The latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) featuring Sustainable Agriculture in Omnibus Spending Bill, Conservation Programs in the Next Farm Bill, Funding for Veterans and Farmers of Color, and Rural Energy Project Grants.
Sustainable Agriculture in Omnibus Spending Bill: Congress has passed a government spending package to fund federal programs through the end of September, which is when the current fiscal year expires. The bill has been praised by many food and farm organizations, including the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), for providing much-needed funding to programs that support family farmers and the good food pipeline – among the bill’s most notable achievements is the inclusion of a record level of funding for the unique farmer-driven research program that NSAC helped to develop 30 years ago this year, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE).
FARM BILL NEWS
In recognition of the enormous opportunity the next farm bill presents to further invest in and advance agricultural conservation programs, members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees have introduced two key pieces of legislation: the Give our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) (S. 2557), and the Strengthening Our Investment in Land Stewardship (SOIL Stewardship) Act (H.R. 5188).
Last week, USDA announced the availability of over $8 million in Section 2501 grants to help organizations conduct targeted outreach and provide technical assistance to veterans and farmers of color. The grants are available to support a range of outreach and assistance activities, including: farm management, financial management, marketing, and application and bidding procedures. All applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on May 15, 2018.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently soliciting applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), a farm bill energy title program. For farms or small businesses only seeking renewable energy or energy efficiency improvement grants or guaranteed loans, program applications are due by 4:30pm local time on April 30, 2018. For farms and small businesses seeking loans, there is a rolling deadline during which eligible applications will be reviewed and processed when received for periodic competitions.
Find more information about Farm Policy and Agricultural Politics from beginningfarmers.org at https://www.beginningfarmers.org/farm-policy-agricultural-politics/