Rural Coop Development Grants Available On Friday, June 25, USDA announced the availability of almost $8 million in competitive grant funds through the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program (RCDG). The RCDG program is designed to improve the economic conditions in rural areas by funding the establishment or operation of Coop Development Centers that can help start up, expand or improve rural coops and mutually-owned businesses. 6/25/10 June ERS Reports: Opportunities & Constraints to Local and Alternative Production Systems This June the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) published reports identifying the opportunities and constraints facing both local food supply chains and grass-fed livestock production systems. 6/23/10 Farmers Fly to Washington D.C. to Have Their Voices Heard On June, 23rd, NSAC hosted the Budget and Appropriations "Fly-In" at a critical juncture as the USDA prepares it's budget proposals for the Fiscal Year 2012 and Congress starts work to finalize 2011 agricultural appropriations. Farmers flew in from GA, PA, CT, WI, IA, KS, and CA to have their voices heard on the Hill. 6/22/10 U.S. Supreme Court Ruling in GE Alfalfa Case On Monday, June 20, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Monsanto Co. v. Geertson Seed Farm. The ruling involved a challenge by the USDA and Monsanto to a federal court decision to impose a permanent and nationwide injunction on the commercial planting of "Roundup Ready" alfalfa, genetically engineered to resist the herbicide glyphosate (RR alfalfa), pending completion of a full environmental impact statement (EIS). 6/22/10 Food Safety Talks: An Interview with NSAC's Ferd Hoefner As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on new food safety regulations, the National Good Food Network (NGFN) has posted a series of interviews with leading participants in the process. Patty Cantrell interviewed four policy insiders about the pending legislation and related issues. Click the link above to view an interview with Ferd Hoefner, policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.