Latest News from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: Farmer Fair Practice Rules, Conservation, Organic Research, CNR News, and More…
USDA Publishes Farmer Fair Practice Rules to Help American Contract Farmers – USDA has taken the historic step of issuing three rules that will begin to bring some fairness and order to the contract poultry and livestock industries. These three rules, when finalized, will prevent unfair and anti-competitive practices by meat processors, protect farmers from retaliation for working with other farmers to promote their interests, and bring some order the tournament system that is so harmful to rural American farmers. A diverse set of organizations – including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)– quickly spoke out in support of the rules following USDA’s announcement.
Unified Support for Conservation as Good Farming Practice Needed at USDA – Every farmer with crop insurance knows they need to comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Good Farming Practices (GFP) standard in order to maintain their coverage. Under guidelines established by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), farmers must undertake all the “generally recognized practices” that will give their crops the best chance to reach maturity and be harvested. Up until last week, however, RMA did not consider many best practices widely recognized and used by conservation-oriented farmers as necessarily good farming practices – including those promoted by NRCS. Finally, RMA has taken an important step toward correcting this problem.
$3.8 Million Available for Organic Agriculture Research – This fiscal year, USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will offer up to $3.8 million through a competitive grant program, the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – Organic Transitions (ORG), to support projects focused on research, education and extension related to organic transition. ORG is specifically geared towards college and university researchers and educators – the application deadline is 5 p.m. EST on March 9, 2017.
CNR is Dead! Long Live CNR! – At the end of September 2015, child nutrition, farm to school, and anti-hunger advocates – including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) – lamented Congress’ failure to reauthorize CNR, also known as the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. With over a year of blood, sweat, and tears now behind us, we find ourselves in the very same position. As the 114th Congress comes to an end and advocates prepare to fight the legislative battles of 2015 and 2016 all over again, we take a look back in order to gain a semblance of where we (and CNR) might be heading.
NSAC Seeks New Policy Specialist – The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is hiring a new Policy Specialist. While NSAC advocates on a wide-range of federal food and farm policy issue, the incoming Policy Specialist will focus on conservation and environmental policy, in addition to another issue area to be determined. Finally, this Policy Specialist will also be a representative on NSAC’s Diversity Committee, furthering our racial equity efforts. This position is full-time, salaried, and located at NSAC’s DC office on Capitol Hill. To see the full application details, click the link below!