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gipsa decision favors big ag, harms family farmers

The USDA recently made their final decision on GIPSA - to pull the pending Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rules designed to level the playing field for poultry and livestock producers. These rules have been languishing since the 2008 farm bill, and today’s action firmly places this administration on the side of large […]

Posted: October 31 2017
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pick for chief scientist of the usda...is not a scientist

Sam Clovis, Trumps nominee for chief scientist of the USDA, is not a scientist, he does however, question the scientific consensus that climate change is a result of human activity. "I have looked at the science," Clovis said, "and I have enough of a science background to know when I'm being boofed. And a lot […]

Posted: September 10 2017
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sounds like institutional racism within the usda

http://foodfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/foto.jpg March 17, 2016 Eddie and Dorothy Wise continue to live at the Deluxe Inn in the Rocky Mount area.  As I write this today, they are on the property packing and removing all of their personal belongings.  The Federal Marshals are giving them only one day to remove everything.  One has to wonder how […]

Posted: April 23 2016
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usda december pasture raised pork report

Pastured pork people out there: These numbers might give you some standing the next time you ask your County Ag agent about fence funding for pasturing pigs.  

Posted: December 31 2015
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mark baker's update to his recent farm raid

This could be any small diversified farmer. Greenhorns far and wide, stay updated on this situation. Share it broadly. Make a fuss. Start a conversation. SPREAD THIS FAR AND WIDE. SOCIAL MEDIA NEEDS TO COME TO HIS RESCUE.

Posted: December 21 2015
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USDA scientists suspended in connection to his research on monarchs

Sit back, friends. I've got a story for you. (Spoiler alert, it involves pesticides, pollinators, USDA protection of Big Ag interests, and the failure of the US government to protect whistleblowers.) “Politics inside USDA have made entomology a high risk specialty.” In early 2015, USDA scientist, Dr. Jonathon Lundgren submitted his research on pesticides and pollinators […]

Posted: November 29 2015
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thank you uncle sam!

USDA Awards Millions to Support New Farmers The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on October 8th, 2015 awards totaling $17 million through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). BFRDP is the only USDA program exclusively dedicated to training new farmers and ranchers, particularly in sustainable production practices. This year, 34 organizations received BFRDP […]

Posted: October 29 2015
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usda develops label to verify "gmo free"

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Agriculture Department has developed a new government certification and labeling for foods that are free of genetically modified ingredients. USDA's move comes as some consumer groups push for mandatory labeling of the genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The certification is the first of its kind, would be voluntary — and companies […]

Posted: May 28 2015
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fsa grant available to help socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

Grant applications are being accepted from eligible applicants to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers to own and operate farms and ranches. The grant will assist community-based organizations, higher education institutions and tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers. Applications must be submitted by […]

Posted: August 2 2014
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artistic advocacy for prison reform

What do milk and jails have to do with each other? Check out this short video to find out!

Posted: August 1 2014
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USDA rolls out a new site for young farmers

The site features sections such as Getting Started, Risk Management, Access to Land & Capital and Expanding business.  Check it out.  

Posted: June 25 2014
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a helpful pdf publication by the usda: food value chains

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF This document is designed to provide guidance on how food value chains are initiated and structured, how they function, and the benefits they provide to participants.  It addresses which characteristics are desirable—and not—when seeking appropriate value-chain partners, and provides examples of how participation in a food value chain can […]

Posted: June 19 2014
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hurry and nominate a "champion of change" to go to the white house

The White House will be hosting a Champions of Change event to celebrate local agriculture leaders who are taking innovative approaches to support American farming and ranching—both now and in the future.  These leaders will be invited to the White House to celebrate their accomplishments and showcase their actions to support the future of agriculture. […]

Posted: April 18 2014
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SARE library

SARE's Library of Publications is Now Available on USB Drives. Whether you are in the field, on a flight or simply without an internet connection, SARE's library of publications is just one click away. Now available on convenient USB drives, all of SARE's publications, program materials, videos and selected regional materials can be easily accessed […]

Posted: April 1 2014
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young farmers: join the nop and hold the usda's feet to the fire!

