Nutrition & Food Access

Making Healthy Eating Affordable

March 29, 2013

A USDA study contends that healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are often no more expensive than less-nutritious foods such as processed foods.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to a crowd from the aisles of a Hy-Vee Grocery Store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota this week to highlight the efforts the Agency has undertaken to […]

AGree Issues 2013 Policy Proposals

February 8, 2013

AGree, an initiative to seek consensus on proposals to transform food, agriculture, conservation, energy, nutrition policies, today issued some near-term recommendations for the 2013 Farm Bill and other food and agriculture-related legislation. The five areas included – immigration and work force issues, nutrition and food systems, conservation, young people in food and agriculture, and agricultural […]

Funding Available for Farm to School Projects

February 6, 2013

On February 6, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced the release of the Request for Applications (RFA) for its Fiscal Year 2014 Farm to School Grant Program.  There will be $5 million in federal funding available in this 2014 funding round to help school districts plan for and implement Farm to School programs. Farm to […]

Funding Available for Community Food Projects

November 1, 2012

USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Community Food Project Grants Program (CFP).  CFP is a grant program that addresses food insecurity in low income communities by supporting the development of community-based food projects including projects that address nutritional needs by promoting local food and […]

2012 Specialty Crop Block Grants and Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grants Announced

October 1, 2012

On Monday, October 1, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced a total of $101 million in funding for specialty crops through the 2012 Specialty Grant Program (SCBG) awards and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) awards for 2012.  The 2012 funding includes specialty crop block grants to each state funding 748 projects nationwide for a total of […]

Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: Farm Bill Expires on Monday — What Does It Mean and What Happens Now?

September 28, 2012

We have been fielding lots of questions in the past few weeks following the congressional meltdown on the new farm bill.  This is not surprising, given Congress’ failure to date to either pass a new farm bill or to enact a short-term extension of the existing farm bill before the farm bill expires at midnight, […]

Congress Votes to Slash Conservation Spending, Extends FY 2012 Funding Levels

September 20, 2012

The Senate voted (67-31) this morning to proceed to a vote to pass a 6-month continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded at FY 2012 levels through March 27, 2013.  The final vote will likely occur sometime this weekend, slowed down by several procedural moves related to votes on extraneous matters.  It may take […]

Revised Version: Obama Administration Details Sequestration Cuts

September 19, 2012

On Friday, September 14, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a preliminary outline of how it would implement automatic budget cuts (known as sequestration) across government programs, as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). In early August 2012, Congress passed the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012, which  forced the Obama […]

USDA Launches Organic Literacy Initiative

September 6, 2012

On Tuesday, September 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a series of resources as part of its new Organic Literacy Initiative, an effort to help connect current and prospective organic farmers, ranchers, and processors with the USDA resources available to them. The purpose of the Organic Literacy Initiative is to provide USDA staff as […]

Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: Local Food Marker Bill: Where Are We Now?

July 31, 2012

Last fall, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act to create jobs and spur economic development through food and farms.  This bill funds and improves critical programs that create economic opportunities for farmers, support local and regional food systems, and improve food access for all.  […]

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