Rural Development


Vilsack: Farm Bill Should Emphasize Beginning Farmers

July 1, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to a Senate Agriculture Committee farm bill hearing to review progress on implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill’s commodity, crop insurance, and disaster assistance programs.  As the lead witness at the June 30 hearing, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack did not read a single word or convey a single […]

Rural Coop Development Grants Available

June 25, 2010

On Friday, June 25, USDA announced the availability of almost $8 million in competitive grant funds through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG). The RCDG program is designed to improve the economic conditions in rural areas by funding the establishment or operation of Coop Development Centers that can help start up, expand or improve […]

Farmers Fly to Washington D.C. to Have Their Voices Heard

June 25, 2010

On June 23rd, 11 farmers from around the country flew to Washington D.C. to have their voices heard. NSAC hosted the Budget and Appropriations “Fly-In” at a critical juncture as the USDA prepares it’s budget proposals for the Fiscal Year 2012 and Congress starts work to finalize 2011 agricultural appropriations.  The farmers and NSAC staff […]

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 […]

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 […]

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