the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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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 grants for projects supporting beginning farmers in 25 states. In total, about $10.7 million in grant funding will support 22 projects spearheaded by community-based and non-profit organizations, while $6 million will go towards 12 beginning farmer programs housed within public universities or cooperative extension. Here are the winners!

Dakota Rural Action

Farmer Veteran Coalition

Hmong National Development

Land for Good

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service

World Farmers

To read more, click HERE!

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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 would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a “USDA Process Verified” label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the new certification in a May 1 letter to USDA employees, saying it was being done at the request of a “leading global company,” which he did not identify. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.

A USDA spokesman confirmed that Vilsack sent the letter but declined to comment on the certification program. Vilsack said in the letter that the certification “will be announced soon, and other companies are already lining up to take advantage of this service.”

Companies can already put their own GMO-free labels on foods, but there are no government labels that only certify a food as GMO-free. Many companies use a private label developed by a nonprofit called the Non-GMO Project. The USDA organic label also certifies that foods are free of genetically modified ingredients, but many non-GMO foods aren’t organic. To read more, click HERE!

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fsa grant available to help socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

FSA grant socially disadvantage

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 Aug. 25. Learn more.

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a helpful pdf publication by the usda: food value chains

Food Value Chains


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 be advantageous to all members. Special attention is devoted to exploring how values-based operating principles are defined and maintained in a food value chain and how these values are successfully communicated to buyers and to the public. The document also addresses the issue of shared leadership and succession-planning strategies within value-chain partnerships.



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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 ranchingboth 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.

Today, we’re asking you to help us identify these standout local leaders by nominating a Champion of Change for the New Generation of American Agriculture by noon on Friday, April 18. These Champions may be:

  • 13760947455_ba1fe78231Beginning farmers and ranchers using innovative practices and techniques to create productive and sustainable farms and ranches that will feed people at home and abroad long into the future.
  • Producers, foresters, small-business owners, and scientists using Farm Bill programs to drive agricultural productivity and economic competitiveness.
  • Local leaders that are working to build new opportunities for those who want to work on the land, create innovation in the field of agriculture, support diversity in agriculture, and connect a new generation to their food, fiber, fuel, and agricultural neighbors.

Click on the link below to submit your nomination (be sure to choose “Future of American Agriculture” in the “Theme of Service” field of the nomination form).

Nominate a Champion of Change for the Future of American Agriculture

– See more at:


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