USDA Farm Funding News for November 2011

USDA Farm Funding News for November 2011 includes the following (from NSAC): Vilsack Announces Funding for Rural Micro-Enterprise Programs:On November 9th, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of 35 rural micro-development organizations in 22 states to receive loans and grants to support rural business development, create jobs, and strengthen local communities.  The funding is being administered through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP).  Read more... USDA Announces Rural Energy for America Program Grants and Loans: On Wednesday, November 10, USDA announced a round of 2011 Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) loans and grants to farms, ranches and small rural businesses.  Read more... Request for Applications for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers Grant Program: On November 3, USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) submitted a Request for Applications (RFA) for its Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant Program (OASDFR).  The notice says a total of approximately $10 million for FY 2012 is available.  Read more... USDA Request for Comment on Agricultural Career and Employment Grants Program: On Tuesday, November 8, USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) released a request for comments on an interim rule regarding the Agricultural Career and Employment (ACE) Grants Program.  The ACE grants program is intended to improve the supply of skilled agricultural workers and bring greater stability to the workforce in this sector.  The purpose of this rule is to establish regulations governing the grants program, including eligibility, application, evaluation, award and post-award administration of grants.  Read more... Funding Available to Support Research on Specialty Crops: USDA recently released the Request for Applications (RFA) for the fiscal year 2012 round of funding for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI). This competitive grants program is entering its fifth and final year of funding under the current farm bill cycle. The program is administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  Read more... Final FY11 Signup Data for NRCS Easement Programs: USDA signed 1,139 contracts to enroll 200,186 acres in the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in FY 2011.  This represents a 27 percent decrease from last year’s 272,762 acres, a result of the $119 million cut made to WRP during the FY11 appropriations process.  USDA signed contracts for 414 thirty-year easements totaling more than 59,000 acres, as well as 708 permanent easements totaling nearly 140,000 acres.  In addition to the easements, USDA signed 16 restoration cost-share agreements for 963 acres.  Read more...

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