Rural Development


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” […]

Congress Clears FY 2020 Appropriations Packages

December 20, 2019

This week, after months of delay, Congress passed a much-anticipated deal to fund the government through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2020. FY 2020 runs through September 30, 2020. The $1.4 trillion package of discretionary spending bills, which was divided up into two “minibuses”, was finally delivered this week after months of rigorous advocacy […]

COMMENT: FY 2020 “Minibus” Bolsters Farm Bill Wins for Sustainable Agriculture

December 17, 2019

The final appropriations package builds upon the sustainable agriculture community’s hard-fought farm bill wins and delivers much-needed support to family farmers across the country at a time when good news is increasingly hard to come by.

RELEASE: Agricultural Census Shows Continued Shrinking of Ag of the Middle

April 11, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Reana Kovalcik National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 202-547-5754, rkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net Agricultural Census Shows Continued Shrinking of Ag in the MiddleNational Sustainable Agriculture Coalition expresses concern about increasing consolidation in agriculture, urges increased investment in Census “bright spots” like growing organic and local food sectors Washington, DC, April 11, 2019 – A new census […]

Value-Added Agriculture: Creating New Opportunities in an Era of Uncertainty

September 27, 2018

Long before the Trump trade war was propelling the agriculture economy into new realms of uncertainty, many producers were already struggling with persistently low commodity prices. Under the yoke of a depressed agriculture economy, a growing cadre of family farmers have found success with value-added agriculture and tapping into growing markets for organic and local […]

What’s At Stake: Farm and Rural Business Development

September 17, 2018

Editor’s Note: The 2014 Farm Bill expires on September 30th. If the next farm bill is not finalized before that date, numerous “tiny but mighty” farm bill programs that support family farmers and food-producing communities will effectively shut down in terms of new funding and grant opportunities for fiscal year 2019. These workhorse programs, which […]

Farm Bill Negotiators Hold First Public Meeting

September 6, 2018

Growing a more just and sustainable food and farm system through the farm bill, a massive package of legislation that is passed roughly every five years, is among the main priorities of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Congressional negotiators just held their first official public meeting to discuss the nation’s next farm bill, which […]

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