Grants and Programs


USDA Compass Tool Highlights Local Food Infrastructure Programs

July 1, 2015

Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has focused in a consistent and substantive way on investments in local and regional food systems. Its innovative online tool — appropriately named the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map” — allows organizations and individuals to search an online database and map to […]

Farmers Travel to DC to Support Funding for Sustainable Agriculture Programs

June 29, 2015

On June 25th, farmers, farm advocates, and agricultural researchers from around the country flew to Washington, DC to share their stories with decision-makers in Congress, the White House, and at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Participants hailed from California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maine, Kansas, and Georgia. NSAC hosted this fly-in at a critical juncture as […]

House Hearing Unexpectedly Highlights Farm to School

June 25, 2015

With Congress just days away from a week-long recess coinciding with Independence Day, the House Education and Workforce Committee’s Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing on Wednesday, June 24th entitled Child Nutrition Assistance: Looking at the Cost of Compliance for States and Schools. The hearing is one of several that […]

$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 […]

$16 Million Available for Rural Micro-Enterprise Development in 2015

June 19, 2015

Very small businesses are the lifeblood of rural America, yet small entrepreneurs often struggle to access credit and business training. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates a rural development program — the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) — aimed at addressing this gap. RMAP provides loans and grants to Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs) — […]

Farm to School Benefits Make Another Appearance at House Hearing

June 18, 2015

Joint blog post from the National Farm to School Network and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition On Tuesday, June 16th, the House Education and Workforce Committee held a hearing in preparation for the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was the sole witness for this hearing entitled “Child Nutrition Assistance: Are Federal Rules and Regulations Serving the Best […]

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. […]

Value-Added Producer Grants – Great Program but Problems Persist with USDA Rules

June 5, 2015

On Friday, May 8th, the Rural Business Cooperative Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its final rule for the Value Added Producer Grant program (VAPG), effective immediately. This final rule was published in conjunction with the latest announcement of $30 million in funding available for VAPG projects in 2015. The final rule […]

Millions of Dollars Available to Support Biomass Crop Production for Bioenergy

June 3, 2015

On Monday, June 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of $19.5 million for the production of energy crops and the harvest and delivery of forest or agricultural residues to qualifying energy facilities. Farmers can apply for funding through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP). BCAP was established by the 2008 Farm […]

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