Monday, October 26, 2015

FW: Publications, Events, Funding

Lots of local food resources . . . thanks to our colleagues at USDA-Rural Development.


From: Proctor, Christopher - RD - Washington, DC []
Sent: Friday, October 23, 2015 3:33 PM
Subject: Publications, Events, Funding




Planning for a More Resilient Future:  A Guide to Regional Approaches

The NADO Research Foundation has released Planning for a More Resilient Future:  A Guide to Regional Approaches, a report that summarizes the rapidly-growing body of research on resilience, describing the main ideas that are driving policy and practice across the country and examining current thinking on regional and economic resilience.  It is intended for regional development organizations as well as local governments, community foundations, voluntary organizations, and others who step forward as planners, conveners, organizers, fundraisers, mediators, coordinators, and advocates on behalf of communities impacted by, or at risk of being impacted by, disasters, natural and human-induced. In addition to this publication, NADO RF has developed a companion online resource guide which includes examples of ways to approach planning for resilience, a primer on the expansive federal policy framework which determines the priorities for funding resilience initiatives, and describes the current state of philanthropic engagement in resilience efforts.


Iowa: Rural town aims to be 'the place' for local food firms
In October's edition of Good Food Economy Digest (GFED) Patty Cantrell of Regional Food Solutions discusses the economic development strategy of one county in western Iowa. Their community leaders are utilizing the emerging local food and farm sector to attract young people and new entrepreneurs into the area's growing food sector. The county is well suited to serve the needs of major nearby markets and young entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the opportunities. Read the full story and get these inspiring stories to your inbox.


White House Updates Strategy to Bolster U.S. Innovation Economy

This week, the National Economic Council and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released an update to the White House strategy document on fueling the U.S. innovation economy. A Strategy for American Innovation includes a model of the nation’s innovation engine that sheds some light on how the federal government views its role in research and economic growth. For example, digital government initiatives play a key role, alongside investing in basic research, digital infrastructure and STEM education.  In a related post, OSTP framed the release as the culmination of several weeks of events around the idea of open innovation. The strategy emphasizes the use of crowd-based models and prizes for scientific breakthroughs.  Read A Strategy for American Innovation here.


GroupGAP Program Brings New Market Opportunities for Farmers

In the spring of 2016, USDA will add the GroupGAP Audit Program to the list of third-party auditing services provided by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Audit Program, performed by the agency’s Specialty Crops Inspection Division, verifies that operations are following industry-recognized food safety practices as well as recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


Prevalence of food insecurity varied by household characteristics in 2014

While the majority of U.S. households are food secure, a minority experience food insecurity at times during the year, meaning their access to adequate food for active, healthy living is limited by a lack of money or other resources. Some households experience very low food security, a more severe range of food insecurity, where food intake of one or more household members is reduced and normal eating patterns are disrupted. Food insecurity includes both very low food security and low food security. In 2014, 14.0 percent of all U.S households were food insecure. The prevalence of food insecurity was substantially higher for low-income households; 39.6 percent of households with incomes below the Federal poverty line were food insecure. Among all U.S. households, food insecurity rates were the highest for single-mother households (35.3 percent) and lowest for households with elderly members (8.9 percent). This chart appears in “Commemorating 20 years of U.S. Food Security Measurement” in the October 2015 issue of ERS’s Amber Waves magazine.


Connecting the Dots between Health and Healthy Economies

Biddeford, Maine, was the focus of a video produced by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention that connected the dots between health programs and a healthy economy in that Heart & Soul town.
Learn how health programs there are helping small businesses make simple, affordable changes to improve employee health, staff retention, and the business owner’s bottom line. Watch the short video here.


Local Food Marketplace Releases White Paper: Avoiding Sales Around the Hub
Local Food Marketplace addresses a challenge facing hubs: producers selling around the hub. According to their research, producers may find alternate avenues for selling their goods for several reasons, often stemming from the hub not meeting the producer's expectations or the hub and the producer not being a good fit at the time. The report discusses advice for overcoming this challenge and includes a section devoted to best practices for food hub/producer agreements. Visit Local Food Marketplace's website to read the full report, Avoiding Sales Around the Hub.


