USDA Trades Away Rural Development and more news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition…
USDA Trades Away Rural Development In its first reorganization in over two decades, USDA stands to lose one of its core Mission Areas – Rural Development – according to a plan released yesterday by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. The Department’s restructuring is the result of a congressional directive included in the 2014 Farm Bill, which instructed USDA to create a new Undersecretary of Trade. In addition to creating this new undersecretary position, USDA has also elected to demote Rural Development to the status of “office,” and shift the NRCS, FSA, and RMA from two unique Mission Areas (each with their own undersecretary) to a single “Farm Production and Conservation” Mission Area.
Rural Development Reorganization Factsheet – http://sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Fact-Sheets-on-USDA-RD-and-Reorganization-2017.pdf
FDA Helps Businesses Assess FSMA Coverage Based on Sales For farms and small businesses trying to determine whether and to what extent they may be impacted by FDA’s new food safety rules, FDA has recently published a website where producers can get some assistance. However, certain produce farms and food processors can be exempt from these rules given how much sell and to whom they sell it. To determine exemption, there are sales thresholds for each category based on an average of the past three years’ worth of sales. These thresholds are supposed to be adjusted for inflation, however until now, we have not had clear information from FDA about how they would implement the “adjusted for inflation” language.