Farm Bill


USDA Releases Assessment of Natural Resources in the United States

April 29, 2011

On Wednesday, April 27, USDA released a pre-publication copy of its long-awaited 2011 Resource Conservation Act Appraisal.  The appraisal, part of USDA’s implementation of the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA), assesses the status of soil, water, and related natural resources on non-Federal land and analyzes the effectiveness of current conservation policies and programs. […]

Ohio Beginning Farmer Testifies at House Ag Credit Hearing

April 15, 2011

On Thursday, April 14, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Credit held a hearing to review credit conditions in rural America.  The two panels primarily featured witnesses from different credit providers, from independent banks to federal loan providers. Among the witnesses was Matt Starline, a young farmer and owner of Starline Organics […]

Congress Releases Draft 6-Month Continuing Resolution

April 12, 2011

In the early morning of Tuesday, April 12, Congress released a draft of the 6-month continuing resolution (CR), agreed to by House and Senate Democrats and Republicans late last night. The CR would cut $42 billion relative to FY 2010 levels for non-defense spending, but couples that with a $4 billion increase in defense spending, […]

National Agricultural Landscapes Forum in Review

April 11, 2011

On Thursday and Friday, April 7-8, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), along with the Farm Foundation and American Farmland Trust, presented a two-day forum on landscape integrity and water security in the 21st century. As outlined in an earlier blog post, the National Agricultural Landscapes Forum followed a series five public meetings to gather […]

Farmers Defend Conservation and Sustainable Agriculture Programs

April 8, 2011

As Congress worked to reach a budget deal and avoid a government shutdown this week, more than 30 farmers and farm advocates from NSAC member groups in 18 states spread out over Capitol Hill to defend conservation and sustainable agriculture programs from reckless spending cuts. The message was delivered to key members of the Agriculture, […]

Final Subcommittee Assignments for Senate Agriculture Committee Announced

April 8, 2011

Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Ranking Member, Senator Pat Roberts, announced assignments for the Committee’s five subcommittees for the 112th Congress this week. A list of the Chair and Ranking Member for each subcommittee follows: Subcommittee on Commodities, Markets, Trade and Risk Management Chairman: Bill Nelson […]

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Leadership Testifies at House Appropriations Hearing

April 6, 2011

On Tuesday, April 5, Harris Sherman, USDA Undersecretary of Natural Resources and Environment, and Dave White, Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies. The hearing focused on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, which proposes deep […]

Guest Post: LSP Letter to USDA on Conservation

April 6, 2011

Mark Schultz, the Policy and Organizing Director for Minnesota-based Land Stewardship Project, an NSAC member organization, recently sent the following letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack in response to the Obama Administration’s proposal to Congress to slash federal farm conservation program spending.  The letter was subsequently posted on the LSP website, and we reprint it here […]

FY 11 Appropriation Bill Remains Stalled as Deadline Approaches

April 5, 2011

Despite meetings at the White House this morning and back on Capitol Hill this afternoon, the principals in the negotiations over the Continuing Resolution to fund the government for the last 6 months of fiscal year (FY) 2011 remain stalled.  By all accounts, a meeting at the White House this morning with Hill leaders made […]

Farm Bill Debate Starts with 2011 Funding Bill

April 1, 2011

While most commentaries on the 2012 Farm Bill treat it, quite logically, as a coming attraction, in many key respects the battle is already joined.  Understanding why that is the case requires some insight into the strange world of congressional budgeting. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 appropriations bill that Congress and the Administration are trying […]

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