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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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USDA Aims to Improve Food and Nutrition Education for Low-Income Communities

November 8, 2017 |

News Release – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced support to develop local and self-reliant food systems, such as farm to table enterprises that bring nutritious food to low-income communities. This funding is available through NIFA’s Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

“This program reaches into neighborhoods across America to improve access to food and nutrition education, assist community outreach, and empower local farms,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “These NIFA investments help communities develop field to fork food systems that provide long-term community solutions.” Read More

USDA Awards Nation’s Largest Grant to Expand California Healthy Eating Program to More Farmers’ Markets

August 8, 2017 |

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA) and its partners a $3.9 million Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant – the largest in the country. FINI grants are designed to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (aka SNAP, formerly food stamps).

“We are thrilled to be selected for a federal FINI award,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The program is a triple win for California – it supports the health of our low-income shoppers, our farmers, and the local economy.” Read More

Diverse Family Farms Remain Essential Feature of U.S. Agriculture

August 2, 2017 |

Family farms remain an essential feature of agriculture in the United States. Family farms make up 99 percent of America’s 2.1 million farms and 89 percent of agricultural production. Most farms in the United States are small: 90 percent are … Read More

Tufts University Online Graduate Certificate Program in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

June 23, 2017 |

Sponsored Story: The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University is currently accepting applications to the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems online graduate certificate program.

The online program is ideal for professionals engaged in a variety of food-related businesses and organizations, as well as others who would like to learn more about implementing sustainable practices for their organizations, partners, and communities. Read More

How a New Way of Thinking About Soil Sparked a National Movement in Agriculture

June 20, 2017 |

This article was originally published on Ensia.com

As word gets around that soil is alive, farmers have adopted a whole new attitude toward their land.

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For three weeks every month, Ray Archuleta captivates audiences with a few handfuls of soil. He begins with two clumps, dropping them into water. The soil from a farm where the soil isn’t tilled holds together, while the tilled soil immediately disperses, indicating poor soil structure. Next, volunteers from the audience — mostly farmers and ranchers — pour water over a soil that grew a variety of crops, and it runs right through. A sample of tilled soil that grew only corn is like a brick, and the water sits on top. Water is the most precious resource for growing crops, and having a soil that is unable to absorb water is crippling for farmers. Read More