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program (NOP) is the team that develops and enforces national standards for organically-produced agricultural products. They support consumer confidence that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards. In 2014, the NOP will be recruiting for multiple positions, including: Policy Analysts, Accreditation Managers, and Materials Specialists; […]

Posted: March 27 2014
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usda press release: organic markets are growing, 2014 farm bill funding helps access these markets

In today's press release, the USDA has announced new figures that show the organic industry continues to grow domestically and internationally. Certified organic farms and businesses in the United States have witnessed a 245% increase since 2002 while consumer demand continues to increase exponentially. To help producers further access these markets, the 2014 farm bill […]

Posted: March 20 2014
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new data!

The 2012 Agriculture Census is out.  Download the PDF: 2012 Census. It's jam-packed with interesting statistics, so dig in!    DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGES FOR THE PRINCIPAL OPERATOR SINCE 2007 • Fewer female operators • More minority operators • Average age of farm operators continues to increase • Fewer beginning operators • Fewer small farms • More reported farming […]

Posted: February 26 2014
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discrimination at the USDA continues

WEDNESDAY, MAY 01, 2013 Discrimination at USDA: Response to New York Times Susan A. Schneider Professor of Law and Director, LL.M. in Agricultural & Food Law University of Arkansas School of Law The New York Times published an article last week titled, U.S. Opens Spigot After Farmers Claim Discrimination. I read the article with interest, […]

Posted: May 6 2013
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remembering the 'people's department'

Via the Organic Seed Alliance: There shall be at the seat of government a Department of Agriculture, the general design and duties of which shall be to acquire and to diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture, rural development, aquaculture, and human nutrition, in the most general […]

Posted: October 2 2012
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2.0 for usda's local food project

On July 17, USDA is proudly unveiling the 2.0 version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, a digital guide to local food systems and USDA programs that support them.  You are invited to participate in an exciting launch event on Tuesday, July 17 at 3 pm ET.  The USDA and the White House will […]

Posted: July 16 2012
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usda at 150

USDA at 150: Farms, food, jobs By Val Dolcini One hundred and fifty years ago, in the midst of a great Civil War, President Lincoln signed legislation to establish a Department of Agriculture to “acquire and to diffuse among the people of the United States useful information on subjects connected with agriculture … and to […]

Posted: May 28 2012
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young farmers ready for new usda microloans

The National Young Farmer’s Coalition (NYFC) applauds the USDA’s announcement today that the agency will offer microloans to farmers. This new loan program will enable Farm Service Agency officers to make loans up to $35,000 with half the paperwork of existing programs and with more flexible requirements. The microlending program is designed to help beginning […]

Posted: May 23 2012
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USDA report on farm income

this article was originally posted on the blog of the National Young Farmers Coalition. USDA Report Shows Local Farms Earned $4.8 Billion in 2008 A new report by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, “Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States,” has some important implications for those interested in farming or marketing […]

Posted: December 7 2011
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tell congress to finish the GIPSA rule

via the Center for Rural Affairs: Despite lots of action from folks like you who want farmers to have a fair shot to make a living from raising livestock, Congress this week blocked almost all of the livestock fairness rule, or “GIPSA rule,” from moving forward. This is not what democracy looks like. But we’re […]

Posted: November 21 2011
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good to keep these struggles in mind

Love v. Vilsack could be settled by legislation Back in 2000 Rosemary Love of Harlem, Montana brought a discrimination lawsuit with other women farmers alleging they were denied loans by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) because they are women. The suit is known as Love v. Vilsack, and if this suit sounds familiar it is because African […]

Posted: December 22 2009
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can i still fill out the online census?

Severine emails with the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), about her missing census mail survey and related protocols. Severine: How do you address the under reporting of certain farming demographics, such as nomadic and young famers? NASS: Thank you for contacting the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Although the statistical methodology for the 2007 Census is somewhat different […]

Posted: May 27 2008