Sustainable Agriculture Information
The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society (NSAS) has been promoting sustainable agriculture throughout the state since 1976. NSAS’s principal objectives are to encourage the growth of agriculture and food systems that fortify the land, provide a social benefit to individuals and communities, and improve the quality of life for present and future generations.
There’s not a key issue that the next generation faces that doesn’t have agriculture at the center of it, according to US Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, who spoke Wednesday at UC Davis.
From the obesity epidemic to climate change to joblessness, what happens in agriculture plays a critical role, Merrigan said. Her speech focused on the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative, a USDA-wide effort to carry out President Obama’s commitment to strengthening local and regional food systems.
Despite losing its federal funding and suffering staff cuts across all of its offices, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service (ATTRA) remains committed to its goal of providing sustainable agriculture services. To make up for this budgetary shortfall, ATTRA, a 501(c)3, is exploring funding options that range from charging a small access fee for its publications to bolstering its efforts to procure donations from foundations, corporations and individuals. Kathleen Hadley, Executive Director of National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), which oversees ATTRA, says that it “cannot just abandon those individuals who have come to rely on our expertise and research-based solutions to agricultural challenges.”
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, or ATTRA, recently had its $2.8 million funding allotment for 2011 zeroed out. The unfortunate shearing of the ATTRA allocation resulted from its inclusion in the $6 billion federal budget cutting measure that Congress recently undertook in order to keep the federal government funded through April 8th. However, as Congress is now in the midst of debate surrounding funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, there is still time to push for the restoration of ATTRA funding.