USDA Webinar on the Grass Fed Program for Small Livestock Operations

July 22, 2014

On Tuesday, August 5, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) will hold a webinar about the previously announced Grass-Fed Program for Small and Very Small (SVS) Producers.  The webinar will be held from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern Time.  During the webinar AMS will provide an overview of the USDA […]

USDA Releases Final Rule to Expand Nondiscriminatory Protections

July 16, 2014

On Wednesday, July 16, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its final rule, “Nondiscrimination in Programs or Activities Conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture.”  It follows the proposed rule, published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2013 for public comment.  The USDA regulation on nondiscrimination was last revised in 1999. […]

New USDA Website, Rules for Beginning Farmers

June 23, 2014

On Monday, June 23, U.S.Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced the implementation of several 2014 Farm Bill measures as well as other policy initiatives to help support new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Harden made the announcement at the inaugural meeting of the reconvened Beginning Farmer and Rancher Advisory Committee in Davis, […]

USDA Seeking Peer Reviewers for Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program

May 15, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking peer reviewers for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP), a competitive grants program which recently announced a request for applications for $30 million in grants for projects supporting direct farm-to-consumer markets and local food enterprises and improving access to fresh, healthy, […]

Secretary Vilsack Provides Update on Farm Bill Implementation to Senate Committee

May 8, 2014

On May 7, 2014 the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing to discuss the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) progress in implementing the 2014 Farm Bill.  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was the sole witness.  He again stressed that the agency is working as swiftly as possible to roll out key farm bill programs.  […]

Funding Available for Rural Cooperative Development

April 29, 2014

On April 29, 2014 the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the availability of competitive grant funds to support the development of rural cooperatives.  A total of $5.8 million is available this year for the Rural Coop Development Grant (RCDG) program and an additional $3 million will be available for Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants, […]

Funding Available for Specialty Crops

April 17, 2014

Today USDA announced the availability of $66 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG) to fund projects related to the research, marketing, and development of specialty crops.  The funding is available to State Departments of Agriculture, which must apply for funding and then use it to supplement state programs or make grants. SCBG […]

Secretary Vilsack Reports to House Agriculture Committee on Farm Bill Implementation

April 4, 2014

At a hearing of the House Agriculture Committee on Thursday, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed questions concerning the department’s implementation of key farm bill provisions and role in supporting rural economies.  That same day, USDA released a Farm Bill Implementation Progress Report outlining the actions that the agency has taken since enactment of the law, and […]

Spring 2014 National Organic Standards Board Meeting Announced

March 11, 2014

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced its next National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting set for April 29-May 2, 2014, in San Antonio, TX.  The meeting is open to the public, and interested parties can submit comments prior to the meeting. The NOSB meets twice annually to discuss allowed and prohibited substances in organic production, […]

Farm Bill Implementation on Beginning Farmer and Rancher Programs Already Underway

March 7, 2014

Beginning in 2011, NSAC launched a campaign around Beginning and Socially Disadvantaged Farmer and Rancher programs in the Farm Bill, and ultimately helped win on quite a number of issues in the final legislation.  The NSAC-championed marker bill, the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act, was championed by members in both chambers, led by Senator […]


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