Ntnl. Sustainable Ag. Coalition Weekly Policy Update

From NSAC:

Job Announcements: NSAC seeks a Policy Associate to advocate before Congress and federal agencies.  Vist the job description on our website. NSAC is seeking a Grassroots Organizer to work on our 2012 Farm Bill campaign.  Visit the job announcement on our website.

9/10/10 Congress Back for Three Weeks – Time (Barely) for Action: Summer recess has come to a close and Congress returns to Washington next week, with three weeks and less than 12 actual legislative days before the start of the new federal fiscal year on October 1. With a packed agenda – including a small business tax bill, extensions of some or all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, numerous confirmations of high level administration appointees, and all of the appropriation bills – and the need for a quick exit in October to get back on the campaign trail before the elections in November, it remains to be seen whether any of the food and agricultural bills that are pending will get final action.

9/10/10 Reverse Corporate Control Over the Livestock Industry: A very small number of mega meatpackers and poultry processors have come to dominate the poultry and livestock industry.  For years, USDA has looked the other way as packers and integrators ignored the law and engaged in price manipulation and unfair trade practices making it impossible for farmers, ranchers and poultry growers to get a fair shake in the market.

In June, however, there was a sea change.  The Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) issued new rules that define and prohibit some of the worst corporate practices in the livestock industry.


9/8/10 NSAC Comments on America’s Great Outdoors: At its annual meeting in August, the member organizations of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition developed and adopted a statement on President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative.  The NSAC statement calls attention to the critical role played by USDA working agricultural lands conservation programs in advancing the Initiative’s goals.  The document has been submitted as public comment to the Initiative and to USDA conservation and environment senior leadership.

9/8/10 USDA Invites States to Apply for Organic Certification Cost-Share Programs: On Wednesday, September 8, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a Federal Register notice inviting states to apply for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program (NOCCSP). As part of the 2008 Farm Bill, NSAC succeeded in securing $22.0 million for the NOCCSP, and these funds will be allocated annually as needed until the next farm bill in 2012.  States that succeed in securing funding will in turn provide cost-share assistance to producers and handlers in their state with organic certification.

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