You did it! Farmer training + land access win in Farm Bill

Rep. Peterson, the House Ag Committee ranking member, calls for the bill’s passage. Our coalition was founded in 2010 in large part to help ensure that our needs as new, young and sustainable farmers are represented in public policy. And today, although we’re not happy with all aspects of the new farm bill, we are proud to say that many of the challenges that we face in starting new farm businesses – access to capital, land and training... Read More

Thank you for speaking up! Reporting back on Farmer Programs in the Senate

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who took the time last week to sign the petition, make calls, tell friends, etc. about the Senate’s budget vote.  As a refresher, there were three big pushes we had: to push funding for the beginning farmer programs that had been left high and dry in New Years Eve Farm Bill extension; to fix the problem with the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), which had been updated in a way that didn’t... Read More

Update on pro-farmer Tester amendments – it’s not too late to take action!

First, a gigantic thank you to those who made calls and signed the petition supporting the Tester amendments this week! photo courtesy of Martouf As a quick refresher, the two amendments are to remove two hideous riders to the Senate Continuing Resolution bill (in layman’s terms, they are mini-bills tacked on to the 6-month budget proposal that the Senate is producing).  The first rider would strip away the protections that ranchers receive... Read More

Take Action Now to Help Independent Livestock Producers

The Salad Garden’s hogs remind us why we care! Independent meat producers and farmers everywhere need your help right now to defeat some terrible language that was included in the Senate’s Continuing Resolution. As Wes reported earlier today, the Senate’s bill to fund government programs through the rest of 2013 (known as a Continuing Resolution) includes two provisions that support large meat industries and biotech giants, while... Read More

Updates from DC: Victories on Conservation, Action Needed Today on Loans, GMO’s, and Meat

Thank you all so much for making calls over the past week regarding the Senate vote on funding farmer programs!  We have some news to report, and one more thing to ask of you, so read on: A Senate Agriculture hearing The proposed Continuing Resolution (the government’s 6-month budget plan) that was announced on Monday did indeed fix the funding problem for the Conservation Stewardship Program and for two other programs, the Farm and Ranch Land... Read More

GIPSA Begins Investigation of Sheep Price Manipulation

Sheep farmers: have you seen problems with lamb prices recently? The USDA’s Grain Inspection Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) has opened an investigation of the U.S. sheep market in response to a recent dramatic price decreases.  The investigation aims to reveal whether there is market manipulation by processors that is affecting prices. At the heart of the issue is the fact that the processing sector for lamb is highly concentrated... Read More

An Update on GIPSA

The USDA has published the Final Rule implementing the 2008 Farm Bill provisions in order to help protect livestock and poultry producers under the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA), according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.  These provisions were required under the 2008 Farm Bill and have been modified from the rule proposed on June 22, 2010.  The rule gives the Secretary criteria to determine whether a poultry... Read More

GIPSA Rule Survives Senate Appropriations Committee

One small victory for small-scale agriculture has been achieved on the legal front.  Two weeks ago, the Senate Appropriations Committee did not include language previously proposed in the House of Representatives’ 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would prevent the USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) from enacting a competition rule known as the GIPSA rule.  The Senate version of the Agriculture Appropriations... Read More