The Latest News from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Featuring The Election, Conservation, and More...ELECTION NEWS Post Election: What's Next for Food and Agriculture - As we prepare for our first Administration change in eight years, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) wants to ensure that a diverse coalition of family farmers and ranchers, conservationists, and local and regional food enthusiasts have a place at the table. In this time of change, it is more important than ever that we in the sustainable agriculture community make our priorities clear, and that we take the opportunity to continue to shape the direction of agricultural policy for the next four years and foreseeable future. USDA NEWS CSP Sign-Up Opens, Program "Reinvention" Details Remain Elusive - The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is built on the belief that we must enhance natural resource and environmental protection as we simultaneously produce profitable food, fiber, and energy. Last Friday, USDA announced the opening of the 2017 CSP sign-up period, which marks the first time that major programmatic changes will be in place after two years of intensive planning by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NSAC has been following the CSP “reinvention” process closely, having played a central role in the development of the program in the late 1990s. New Grassland Conservation Opportunity for Small Dairy Operations - One of the most widely utilized USDA programs for grasslands conservation is the Conservation Reserve Program’s (CRP) Grasslands Initiative, which was created in the 2014 Farm Bill and helps farmers and ranchers conserve grazing land. On Friday, November 4, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers CRP, announced that up to 200,000 acres would be reserved for the enrollment of small, grass-based dairy operations that have 100 or fewer head of dairy cows. USDA to Invest $25 Million in Conservation Innovation Grants - On Friday, November 3, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is seeking new proposals through the CIG program. The CIG program is designed to leverage multi-stakeholder partnerships to address a variety of natural resource concerns on agricultural land through the development of innovative conservation approaches. These on-the-ground projects spark the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and help transfer these new technologies to farmers and ranchers.