Farm Bill

Senate Agriculture Spending Bill Unveiled

September 9, 2011

On Wednesday, September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year (FY) 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill by voice vote. The Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee received an overall allocation of $19.78 billion for discretionary spending in FY 2012, translating to a $192 million reduction below the already low FY 2011 levels.  The House bill passed earlier […]

2011 National Organic Certification Cost Share Program

September 8, 2011

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) is now accepting State applications for 2012.  States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, are eligible to apply for the program funds. Participating States will then accept applications from organic producers and handlers who need financial assistance for organic certification.  The cost-share program will reimburse up […]

Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill Markup Set for September 7

September 2, 2011

Congress returns to Washington, DC on Tuesday with two major funding activities ahead — the deficit reduction “super committee” process and FY 2012 appropriations.  The former has enormous consequences for the farm bill and the latter for the farm bill and for food, rural and agricultural spending for the coming year. Deficit Reduction Committee One […]

New USDA Report Highlights Successes of the Wetlands Reserve Program

August 23, 2011

On Monday, August 22, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) released a new publication highlighting the success of the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) over its 20-year history. The Wetlands Reserve Program According to the report, more than half of all wetland acres in the continental United States have been lost.  In some states, this number […]

Conservation Stewardship Program Update – Part II

August 2, 2011

Note:  This is the second of several blog posts that summarizes initial data we are receiving from USDA National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) on the Conservation Stewardship Program.  You can read the first blog post in this series here. In last week’s blog Update on the Conservation Stewardship Program – Part I we highlighted data […]

House, Senate, President Agree to Draft Debt Ceiling Deal

August 1, 2011

On Sunday, July 31, congressional leaders and the President announced that they had reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut the federal deficit.  The agreement comes amidst a week of tense negotiations and competing bills.  Just last week, the House passed its own package, 218-210, before the Senate voted that bill down […]

Senators and Representatives with Farms Blog About Farm Bill

July 29, 2011

The Congress Blog page of The Hill, a paper and website widely read in federal policy circles, published four blog posts on July 28 by four Republican Senators and Members of Congress who are farmers and maintain interests in farms that are in their families. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) penned “Food and farm bill benefits […]

House Holds Hearing on USDA Research Programs

July 29, 2011

On Thursday, July 28, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture held an audit hearing on federal research programs administered by USDA.  This was the ninth hearing on farm bill programs the Committee has held this year. The Committee heard testimony from top administrators of four agencies that make […]

Senate Holds Specialty Crop and Organic Hearing

July 28, 2011

On Thursday, July 28, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing to discuss farm bill specialty crop and organic programs.  The Committee, led by Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), heard testimony from USDA officials Ann Wright, Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and Dr. Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, […]

House Hearing on Commodity and Disaster Programs

July 28, 2011

On Wednesday, July 27, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management held an audit hearing to examine commodity and farm safety net programs, including crop insurance and disaster assistance.  This was the eighth hearing on farm bill programs that the Committee has convened this year. Bruce Nelson, Administrator of the […]

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