Posts Tagged: USDA

Crop Insurance: Let the New Generation of Farmers In

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Jim VanDerPol The Land Stewardship Project recently published a three-part expose of the federal crop insurance program. The white papers are titled: “Crop Insurance-the Corporate Connection,” “Crop Insurance Ensures the Big Get Bigger” and “How Crop Insurance Hurts the Next Generation of Farmers.” The final paper title provides the key to LSP’s concern. The… Read more »

Minnesota Farmers: CSP is on for 2013

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Land Conservation, Loon Commons blog.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project One of the nation’s most innovative working lands farm conservation initiatives has received a financial reprieve, thanks to the continuing resolution signed by President Barack Obama on Tuesday. The continuing resolution, which was passed by Congress late last week, appropriates funds to federal government agencies through the remainder of… Read more »

Senate Farm Bill Falls Short on Conservation, Family Farm Ag

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

By Adam Warthesen, Land Stewardship Project On April 26, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of the 2012 Farm Bill by a vote of 16 to 5. The bill, which includes $23 billion in cuts over the next 10 years, is anticipated to be brought to the Senate floor for a vote yet… Read more »

Crop Insurance: A Safety Net Becomes a Threat

Posted by & filed under agriculture, Food and Sustainable Agriculture, Loon Commons blog.

When it comes to the crop insurance sweepstakes, southwest Minnesota farmer Darwyn Bach is a winner. But he concedes that his good fortune presents a quandary, since the way the program is implemented these days creates significant losers: the soil, beginning farmers and Main Street businesses that suffer when the number of families in a… Read more »

Putting Out the Welcome Mat for New Agrarians

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

There are numerous ways of communicating the value society places on having more family farmers on the land, not fewer. This morning, the USDA announced it was awarding $18 million in grants to groups that are helping beginning farmers nationwide. That sends an important message that the federal government, thanks to initiatives put in the… Read more »

Taking the Beginning Farmer Message to D.C.

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

By Anna Cioffi, LSP Policy Organizer As you read this, central Minnesota farmer and LSP member Nolan Lenzen is in Washington, D.C., carrying a simple, but critical, message: agriculture is a growing and vibrant sector of our nation’s economy, and it provides many opportunities for young producers such as himself. Yet farming is also one… Read more »

Let’s Stop Treating Soil Conservation Like Dirt

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

Here’s the bad news: it turns out the USDA’s estimates that soil erosion rates are under control across the Corn Belt—something we reported in this blog last June—are probably overly optimistic, according to a report released a few days ago. The good news? Actually, there is none in this case. The same week this report… Read more »

USDA Secretary: You Can Make Conservation History

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

An April 1 letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack from LSP Associate Director Mark Schultz: Congress and the Obama Administration are currently evaluating measures aimed at reducing federal spending for the present fiscal year and for 2012. The deficit reduction theme undoubtedly becomes more difficult in practice when actual program cuts and sacrifices are required…. Read more »

Racist Ag is Not Sustainable Ag

Posted by & filed under Food and Sustainable Agriculture.

A decade ago, farmer-members of LSP’s Federal Farm Policy Committee participated with members of the National Black Farmers Association in a march on the USDA’s headquarters in Washington. That’s because the USDA has had a long, sad history of discriminating against African American, Latino, Native American and even women farmers. LSP believed then and we… Read more »