Agricultural News: Congress, USDA, Local Food – August, 2011

Agricultural News from the National Sustainable Ag Coalition about Congress Debt Deal, Conservation Programs at USDA, Local Food, and more, for the 2nd week of August, 2011 CONGRESSIONAL NEWS House, Senate, President Agree to Draft Debt Ceiling Deal: On Sunday, July 31, congressional leaders and the President announced that they had reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling and cut the federal deficit.  The agreement comes amidst a week of tense negotiations and competing bills.  Just last week, the House passed its own package, 218-210, before the Senate voted that bill down 59-41.  See our previous entry on the competing debt ceiling bills for a detailed description of recent proposals.  Read more... USDA NEWS Conservation Stewardship Program Update – Part II: In last week’s blog Update on the Conservation Stewardship Program – Part I we highlighted data on each of the first two sign-up periods of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  In this post we continue in that vein and also provide some basic information on the program’s influence on how farmers, ranchers and forestland manage their land across the United States.  Read more... Conservation Stewardship Program Update – Part III: This blog post highlights participation of specialty crop producers and beginning, social disadvantaged, and limited resource farmers and ranchers in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and how their participation differs from the general farmer population.  It will also include information on CSP participation via special area-wide projects.  Read more... Celebrate National Farmers Market Week – August 7-13: On July 20, 2011, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proclaimed August 7th to the 13th, 2011 as National Farmers Market Week.  This marks the twelfth year that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proclaimed a National Farmers Market Week.  Read more... People’s Garden Grant Program: On Tuesday, July 26, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) of USDA announced the availability of grants of up to $150,000 through its People’s Garden Grant Program.  The program will fund projects to facilitate the creation of produce, recreational, and/or wildlife gardens in urban and rural areas, which will provide opportunities for food access and science-based informal education, particularly in urban and rural areas with persistent poverty or food insecurity.  Approximately $725,000 in total funding is available.  Read more... OTHER NEWS New Report On Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems: On August 4, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released the report “Market Forces: Creating Jobs through Public Investment in Local and Regional Food Systems” by UCS agricultural economist Jeffrey O’Hara, an analysis of the growth, economic benefits, and challenges to expansion of local and regional food systems.  O’Hara also makes policy recommendations to help local and regional food systems overcome such challenges and increase access to new markets for both producers and consumers.  Read more...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.