Local & Regional Food Systems


USDA Awards $16.8 Million to Increase Healthy Food Access for Low-Income Americans

June 9, 2016

Eating a nutritious diet is the cornerstone of any healthy lifestyle, but for many Americans healthy foods may seem hopelessly out of reach. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) bridges the gap between lower-income families, but benefit levels are low and make purchase of nutritionally important items like fresh fruits and vegetables difficult. The Food […]

New Rules for USDA Local Food Enterprise Loans

June 7, 2016

  Access to capital is important for all small businesses, including the food and farm businesses that bring locally and regionally produced food into rural communities, schools, and markets. Fortunately, there is a federal loan guarantee program, the Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program, which specifically supports these types of local entrepreneurs. Qualified projects […]

House Passes Controversial Child Nutrition Reauthorization Amidst Growing Opposition

May 20, 2016

Eight months after the last iteration of the Child Nutrition Act expired, the House Education and Workforce Committee this week advanced a controversial Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) out of committee. After several hours of discussion and 31 proposed amendments, the “Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016” (H.R. 5003) passed by a 20 […]

Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Food and Farm Programs

May 16, 2016

Editor’s Note: ‘Tis the season for federal program deadlines. In our ongoing effort to keep readers appraised of upcoming opportunities, we are issuing a revised list of program application information. As warmer weather settles in, farmers are busy planting crops, livestock are grazing on pasture, and farmers markets across the country are once again full […]

Value-Added Producer Grant Webinar This Week

May 2, 2016

NSAC is partnering with USDA to provide a free webinar for prospective applicants to the VAPG program on May 6th at 2 p.m. EST.

Farm Storage Loans Expanded to Help Farmers Reach Local Food Markets

April 29, 2016

Small and mid-scale family farms operating in burgeoning local and regional food markets received some welcome news from the USDA today

Boosting Community Development through Value-Added Products in Fulton, MO

April 28, 2016

When farmers and entrepreneurs take raw agricultural products like vegetables, grains, or dairy and transform them into goods like sauces and bread, they increase their bottom line because of the higher prices they can demand and they also contribute to community and rural economic development by creating new jobs in processing, marketing, or retail. The […]

House Child Nutrition Bill Supports Farm to School, But Big Issues Remain

April 26, 2016

Representative Todd Rokita (R-IN), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education of the full House Education and Workforce Committee, recently introduced the long-awaited and highly-anticipated House Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization bill (CNR). The House bill, filed on April 20, 2016, is titled the “Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016” […]

Give NSAC the Scoop on Your On-Farm Manure Usage

April 22, 2016

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and our members are surveying produce farmers to better understand how they use and apply untreated or raw manure on their farms. Between now and June 3, 2016, we are collecting anonymous information to develop comments for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to aid in their development of […]

Upcoming DEADLINES for Federal Food and Farm Grant Programs

April 22, 2016

As warmer weather settles in, farmers are busy planting crops, livestock are grazing on pasture, and farmers markets across the country are once again full of shoppers. All of this activity means spring is finally here – it also means that deadlines for a variety of federal farm and food grant programs are fast approaching! […]

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