Local & Regional Food Systems


June ERS Reports: Opportunities & Constraints to Local and Alternative Production Systems

June 25, 2010

This June the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) published reports identifying the opportunities and constraints facing both local food supply chains and grass-fed livestock production systems. In response to the exploding demand for local foods the ERS published, “Comparing the Size, Structure and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains.”  The report looks at […]

NSAC Applauds USDA Proposal for a Fairer Deal for Farmers and Ranchers in Livestock and Poultry Markets

June 18, 2010

On Thursday, June 18, NSAC issued a press release applauding a proposed regulation, issued by USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), to increase protections for farmers and ranchers in their dealings with packers and processors. The proposed regulation will be published in the Federal Register on June 22 with a 60-day public comment […]

Comments Invited on the Value-Added Producer Grant Program

June 18, 2010

Family farm advocates have an important opportunity to help shape the Value-Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG).   USDA has requested comments on the administrative rules that will govern the implementation of this important program.   VAPG offers competitive grants to farmers and ranchers developing new farm and food-related business enterprises that boost farm income, create jobs, and increase […]

First FSIS Public Hearing On Controversial Guidance

June 18, 2010

On June 14, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) held the first of three public meetings to discuss and receive comments on their controversial HACCP Systems Validation Guidance document aimed at small and very-small meat and poultry facilities.  View the FSIS Press release here. The guidance document issued in March of 2010 is intended […]

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, […]

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