Sustainable Agriculture News – USDA Funding and More

Sustainable Agriculture Coalition News
USDA NEWS New USDA Funding to Build Local Food Systems and Food SecurityOn October 2, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced nearly $35 million in awards from three grant programs to support local and regional food systems, enhance the effectiveness of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program operations at farmers markets, and improve marketing opportunities for farms through state-based research and innovation... Additional Support Needed for Veteran and Minority FarmersThis week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded over $8 million in grants to provide outreach and technical assistance to minority, tribal, and veteran farmers and ranchers. These grants were funded through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the Section 2501 Program... Rural Businesses Get $20 Million Boost in USDA Funding: On Tuesday, September 28th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced close to $20 million in grants from the Rural Business Development Grant Program to support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. The program provides competitive grants to governmental entities, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations for planning, technical assistance... New Initiative to Fight Rural Child Poverty: As a follow-up to recent announcements by the White House on efforts to combat rural child poverty, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week announced the selection of ten communities for the Rural Integration Models for Parents and Children to Thrive Demonstration project... CONGRESSIONAL NEWS Congress Passes Funding Bill in Final Hours of Fiscal Year: On Wednesday, September 30, the final day of fiscal year 2015, Congress passed a two-and-a-half month funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, to extend existing funding levels and policy riders through December 11. At that time, Congress will once again face an expiration of government funding, and will need to pass new appropriations legislation for FY 2016 or a second extension of FY 2015 levels to avoid a government shutdown... EPA NEWS Clean Water Act — News from the Week: This week brought increased attention to the Clean Water Act, with a court decision on information collection and large animal feeding operations, which are regulated under the Act, as well as a Senate subcommittee hearing on the Act’s “waters of the U.S.” finalized rule, which went into effect at the end of August... OTHER NEWS Organic Production Survey: A Deeper Dive: This blog explores several areas of the 2014 Organic Production Survey that have not been extensively covered already. The areas include: demographics and income, crop insurance use, USDA conservation program participation, and the source of the overall loss of organic acreage...

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