USDA News from The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Aug 2013

USDA News from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, 1st week of August, 2013

New Appointments at USDA: Last week, the Senate confirmed Krysta Harden as the new Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Robert Bonnie as the new USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment.  Harden previously served as Chief of Staff to Secretary Tom Vilsack and previously held posts with the National Association of Conservation Districts, the American Soybean Association, and the House Agriculture Committee, among others.  Earlier, NSAC organized a letter of support for her nomination.  Read more… Rural Business Enterprise Grants Awarded to Farmers’ Markets, Food Hubs, Microlending: Late last weel, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced funding through the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program to support small and emerging rural businesses in the context of a broader effort to strengthen the rural economy.  The awards totaled over $6.5 million dollars for 134 projects in thirty states and Puerto Rico.  Earlier this summer, USDA awarded $4.7 million in RBEG grants to 54 recipients.  Like the earlier round of awards, the new awards also include funding for local food enterprise projects.  Read more…

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