Local & Regional Food Systems


The Atlantic Forum Tackles Food Safety

March 8, 2010

Has the FDA’s experiment with self-policing failed?  This was the question posed by Marc Ambinder, Politics Editor at The Atlantic, at the Food Summit hosted by The Atlantic Monthly on March 4.  Ambinder noted that until the spinach, pet food, and baby formula scares in 2006, 2007, and 2008, funding for the FDA during the […]

Farmers Market Grant Opportunity Announced

March 1, 2010

USDA published a notice of $5 million in grant funds available through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) in today’s March 1 edition of the Federal Register.  NSAC and the Wallace Center developed this program and NSAC championed it in the 2002 Farm Bill. FMPP grants vary in size from $2,500 to $100,000 and do […]

New Farm to School Bill in House

March 1, 2010

On Friday, February 26, Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced the Farm to School Improvements Act of 2010 (HR 4710), which would provide the USDA with $10 million a year for a competitive grants program to fund projects linking producers with the school lunch program.  The proposed legislation’s goal is to improve nutrition in schools while […]

Grant Opportunity: Community Outreach and Assistance for Risk Management

March 1, 2010

Today’s federal register announced the availability of $2.5 million in grants for the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA) Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program and $1.1 million for Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions. The Community Outreach and Assistance Partnership Program targets limited resource, socially disadvantaged and other traditionally underserved producers with training, […]

House Ag Appropriation Hearings kick off with questions for Vilsack

February 25, 2010

Yesterday’s hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture kicked off the annual ag appropriations cycle with a round of questions for Secretary Vilsack on the USDA’s budget proposals for 2011.  Members covered a wide swath of issues, and specifically addressed a number of programs of interest to NSAC members, including the Biomass Crop Assistance […]

Delayed, not diminished: Vilsack on Child Nutrition priorities, including Farm to School

February 25, 2010

After being postponed for two weeks by the blizzard that shut down the capitol, USDA Secretary Vilsack outlined the Administration’s priorities for the Child Nutrition Act reauthorization yesterday at a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The Child Nutrition Act includes authorization for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs, summer food, […]

Policy Considerations in Revitalizing Local and Regional Food Systems

February 23, 2010

Last week, Ferd Hoefner, NSAC’s Policy Director, addressed an audience at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum 2010 with an assessment of the policy opportunities and barriers to strengthening local and regional food systems. The USDA’s increasing focus on connecting farmers with local and regional markets for their products is evident in cross-cutting initiatives like Know […]

Peterson and Vilsack endorse local and regional food at Home Grown

February 19, 2010

More than 200 people braved chilling western Minnesota February weather on Monday and Tuesday to hear House Agriculture Committee Chairman Rep. Collin Peterson and USDA Secretary Vilsack speak about the need to develop better local food systems at the Home Grown Economy conference at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall.  At least another 100 participants […]

A Sustainable Outlook?

February 19, 2010

By Ariane Lotti USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum is one of the last places where I would expect to hear Wendell Berry quoted, but that’s exactly how Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appetit Management Company, ended his presentation on the 2010 forum’s distinguished panel about how the company is addressing topics from the “veil of silence” […]

NSAC’s 2010 Policy Priorities

February 15, 2010

Each year, the NSAC membership engages in a set of discussions within NSAC’s four policy issue committees and then at our annual face-to-face meeting in January about the coming year’s policy priorities.  The NSAC Policy Council, made up of formally represented members, makes the final decision about the slate of issues the coalition will together […]

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