and maintain conservation […]

USDA Releases Non-Federal Rangelands Health Assessment

October 5, 2010

On Friday, October 1, USDA announced the release of a new study evaluating the health and productivity of non-federal rangelands in the western United States, which make up 21% of the total area of the lower 48 states.  Findings indicate that less than 25 percent of non-federal rangelands have significant land degradation, but that non-native […]

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