Local & Regional Food Systems


NSAC USDA and Hill Briefings

June 10, 2010

“Don’t Stomp on Innovation!” commanded Karl Kupers, co-founder of Shepherd’s Grain, at a Congressional briefing on June 8th 2010. Karl’s assertion came at the end of a full day of briefings with USDA officials and Congressional staffers.  Karl and other farmers presented innovative marketing strategies and supply network ideas for mid-sized farmers.  They emphasized the […]

House Child Nutrition Bill Includes Farm to School

June 10, 2010

On Thursday, June 10, House Education and Labor Chairman George Miller (D-CA), Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Rep. Rosa De Lauro (D-CT), and Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) introduced the Improving Nutrition for America’s Children Act of 2010. The bill will become the basic vehicle for House consideration of the five-year reauthorization of […]

Farm Aid Economic Stimulus Report

June 4, 2010

On June 2, the day before USDA’s National Rural Summit, Farm Aid released a new report entitled “Rebuilding America’s Economy with Family Farm-Centered Food Systems.”  NSAC’s Ferd Hoefner, Shepherd’s Grain’s Karl Kupers, and Fred Kirschenmann with the Leopold Center joined Farm Aid in a press briefing on the role family farmers and local and regional […]

Applications Invited for the Rural Microentreprenuer Assistance Program

June 4, 2010

USDA’s Rural Business – Cooperative Service has issued a Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for the Rural Microentreprenuer Assistance Program (RMAP).   Published on Thursday June 3, in conjunction with the National Rural Summit, the NOFA announces the availability of $45.1 million in support for Microenterprise Development Organizations to provide loans and technical assistance and training […]

FSIS Announces Public Hearing on Controversial Guidance

June 4, 2010

On June 4, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced a series of public meetings in response to the release of their controversial guidance document back in March on HACCP Systems Validation for small and very small meat and poultry processing facilities. The first public meeting will be held on June 14 from 8:30-1:00 at […]

2009 Value-Added Awards Announced

June 3, 2010

As part of today’s activities associated with the National Rural Summit hosted by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in Hillsboro, Missouri, USDA announced the long-awaited awards for the 2009 round of Value-Added Producer Grants.  Read the full press release here. Some $22.5 million in grants were available.  Grants were made in 45 states, with Wisconsin, California, […]

New Farm to School Act in House

June 2, 2010

Last Friday, May 28, Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN),  Tom Latham (R-IA), and Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the National Farm to School Act of 2010 (H.R. 5456) along with 22 original cosponsors. The Act would authorize USDA to administer competitive grants of up to $100,000 to support planning, implementation, training, and technical assistance for schools, educational […]

Congress Yet to Finish on Pigford, Farm Credit, Child Nutrition Funding

May 28, 2010

Last week we reported on several major pending pieces of legislation.  At that time, two bills — the so-called tax extenders bill and the emergency supplemental appropriations bill — seemed like they might be resolved by today, the beginning of the congressional recess week for Memorial Day.  Alas, while progress was made on both this […]

30 Days To Comment on VAPG Rule

May 28, 2010

The long anticipated proposed rule for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program was published in today’s Federal Register.  The comment period for the proposed rule is only 30 days with comments on the regulatory provisions due by June 28, 2010. We expect the announcement of VAPG awards from the 2009 competition next week, and will […]

Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program Rule is Out with NOFA to Follow

May 28, 2010

Today’s Federal Register included the interim final rule for the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP), one of NSAC’s 2008 Farm Bill priority program.  The interim rule goes into effect on June 28, 2010, but the USDA will be taking public comments until July 27, 2010. RMAP is a new program created in the 2008 Farm […]

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