USDA NEWS From The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

USDA NEWS From The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition for the week ending July 1, 2011

Value-Added Producer Grant NOFA Released – 60 Day Turn Around for Applications: On Tuesday, June 28, USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service will announce that its Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG) will be open for applications until the deadline of August 29, 2011.  The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) appears in the June 28 edition of the Federal Register.  Read more... New RMAP and RCDI Awards: Congratulations to National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition member California FarmLink!   On Thursday, June 30, USDA announced the recipients of the latest round of awards for its Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP) and Rural Community Development Initiative Program (RCDI).  Read more... Socially Disadvantaged Producer Coop Grants: On Wednesday, June 29, the Rural Business-Cooperative Service of USDA announced that its  Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Program (formerly known as the Small, Minority Producer Grant Program) will be open for applications until the deadline of August 15, 2011.  Read more... Secretary Vilsack Includes Organic Agriculture Leaders on Biotech Advisory Committee: On June 24, 2011, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced 22 appointments to the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture.  The Committee, commonly referred to as AC21, has been dormant since 2009. The new members hail from 16 states, and a handful of appointees are important advocates for  organic agriculture.  Read more... New USDA Report on Crop Insurance and Sodbusting: On Thursday, June 30th, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released a report entitled, “Grassland to Cropland Conversion in the Northern Plains: The Role of Crop Insurance, Commodity, and Disaster Program,” which estimates the impact that federal crop insurance and disaster assistance have on grassland conservation in the region.  Read more... Rural Business Opportunity Grants Available: On Friday, July 1, USDA announced the availability of funding for its Rural Business Opportunity Grants program (RBOG).  Nonprofit corporations, public bodies, Indian Tribes, and cooperatives whose members are primarily rural residents may apply for up to $50,000 for a project in one state, or for up to $150,000 for a multi-state application.  Read more...

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