Weekly National Sustainable Ag News Roundup (5/13/11)

May 13 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.

NSAC 2010 ANNUAL REPORT (Download the PDF here.)

CONGRESSIONAL NEWS

  • House Agriculture Appropriations Bill Funding Allocation and Markup Date –  “…House Republican appropriations leaders [have] outlined their plans for FY 2012 government funding bills, with a goal to scale back funding by a net of $30 billion relative to FY 2011 …DOD appropriation would shoot up $17 billion, thus making the cutbacks for everything else funded by the appropriations bills total $47 billion. Agriculture has been asked to come up with a $2.7 billion or 13.4 percent cut, on top of the $3 billion or 14 percent cut included in the final FY 2011 bill…”

USDA NEWS 

  • NSAC Joins 160 Organizations to Urge Release of Report on Antitrust – Regulatory Enforcement Workshops – “…a letter urging USDA and the DOJ to complete and release a report on the findings from five workshops held in 2010 on antitrust issues and regulatory enforcement in farm and food sectors.  Hundreds of farmers and ranchers attended the workshops held across the country.  Many farmers and ranchers testified about their experiences with discriminatory, deceptive, and coercive practices by meatpackers and poultry processors. Numerous academic experts described the adverse impacts of these practices on the ability of farmers and ranchers to stay in business….
  • Deadline to Apply for FY 2011 Organic Inititative Support Next Week – “The deadline to apply for the EQIP Organic Initiative Program is coming up fast. USDA has allocated $50 million for the Organic Initiative Program in 2011, which is available for all three of the following: certified organic growers, those transitioning to organic farming systems, and farmers exempt from formal certification….financial and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers to implement new conservation practices, like cover cropping, pest management, crop rotation, stream buffers, hedgerow planting…
  • Funds Available for Healthy Food Financing Initiative – USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) released the Food Desert Locator this week.  This new tool provides population characteristics of areas considered food deserts…
  • SARE Grant Proposal Deadlines – “…for pre-proposals and proposals to USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program lie ahead…SARE, part of the National Institute for Food and Agriculture, is a national competitive grants and education program…operated regionally…each branch guided by a volunteer Administrative Council that makes grants and sets regional priorities…”
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