High Demand for Farm Loans in 2015 with Even Greater Demand on Horizon for 2016

November 13, 2015

Just like any small business, starting and running a farm is no small feat, and can be quite expensive. Everything from purchasing or leasing land to farm, seeds, equipment, and breeding stock, add up. Often, the timing of farm expenses required at the beginning of a growing season don’t line up perfectly with when revenue […]

USDA Invests $30 Million in Mississippi River Basin Initiative

November 4, 2015

On November 3, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a $30 million investment in 73 conservation projects through the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI). These fiscal year 2016 MRBI awards will benefit 33 new conservation projects and 40 ongoing projects. Three NSAC members are partnering organizations on new awards, including Illinois Stewardship Alliance for conservation efforts in […]

USDA Releases New Commitments, New Website for New Farmers

October 29, 2015

On October 29, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the launch of new commitments and a new website for new and aspiring farmers. The new USDA goals focus on boosting funding for and participation in USDA programs and services that support new and beginning farmers, including prioritizing $5.6 billion within key USDA programs over the next two […]

Group Food Safety Certification Coming in 2016

October 27, 2015

Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has been partnering with the Wallace Center at Winrock International to pilot a group food safety certification option called GroupGAP. USDA recently previewed the planned expansion of the GroupGAP pilot to a full program, which will become available nationwide in the spring of 2016. […]

New Farm to School Census: Local Food Purchasing Increasing

October 20, 2015

On Tuesday, October 20, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new Farm to School Census data confirming the multiple benefits of farm to school programs for kids, communities, and farmers. These early results from the latest Farm to School Census provide data on the 2013-2014 school year. Early Results Are In – and […]

USDA Awards $30 Million for Wetland Enhancement Projects

October 16, 2015

On October 15, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced six awards totaling $30 million through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP). The 2014 Farm Bill authorized WREP as an enrollment option under the Wetland Reserve Easement component of the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers WREP. Through […]

USDA Compass Tool Highlights Local Food Programs

July 1, 2015

Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has focused in a consistent and substantive way on investments in local and regional food systems. Its innovative online tool — appropriately named the “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map” — allows organizations and individuals to search an online database and map to […]

Farmers Travel to DC to Support Funding for Sustainable Agriculture Programs

June 29, 2015

On June 25th, farmers, farm advocates, and agricultural researchers from around the country flew to Washington, DC to share their stories with decision-makers in Congress, the White House, and at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Participants hailed from California, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maine, Kansas, and Georgia. NSAC hosted this fly-in at a critical juncture as […]

USDA Invests $6.7 Million in Rural Energy Projects

June 16, 2015

On Wednesday, June 10, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an investment of $6.7 million in 544 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through the farm bill’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). REAP grants and loans help farmers, ranchers, and small business owners reduce energy use and develop and install renewable energy sources. […]

Farm Conservation Client Gateway Now Open for Use!

June 2, 2015

On Wednesday, May 27, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released their long anticipated online portal for conservation activities. This new Conservation Client Gateway, is a streamlined online approach to be used by farmers, ranchers, and private landowners who have or are looking to secure NRCS funding for conservation programs. This Client Gateway is a […]

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