Millions Available to Help Farmers Purchase Land and Other News

Financing Farming
Millions Still Available to Help Farmers Purchase Land With less than five months remaining in the current fiscal year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) still has nearly one billion dollars available for farm loans to help family farmers across the country buy land.  With the average for FSA real estate loan size being $182,000, this remaining funding could translate to nearly 5,000 more farmers who could use an FSA loan to purchase farmland... Funding Available to Build Food Safety Training Infrastructure On Monday, the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a request for applications (RFA) to establish Regional Centers for food safety training, education, outreach, and technical assistance.  This new program targets the entities most vulnerable to the new food safety requirements; namely, small and mid-sized farms, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, and small fruit and vegetable wholesalers... Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Farm and Food Programs NSAC has compiled a list of upcoming deadlines for federal food and farm grant applications and grant assistance workshops. If you farm or work with farmers, consult the list below and share it with those you know.  The next few months are critical to ensure timely and successful completion of applications... Organizations Defend Rural Development Funding in 2016 Appropriations On Thursday, May 14, the Campaign for a Renewed Rural Development (CRRD) delivered a letter urging the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees to support key rural development programs during the FY 2016 appropriations process... White House Pollinator Strategy Released On Tuesday, May 19, the White House Pollinator Health Task Force released the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.  The strategy report details the history of pollinator decline and lays out the goals for action by Federal departments and agencies in collaboration with public and private entities... Strategic Economic and Community Development Rule - Open for Comment! On Tuesday, May 19, the USDA published an interim rule on the Strategic Economic and Community Development program. This rule, which goes into effect on June 19, sets aside up to 10 percent of funds appropriated to a handful of Rural Development programs to focus some of the program funding on regional projects rather than a single community development plan... Programs in Action: Building Viable Speciality Industries with SARE The SARE program is a farmer driven research, education and extension grants program designed to help advance sustainable agriculture across the country.  With an increased national focus on finding ways to better support the next generation of farmers, we are highlighting two SARE success stories featuring female farmers whose research grants helped to launch new farm-based industries in their regions... New Research: Organic Systems Provide More Market and Ecosystem Value than Conventional Farms A newly-published study comparing organically-managed and conventional farmland in New Zealand found that organic fields consistently provide more value per acre in the production of beans, peas, barley and wheat.  The study calculated and compared the value of both “non-traded ecosystem services” and the market value of crops produced on matched pairs of ten organic and ten conventional farm fields...

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