Local & Regional Food Systems

Funding Available for Specialty Crops

April 17, 2014

Today USDA announced the availability of $66 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG) to fund projects related to the research, marketing, and development of specialty crops.  The funding is available to State Departments of Agriculture, which must apply for funding and then use it to supplement state programs or make grants. SCBG […]

New Local Food Procurement Guide for School Nutrition Programs

April 7, 2014

Last week, the Farm to School Program of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published Procuring Local Food for Child Nutrition Programs, a guide to help K-12 schools operating one or more Child Nutrition Programs with identifying and procuring locally grown and produced food for use at school cafeterias. Using examples from school districts, State agencies, […]

More 2015 Funding Hearings – Food Safety, Rural Development, and Marketing Programs

April 4, 2014

This week, the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee held hearings on the Obama Administration’s FY 2015 funding requests for three USDA mission areas – Food Safety, Rural Development, and Marketing and Regulatory Programs, which includes the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).  The Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee also held […]

Working Together to Bring Healthy Foods to Communities in Need

March 27, 2014

Guest Blog - Cross posted from the White House Rural Council Blog Editor’s note:  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition played a lead role in helping to organize a recent White House meeting  that brought together government agencies, spokespeople for innovative projects from around the country that involved both healthy food access and local and regional food system […]

Value-Added Producer Grant Program Deadline Extended; Veteran Priority Added

March 25, 2014

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development retroactively announced that the deadline for applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program would be extended by two weeks in order to incorporate a change from the recently enacted 2014 Farm Bill. Coming over one month from the original February 24 deadline for VAPG applications, the […]

Release: USDA Value-Added Producer Grants Deadline Extended with Veteran Priority Included

March 25, 2014

Release: Value-Added Producer Grants Deadline Extended with Veteran Priority Included Washington, DC, March 25, 2014 – Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency announced a two week extension for grant applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant program.  The extension, published in today’s Federal Register, was made necessary by changes to the program included […]

New England Food Policy Report Released

March 21, 2014

The American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) have released a new report New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System to advance innovative public policies that support a sustainable food and farming system in New England. New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System guides […]

USDA Secretary Explains 2015 Funding Requests to Congress

March 14, 2014

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies today to discuss the Department’s FY 2015 Budget Request, which he delivered to Congress earlier this month.  The Subcommittee will consider USDA’s requests as it writes its agriculture funding bill for the year. In […]

Guest Blog: New report shows food buyers how regional hubs work

March 13, 2014

Editor’s Note: We want to thank John Fisk, from NSAC member the Wallace Center, for his contribution.  Dr. Fisk is the director of the Wallace Center at Winrock International.  He is also a founding board member of the National Food Routes Network, an editorial board member of the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, and an active member […]

Expanding Packing and Cold Storage Loan Options for Diversified Farms

March 10, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced several changes to the Farm Storage Facility Loan Program that will greatly improve the program’s ability to support diversified producers that sell their produce through localized market channels, such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSAs), and farm-to-institution. Farm Storage Facility Loans are financed through the Farm […]

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