How Well is Farm Credit Serving Young, Beginning, and Small Farmers? – One hundred years after Congress first created the Farm Credit System (FCS), a national network of financial institutions owned by farmers and their cooperatives and focused on providing credit to farmers, FCS remains an important source of capital for young, beginning, and small farmers across the country. However, FCS has not yet shown progress in increasing the share of their lending portfolio that provides financial support to YBS farmers; the percentage of these loans to small farms has been in long-term decline, while loans for young and beginning farmer have remained stagnant.
Value-Added Grant Proposals Due Soon! – Administered by the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development, the Value-Added Producer Grants program provides competitive grants to producers for working capital, feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing efforts to establish viable value-added businesses. Up to $75,000 is available for planning grants and up to $250,000 is available for implementation grants. The deadline for proposals is now right around the corner! Paper applications are due July 1, while electronic applications are dueJune 24.
Comprehensive Verification Toolkit is Needed Domestically, Too – This article originally appeared as an Op-Ed piece in Food Safety News (FSN) on June 11, 2016. The piece was written by NSAC Policy Staffer, Sophia Kruszewski in response to a June 6, 2016 piece by FSN Editor, Dan Flynn. The article, “Third-party auditor certification: Not the only tool in the toolkit,” makes the case that the Food and Drug Administration should not overly rely on third-party audits to oversee the safety of imported foods under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Release: Poultry Farmer Stands Up for Contract Growers, Delivers Petition on Capitol Hill – The largest single-owner producer in West Virginia, Hedrick has been a “contract grower” for Pilgrim’s Pride for 10 years. Hedrick joined with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA), and the Government Accountability Project (GAP) to deliver his petition, signed by 62,346 concerned advocates, urging Congress to allow the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to finalize rules protecting the rights of contract farmers like himself.
NSAC is Hiring – Know a talented grassroots organizer with a passion for sustainable agriculture? NSAC is currently seeking a Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator to join our DC team. Visit our jobs page to learn more about the position and how to apply.