Beginning and Minority Farmers

USDA Risk Management Agency Announces $9.6 Million in Partnership Agreements

October 27, 2010

On Tuesday, October 26, USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced its annual Partnership Agreement awards, which are geared primarily toward small and underserved producers.  This year, $9.6 million in funds were awarded, including $3.6 million in Community Outreach and Assistance Partnerships. According to the USDA press release, these partnerships “can help farmers diversify production and […]

US Reaches $760 Million Settlement with Native American Farmers

October 20, 2010

On Tuesday, October 19, the Obama Administration agreed to pay up to $760 million to compensate American Indian farmers and ranchers who were denied loans from USDA, ending months of negotiation on the 11-year-old class-action lawsuit now known as Keepseagle vs. Vilsack. The Keepseagle plaintiffs charged the USDA with denying low-interest loans to thousands of […]

USDA Announces $18 Million in Awards for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Training and Mentoring Programs

October 18, 2010

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) is a competitive grants program administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). BFRDP grants are awarded to local, state, and regionally based networks and partnerships to support financial and entrepreneurial training, mentoring, and apprenticeships for beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as land link programs that connect retiring with new farmers and innovative farm transfer and transition practices.

USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Announces 2010 Grants

October 14, 2010

On Thursday, October 14, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the 2010 grants of the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP).  The program awarded 77 grants in 34 states, amounting to $4,099,897 in funding. The FMPP was first developed by NSAC in the lead up to the 2002 Farm Bill, and we have championed funding for […]

USDA Office of Outreach and Advocacy Convenes Cooperators Conference

October 13, 2010

Lydia Villanueva, a member of NSAC’s Organizational Council and co-leader of NSAC’s Diversity Committee, brought a delegation of four farmers (three Latina and one Latino) to the USDA’s 2010 Cooperators Conference, held September 26-28 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The event, which brought together an audience of 600 socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers and […]

37 Programs Will Lose Baseline Funding in 2012 Farm Bill

October 7, 2010

On September 29, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a new report, “Previewing the Next Farm Bill: Unfunded and Early-Expiring Provisions,” which details the 37 programs that will no longer have baseline funding in the next farm bill cycle. Together, these programs account for $9-10 billion dollars (depending on estimation approach), or 4% of the […]

USDA Announces Rural Cooperative Development Grant Recipients

October 5, 2010

USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced $8.3 million in grants through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) program to help rural cooperatives expand economic activity in their communities. Grantees included NSAC member organization Farm to Table, Inc., of Santa Fe, NM, which received a grant for a project to improve economic […]

Congress Extends FY2010 Spending Levels through December 3

September 30, 2010

Just before midnight this morning, Congress passed a continuing resolution to extend this year’s federal spending levels into fiscal year 2011.  The Senate approved the continuing resolution yesterday evening before sending it to the House for a final vote.  The House sent the bill to the President early this morning. The continuing resolution will fund […]

Update: Pigford Settlement Letter Sent to Senate

September 28, 2010

On Monday, September 27, the Network of Black Farm Groups and Advocates delivered a letter to all Senators urging “immediate action” regarding the passage of a measure providing funding for the settlement of Pigford vs. Vilsack, a class-action lawsuit filed by Black farmers against USDA more than a decade ago. The current measure, which has […]

FSA Proposes Expansion of Beginning Farmer and Rancher Land Contract Program

September 24, 2010

On Thursday, September 23, USDA’s Farm Services Agency (FSA) issued a proposed rule to implement the Land Contract Sales Program pursuant to the 2008 Farm Bill.  The proposal makes permanent the Beginning Farmer and Rancher (BFR) Land Contract Guarantee Pilot Program from the 2002 Farm Bill.  As required by the new Farm Bill, the new […]

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