Funding Available, Climate News, and More from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition… Week of June 26th, 2017.
Why American Farmers Should Lead the Way on Climate Change Mitigation This is a guest blog by Matt Russell, Resilient Agriculture Coordinator at Drake University Agricultural Law Center. Matt has worked on retail agriculture, land tenure, conservation, climate change, farmer veteran issuess, development, state food policy, and federal farm policy. Matt is a fifth generation Iowa farmer. He and his husband Patrick Standley operate Coyote Run Farm and market produce, eggs, and beef. He serves on the Iowa Farm Service Agency State Committee.
Funding Available to Support Training for Farmers of Color, Veteran Farmers – Farmers of color and returning military veterans have not historically participated to the same extent as other farmers in the programs administered by the US Department of Agriculture, often due to insufficient or inadequate outreach and assistance to these farming communities. This week, USDA announced the availability of over $8 million in Section 2501 grants to help organizations conduct targeted outreach and provide technical assistance to minority, veteran, and other underserved farmers.
Farmers: Make Sure You Are Counted, Participate in the 2017 Census of Agriculture! – Are you a young farmer, beginning farmer, or a farmer who has never participated in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Census of Agriculture before? USDA is gearing up NOW for their 2017 Census of Agriculture, which will be sent out at the end of this year. If you have never filled out a census, it is important that you sign up to ensure you are counted in the next agricultural census. To receive the census survey next year you must sign up before June 30, 2017.
Over $17 Million Awarded for Plant Breeding Research Projects – On May 25, 2017 NIFA announced that it would award a total of $17.7 million through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program in fiscal year (FY) 2016 for 54 projects focusing on plant research and seed breeding. Among the $17.7 million total, NIFA has awarded approximately $5.1 million for 18 new plant-breeding projects under the Plant Health and Production and Plant Products (PHPPP) “focus area.”
The Challenge of Food Safety Compliance Costs – In 2006, an E. coli outbreak linked to spinach grown and packed in California resulted in the infection of nearly 200 people across the country. This was one of the key catalysts for introducing the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA), a food safety program with specific requirements for producers of leafy greens. The 2006 outbreak also led to the creation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law in 2011. Recently, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) released a report examining the cost of participation in LGMA as a proxy for better assessing the potential compliance costs of PSR compliance.
Learn more about funding available, climate news, and more on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Webaite