Rural Development


The Time is Ripe for Competition and Antitrust Reform in Agriculture

February 12, 2021

This is the first of several blogs which will explore the impacts of consolidation and concentration in the agriculture industry on farmers and the broader food system, as well as a path forward. The blog series is authored by NSAC Policy Fellow Billy Hackett with meaningful contributions by farmers and experts. While the first days […]

Government Funding Bill – Sustainable Agriculture Wins

January 15, 2021

With the country facing an imminent government shutdown, the President finally signed the $2.3 trillion Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 on December 28th. This bill includes both badly needed emergency COVID-19 relief aid as well as regular fiscal year (FY) 2021 appropriations. For more information on the COVID-19 relief aspects of the bill check […]

Over $61 Million Invested in Value-Added Agriculture Entrepreneurs

December 21, 2020

Editor’s note: as we were preparing this blog for publication, the USDA announced the next round of funding through the program, with a 90 day application window. NSAC will be updating and publishing our farmers guide to applying for the program first thing in the new year. “Value-added” foods and goods are made from raw […]

$50 Million Now Available for Rural Renewable Energy Projects

November 25, 2020

As climate variability increases and energy costs continue to rise, producing on-farm, renewable energy has become an attractive option for many farmers and ranchers. In order to help producers save money and better utilize renewable energy, the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides grants and loans to farmers and rural businesses interested in making […]

Inaugural Regional Food Systems Partnership Program Awards Announced

November 18, 2020

In October, the U.S. The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the inaugural round of grant awards for the Regional Food Systems Partnership (RFSP) program, providing $9.3 million in competitive grant funding for 23 projects.  RFSP supports the formation of public-private partnerships working at the foodshed-level to transform local and regional food […]

Bare Minimum, Last Minute

October 8, 2020

Last Wednesday night with only a few hours to spare, Congress did what many observers and advocates for months had been citing as inevitable. They sent an appropriations Continuing Resolution (CR) to the President’s desk that puts off final decisions about Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending until after the November general election. The CR ensures […]

USDA Announces New COVID Rapid Response Research Program

April 23, 2020

The nation’s food system and agriculture supply chains have been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant impacts are being felt across the entire food and agriculture sector including the reduction in operation of restaurants, farmers markets, processing and packaging facilities, to name a few. Farmers and ranchers have voiced the strong need for intervention to […]

Inaugural Regional Food Systems Partnership Program Funding Opportunity Announced

March 31, 2020

Local and regional food economy entrepreneurs and organizations received some long-awaited news earlier in March – the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) finally released the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Regional Food Systems Partnership (RFSP) Program. RFSP is a new program that supports foodshed-level approaches to developing regional food economies. […]

COVID-19 Economic Impact on Local Food Markets

March 23, 2020

The following economic impact assessment was compiled on March 18, 2020 for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition by Dawn Thilmany, Becca Jablonski, Debra Tropp, Blake Angelo, and Sarah Low. More information about the authors can be found at the end of the document. Last updated March 21, 2020. Bottom Line Across key local and regional […]

$37 Million Available for Value-Added and Local Food Projects

January 14, 2020

In case you missed the NSAC/USDA webinar for prospective VAPG applicants on January 23, 2020, find the recording here. “Value-added” foods and goods are made from raw agricultural products (e.g., vegetables, grains, or dairy) that are minimally processed and then transformed into products like cheese, sauces, and breads. Specially labeled or marketed goods (e.g. “organic” […]

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