Weekly National Sustainable Ag News Roundup (4/22/11)

April 22 news round-up from NSAC:

To access the full articles and leave comments, visit NSAC’s  “Something to Crow About” Blog or click on the title and you’ll be taken to the specific post page. Also check out their ACTION PAGE for breaking legislative news and opportunities to advocate for sustainable policies at the federal level.

SPECIAL REPORT 

CONGRESSIONAL NEWS 

USDA NEWS

  • USDA Sets Deadline for Biomass Crop Assistance Program Project Proposals – “…Farmers participating in approved projects are eligible for payments to establish bioenergy crops as well as an annual payment.”
  • NSAC Submits Comment on Development of Guidelines to Measure GHGs and Carbon Sequestration – “…NSAC responded to a request for comments by USDA on its intent to develop technical guidelines and methods to quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon sequestration for agricultural and forestry activities.”
  • Final Rule for Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Announced – “…USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a final rule to broaden the market for smaller, state-inspected meat and poultry plants…”
  • Final Rule on Geographic Preference in Child Nutrition Programs Released – “…the Food and Nutrition Service released the final rule on geographic preference in Child Nutrition Programs, demonstrating substantial progress for local and regional food systems.  As the final rule explains, ‘geographic preference is a tool that gives bidders in a specified geographic area a specific, defined advantage in the procurement process.’ This rulemaking follows from an amendment in the 2008 Farm Bill directing the Secretary of Agriculture to encourage local sourcing by institutions in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and Department of Defense (DOD) Fresh program, among others.”
  • National Farmers Market Directory Open for Updates – “…the official count of farmers markets in the nation.  2011 will be the first year that the directory will track markets with multiple locations and days of operation. According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the directory is not merely a listing of the nation’s more than 6,100 farmers markets: it is also a resource for anyone interested in local food, small producers, and policy surrounding regional food systems…”
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