[Ok-sus] NSAC Weekly Roundup

Greg Fogel, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition info at sustainableagriculture.net
Fri Mar 31 18:30:01 UTC 2017

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition: Our Weekly News Roundup 

ABOUT  [ https://sustainableagriculture.net/about-us/ ] TAKE ACTION [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/take-action/ ] Logo  [ https://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5735/p/salsa/donation/common/public/?donate_page_KEY=2860 ] 

 USDA NEWS  One Month Left to Renew Expiring Conservation Stewardship Contracts! [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/csp-renewals-expiring-2018/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ] Farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/publications/grassrootsguide/conservation-environment/conservation-stewardship-program/ ] acres have until May 5 to renew their contracts [ https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/newsroom/releases/?cid=NRCSEPRD1322782 ] for an additional five years. CSP's conservation practices have proven to help farmers increase crop yield and farm resilience while also enhancing on farm soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat. Reaping the full benefits of some conservation activities can take time, however. By extending CSP contracts for an additional five years, producers will have the opportunity to continue to build upon and improve their stewardship activities. Logo  [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/csp-renewals-expiring-2018/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ] $34 Million Available for Projects that Enhance Sustainable Usage of Water Farms [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/34m-for-water-projects/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ]  Last week, AFRI announced $34 million in available funding [ https://nifa.usda.gov/announcement/usda-announces-34-million-support-research-sustainable-water-use ] through their Water for Food Production Systems (WFPS) Challenge Area [ https://nifa.usda.gov/sites/default/files/rfa/FY2017_AFRI_Water_for%20Food%20Production%20Systems.pdf ]. WFPS is specifically targeted at college and university-led projects that develop systems-based strategies and technologies to manage water usage and increase agricultural production without compromising water availability and quality. AFRI expects to be able to fund seven projects in FY 2017. Applicants must turn in a Letter of Intent by May 17, 2017 and full applications by August 2, 2017. To see the full RFA, click here [ https://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-water-food-production-systems-challenge ].Logo  [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/34m-for-water-projects/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ] If Trump Stands with Rural America, He Will Expedite the Farmer Fair Practices Rules [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/expedite-farmer-fair-practices-rules/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ]  While the Packers and Stockyards Act was a much-needed regulation of corporate meatpackers, the lack of enforcement authority given to the agency charged with implementing the act (GIPSA) made the law largely toothless. USDA has tried many times over the last several years to overhaul the rules, but has always been thwarted by congressional appropriators' use of backdoor "policy riders [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/whats-all-the-flapping-about/ ]." 2016 was the first year that no policy rider was attached to stop the GIPSA Rules, or the "Farmer Fair Practices Rules [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/farmer-fair-practice-rules/ ]". NSAC urges the Trump Administration and USDA to stand with family farmers by allowing the competitive injury interim final rule to go into effect.Logo  [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/expedite-farmer-fair-practices-rules/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ] 
 FARM BILL NEWS  Congress Evaluates Health of Farm Credit System [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/farmbill-hearings-farm-credit/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ]  This week, the House Agriculture Committee held its 14th hearing in a marathon of hearings this month leading up to the Committee's initial work on the 2018 Farm Bill. The scope of the hearing [ http://agriculture.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=3780 ] was to review the health of the Farm Credit System, especially in light of the recent economic downturn in the farm economy. Testifying at this week's hearing were representatives from several Farm Credit institutions, along with the Farm Credit Administration – the regulatory body overseeing the national network of regional Farm Credit Institutions.Logo  [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/farmbill-hearings-farm-credit/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ] Path to the 2018 Farm Bill: Programs with Expiring Funding [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/path-to-the-2018-farmbill-stranded-programs/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ]  As a lead up to the 2018 Farm Bill, NSAC is previewing some of the major programs and policies that advocates need to know in order to effectively engage. The fourth post in our series, "Path to the 2018 Farm Bill [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/path-to-the-2018farmbill-nutrition/ ]," focuses on programs that support value-added and organic agriculture, local and regional food systems, and beginning and underserved farmers and ranchers. Specifically, many of these important programs could be left stranded without a reauthorization of funds in the 2018 Farm Bill.Logo  [ http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/path-to-the-2018-farmbill-stranded-programs/?utm_source=roundup&utm_medium=email ] 


 Member Spotlight:  Logo  Partners for Rural America 

Partners for Rural America (PRA) exists to support the efforts of its member State Rural Development Councils (SRDC's). 

These partners seek to: expand economic and social opportunities for America's rural communities and their residents; promote equal treatment of rural America by government agencies and the private sector; and provide a collective voice for rural America. VISIT THEM HERE   > [ http://www.partnersforruralamerica.org/ ]  

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