Sustainable Agriculture Policy Update 8/1-8/6, 2010

From the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

TAKE ACTION Take Advantage of the Summer Congressional Recess Take advantage of the summer congressional recess to tell your senators and representatives to support USDA's proposed rules for fair play in livestock and poultry marekts!  This summer the House and Senate are in recess from August 9th through September 10th.  This is your opportunity to tell your Senators and Representatives that you support USDA's proposed rules to strengthen and clarify the protections for farmers and ranchers under the Packers & Stockyards Act.    THIS WEEK IN CONGRESS Senate Passes Child Nutrition Bill On Thursday, August 5, the  Senate passed a child nutrition program re-authorization bill by unanimous consent.  The bill includes $40 million in mandatory funding for the Farm to School competitive grants program, a measure that NSAC has helped champion. Grassley-Feingold Re-Introduce Commodity Cap Bill On Wednesday, August 4, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) introduced legislation to reduce farm program payment limits and close the loopholes that are being used by mega farms to game the system and soak the taxpayer. USDA NEWS USDA Grants for Renewable Energy Systems Feasibility Studies On Friday, August 6, USDA announced that $3 million in FY2010 funding is available for grants to conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy systems for agriculture producers and rural small businesses.  The grants are part of the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  Grant applications must be submitted to your state Rural Development office by 4:30 pm on October 5, 2010. Know Your Farmer Blog and Agency Guides On Friday, July 30, Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food published a blog, "USDA Programs at Glance," with links to memorandum outlining programs that can be used to foster local and regional food systems in four areas of USDA: Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, Research, Education & Economics, and Agriculture Marketing Service.

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