Photos: Michelle Obama and UN Spouses Visit Stone Barns Center

September 27, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama treated the spouses of world leaders participating in the UN General Assembly to a local, organic luncheon at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, an NSAC member group (see last week’s post).  The 31 “first spouses,” representing a diversity of countries including Cameroon, Estonia, Gabon, Norway, Panama and Sierra […]

Michelle Obama to Host “First Spouses” at Stone Barns Center

September 22, 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama will host a Farm-to-Table luncheon this Friday, September 24, for the spouses of world leaders participating in this week’s UN General Assembly at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, an NSAC member group. The Center is a non-profit working farm and education center in Pocantico Hills, NY, dedicated to […]

Sustainable Ag Symposium a Success

September 17, 2010

On Thursday, September 16, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Farm Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, and USDA sponsored an all-day symposium on the recently published National Research Council report Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century. The event, held at the National Press Club, was attended by 125 people, including […]

Senate Ag Committee Holds Organic Hearing

September 15, 2010

On Wednesday, September 15th, the Senate Agriculture Committee gathered for an oversight hearing entitled “The National Organic Law at 20:  Sowing Seeds for a Bright Future.”  The hearing in part commemorated the 20-year anniversary of the passage of the Organic Food Production Act (OFPA), which standardized organic certification and labeling regulations across the country.  Before the […]

USDA Invites States to Apply for Organic Certification Cost-Share Programs

September 8, 2010

On Wednesday, September 8, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a Federal Register notice inviting states to apply for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program (NOCCSP). As part of the 2008 Farm Bill, NSAC succeeded in securing $22.0 million for the NOCCSP, and these funds will be allocated annually as needed until the next farm […]

FSA Issues Conservation Loan Rule

September 3, 2010

On Thursday, September 2, USDA announced the launch of the Conservation Loan program established by the 2008 Farm Bill.  Though Congress appropriated money for the loan program in fiscal year 2010, enough to fund $150 million worth of loans, the program has been stymied waiting on the rulemaking. The new interim final rule appears in […]

RMA Drops Surcharge on Some Organic Crops

August 31, 2010

On Tuesday, August 31, USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced that it would eliminate the 5 percent surcharge imposed on organic producers for certain tree crops and would offer an organic price election for cotton, corn, soybeans and processing tomatoes. NSAC members and allies fought hard to remove unjustified barriers to participation in crop insurance programs […]

National Organic Program News

August 24, 2010

The August edition of the National Organic Program newsletter features stories on the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program and its new program manager, as well as news on the upcoming National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in October.  The NOP also released news this week on the use of methionine in organic poultry production. […]

Revised Senate Food Safety Bill Includes Important Amendments

August 13, 2010

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released a copy of the “manager’s amendment” to the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510) which is, in essence, the bill as reported out of the HELP Committee late last year as modified by a long and arduous set of negotiations that have taken place […]

Know Your Farmer Blog and Agency Guides

August 1, 2010

USDA programs can often seem enigmatic and confusing.  Many farmers, rural development and conservation groups in need of financial or technical assistance are often either unaware of what USDA programs exist, or lack access to the assistance they seek. The USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative seeks to remedy this disconnect by strengthening […]