The latest USDA News, Stories from the field, and Congressional News from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)USDA NEWS $100 Million Available for Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grants - More than $100 million in grant funding is now available to support farm and food research, education, and extension projects that address key challenges, including those facing sustainable and organic farming systems and rural communities. This support is made available through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – USDA’s largest federal competitive research grants program administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). USDA Report Shows Organic Crop Insurance Losses Roughly Track Conventional - Each year, RMA compiles reports (“Summary of Business” reports) on crop insurance program usage, including organic crop insurance. The organic report breaks down, by state and crop, the “experience” of crop insurance on organic land. RMA’s Summary of Business for Organic Production report compares the experience for organic crops with that of conventional crops. Upcoming Deadlines for Federal Food and Farm Programs - In order to lessen the stress of application time, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has compiled a list of upcoming deadlines for federal food and farm grant applications and grant assistance workshops. If you farm or work with farmers, consult this list and share with those you know. STORIES FROM THE FIELD SARE Stories From the Field: The Buzz on Pollinator Conservation - In order help protect native pollinator populations, The Xerces Society utilized funding from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program’s Professional Development Grants. SARE is a farmer-driven research, education and extension grant program that provides training and support for farmers and agriculture professionals throughout the country. CONGRESSIONAL NEWS A Breakdown of the Senate’s Annual Food and Farm Spending Bill - Each year, Congress debates and makes key decisions about federal funding priorities for all government agencies, programs, and initiatives – including programs and resources that support our nation’s farmers and ranchers. This week marks an important step in that process (known as appropriations), as the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the coming fiscal year, which begins on October 1. House Passes Controversial Child Nutrition Reauthorization Amidst Growing Opposition - Eight months after the last iteration of the Child Nutrition Act expired, the House Education and Workforce Committee this week advanced a controversial Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization (CNR) out of committee. CNR is a critical piece of legislation that reauthorizes all the federal childhood nutrition programs including: school meals; WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children); and the Farm to School Grant Program, which helps to connect schools and their students to food from local farmers and producers.