The latest Sustainable Agriculture News from NSAC featuring: 2018 Farm Bill, Food Safety Training's, Options for Organic Certification Cost Share, Sustainable Agriculture Research Opportunities, and much more...
A Big Week Ahead for Agriculture: Decisions Will Shape the Landscape of the 2018 Farm Bill - The annual process for funding federal programs — often referred to as the appropriations cycle — should be a fairly cut and dry process of allocating money (or not) to previously authorized programs; however, in recent years this process has been used as a backdoor method to legislate. Rumors have abounded over the past few weeks about a number of major policy decisions that may be snuck into the FY 2017 appropriations package. This post digs into some of these rumors and what they might mean for the Farm Bill and our agricultural system.
Stories from the Field: Training Farmers for a Safer Food Future - In an effort to bring attention to some of NSAC's top appropriations priorities, we are putting together a series of blogs to highlights on the ground stories of farmers using key programs that need continued funding and support. This is the second post in the series and features experiences in New York, Vermont, and California with the Food Safety Outreach Program.
USDA NEWS Including Options for Organic Certification Cost Share
Expanded Options for Organic Certification Cost Share in 2017 - This week, FSA provided new details on organic certification cost share funding for 2017. This included both the opening of applications for farmers and handlers to apply to the program, as well as updated information on which state departments of agriculture applied to continue operating OCCSP. This year, the structure of the program will look somewhat differently because the program has shifted from AMS to FSA, meaning that organic cost-share will be offered at FSA county offices as well as interested state departments of agriculture.
New Opportunities for Sustainable Agriculture Research - Last week, NIFA released a Request for Applications for over $150 million to support research, extension and education projects related to agricultural and food systems research through AFRI. Funding for this year’s AFRI Foundational Program RFA includes an additional $50 million more than last year’s funding levels, which will allow NIFA to fund a higher percentage of eligible research projects submitted, as well as a more diverse range of research topics. This blog dives into several key focus areas for potential grant recipients outlined in the RFA.
EARTH DAY NEWS
Celebrating Agro-Environmental Stewardship on Earth Day - At NSAC, advancing food systems and practices that benefit both farmers and the environment are a driving force behind much of our work. In recent years, as extreme weather patterns have caused significant environmental damage and resulted in millions in lost farm income, it has become more important than ever to develop on-farm climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies. So as you celebrate Earth Day this week, weekend, and every day, we hope that you will also remember to celebrate farmers and ranchers who work hard every day to increase their operations' sustainability while providing us with food.
Farmer Input Needed for 2017 National Cover Crop Survey - Calling all farmers – SARE needs your input for their fifth-annual National Cover Crop Survey! The survey takes just under 15 minutes but acts as a vital source of information on cover crops and their benefits, helping to inform policy and future research needs. We encourage farmers interested in participating to act soon – the survey will close in mid-May.