Rural Development


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 […]

NSAC Delivers Research Comments; Opportunity to Comment Still Open

June 4, 2010

On Wednesday, June 2, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a stakeholder listening session on its largest competitive research grants program, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).  NSAC’s Policy Director Ferd Hoefner and member organizations, the Organic Farming Research Foundation and the Market Forces, delivered oral remarks. Significantly overhauled, the AFRI […]

Farm Bill Hearings to Commence In Senate

June 4, 2010

This Tuesday, June 1, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) announced that the Committee will begin hearings on the 2012 Farm Bill at the end of this month. The first hearing will be held in Senate Agriculture Committee Room at 9:30am on June 30, 2010 on the topic of “Maintaining Our Domestic Food Supply […]

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, […]

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 […]

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