Rural Development


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 […]

Funding for Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Assistance

May 28, 2010

On Thursday, the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service announced the availability of $2.4 million dollars in competitive grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses as part of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). State, tribal, and local governments, universities, rural electric cooperatives, and public power entities […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Organizations Urge Congress to Fund Farm to School

May 5, 2010

This Monday, May 3, NSAC and 40 other national agriculture, health, and food business organizations delivered a letter to House and Senate Congressional leaders urging them to include $50 million in mandatory funding for programs linking farmers with local schools as part of the 2010 Child Nutrition Act reauthorization. Among the signers were American Public […]

Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grants

April 30, 2010

The USDA announced Wednesday that almost $3.5 million will be available for the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant program (SSDPG) which provides competitive grant funds for cooperatives or an association of cooperatives to provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged, small-scale producers. Applications are due by July 27, 2010.  Applicants may propose projects up to $200,000 […]

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