Local & Regional Food Systems


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 […]

Mobile Slaughter Units and Untapped Markets

May 25, 2010

On Tuesday USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) published a compliance guide to help operators of mobile slaughter units understand the regulatory requirements that pertain to them.   It should also be must reading for entrepreneurs considering building a mobile slaughter facility. FSIS is requesting feedback on the guidance by July 26 and will incorporate […]

Moving Legislation – What’s in it for Food and Agriculture

May 21, 2010

With the financial regulation bill approved in the Senate and moving to conference with the House-passed bill, and with the one week Memorial Day recess just a week away, several key legislative items are starting to move quickly.  A brief review follows, highlighting what is in the bills for food and agriculture. Budget Resolution – […]

USDA releases comprehensive Local Food Systems Report

May 21, 2010

This week, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released a comprehensive report on Local Food Systems drawing together findings from the existing academic literature and ERS analysis.  The report is divided into five main sections: local food definitions characteristics of local food suppliers demand for local food from consumers and institutions government programs and policies affecting […]

Farmers Market Directory Registration Deadline Extended

May 19, 2010

USDA has extended the deadline for registering farmers markets for inclusion in the National Farmers Market Directory until June 4, 2010.  The Directory is used by the general public and has also become an important tool for policymakers and researchers.  The deadline extension is part of an effort to ensure the count is accurate as […]

Times may be tough, but there’s room in the Farm Bill tent

May 14, 2010

Thursday’s hearing in the House Agriculture Committee brought in two panels of farm and food policy experts to continue the conversation kicked off on late April in preparation for the 2012 Farm Bill. As in the first hearing in late April, the witnesses’ testimony and Representatives’ questions covered a wide range of topics, but consistently […]

Let’s Move! Plan to Beat Child Obesity Ventures Into Ag Policy

May 14, 2010

On Tuesday May 11 the White House released its action plan to reduce childhood obesity.  Tied to the First Lady’s “Let’s Move!” initiative, the plan clearly endorses a role for local agriculture in improving food environments and suggests “discussion areas” to explore the role agriculture policy plays relative to the prices of healthy food and […]

NSAC to host Ag of the Middle Briefing on June 8

May 11, 2010

Click here to forward on the invitation to colleagues. On June 8, 2010, NSAC, Farm Aid, Organic Valley, and Heifer International US Country Program will host a congressional briefing on Agriculture of the Middle: New Strategies to Support America’s Mid-sized Family Farmers. In recent decades, many mid-sized farmers and ranchers who rely on farming as […]

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