Conservation Stewardship Program 2016 Sign-Up Opens

February 4, 2016

Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year have until March 31 to submit their initial applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). USDA will enroll 10 million acres of farm and ranch land in the program this year, with payments to farmers and […]

New Mitigation Program Will Help Offset Wetland Losses

January 29, 2016

In an effort to offset the widespread draining of wetlands for agricultural production, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun to fund wetland “banks” to help landowners compensate for negative impacts made to wetlands on their properties. On Thursday, January 28, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service began soliciting proposals from states, local governments and […]

USDA Finds Conservation Adoption Lagging

January 5, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Economic Research Service (ERS) recently released a report on conservation practice adoption, highlighting the fairly low adoption rates for specific practices that play a critical role in mitigating environmental impacts, improving soil health, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The report, “Conservation-Practice Adoption Rates Vary Widely by Crop and Region” […]

10 Ways USDA Can Address Climate Change in 2016

December 30, 2015

The new year presents a final window of opportunity for the Administration to act upon climate change

What’s Up with USDA Food Labels? Changes Made to USDA Process Verified Program

December 8, 2015

This is the first in an occasional series we will be doing to report on some recent and pending changes to USDA food labeling programs. The fate of mandatory GMO labeling may still be unknown, but some companies are already using voluntary non-GMO labels through a third party certification or verification service, such as the U.S Department […]

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 […]

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