AGree Report Takes 360 Look at Local Foods
AGree recently released their report, Local Food: Revitalizing Community-based Food Systems, which examines the growth, challenges and opportunities facing local food systems. The report not only emphasizes the ever-increasing consumer demand for local food, but also delivers six recommendations to stakeholders, US government agencies, philanthropic organizations, and research institutions to embrace diverse agricultural systems and further develop and adapt programs and regulations to serve local food systems. 


Fact Sheet: USDA Invests in New Market Opportunities in Local and Regional Food Systems

Over the course of the Administration, USDA has created new economic opportunities in the growing market for local and regional foods for new and established farmers, ranchers and small food business entrepreneurs. Through investments at the farm level in the form of production research, credit and conservation assistance; infrastructure investments that connect farmers and consumers; and strategies to increase access to healthy foods in rural and urban communities, USDA has helped the market for local food grow to an estimated $11.7 billion in 2014. Between FY 2009 and FY 2014, USDA invested more than $800 million in more than 29,100 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects.



CDFI Fund Opens CY 2015 Round of New Markets Tax Credit Program

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) released today the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year (CY) 2015 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program (NMTC Program). The NOAA makes up to $5 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the CY 2015 round, pending Congressional authorization. The CDFI Fund provided the NOAA on its website in anticipation of its publication in the Federal Register later this week. More information about the NMTC Program can be found on the program’s website or in the program’s fact sheet.

Important Deadlines

CDE Certification Application: November 6, 2015

NMTC Electronic Application submission: December 16, 2015

Prior Allocatees' Issuance of Qualified Equity Investments: January 29, 2016


AARP Foundation Launches $70 Million Social Investment Initiative

The AARP Foundation has announced the launch of Age Strong, a social investment initiative that seeks to support enterprises working to provide critical services and programs for vulnerable low-income older adults.

Developed in partnership with the Calvert Foundation and Capital Impact Partners, the initiative will provide a total of $70 million in loans to enterprises and projects working to create affordable housing for older adults, improve their financial security and access to healthy foods, and develop community-oriented models of care. To that end, the AARP Foundation will match up to $6 million raised by the Calvert Foundation from impact investors, while Capital Impact Partners will provide financing to enterprises working to address the needs of struggling adults age 50 and older.


USDA-NIFA Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: November 30, 2015
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for three types of grants under its Community Food Projects (CFP) Program: Community Food Projects, Planning Projects, and Training and Technical Assistance Projects. The goals of the projects are to meet the food needs of low-income individuals through food distribution, community outreach or through increasing local food security. Read the full Request for Applications for greater details about the grant and apply for the grant.


USDA-Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program
Deadline: December 16, 2015
The USDA recently announced $16.8 million available to local, state and national organizations through its Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients better afford healthy foods. Priority is given to projects that will both maximize the funds for direct incentives to SNAP participants and that will be most likely to increase the purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants. 


USDA-AMS Specialty Crop Multi-State Program
Deadline: January 14, 2016
The USDA announced that they will make $3 million available for the Specialty Crop Multi-State Program. The program is a competitive funding opportunity for State departments of agriculture to fund collaborative, multi-state projects that address regional or national specialty crop issues. Projects may include: food safety, plant pests and disease, research, crop-specific projects addressing common issues and marketing and promotion. 

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education – Multiple grant opportunities
Deadline: Varies by state and project
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) funds a range of research and education projects for farmers, ranchers, extension agents, nonprofits, students, and communities, among others. Grant funding and availability vary per state, but grants have been awarded to a range of projects including on-farm renewable energy, sustainable communities, local and regional food systems, cover crops, and more. Visit the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education website for more information and funding opportunities in your region. 


Community Facilities Applications Encouraged

Grant Deadline January 8, 2016

USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Programs serve non-profits and public bodies located in rural areas of up to 20,000 in population. Use our loans and grants to renovate, repair, purchase or construct buildings which house community services.  A non-profit or public body may use the loan or grant to purchase equipment, furniture and fixtures for community facilities.

Contact a USDA RD Community Programs Specialist in the RD Area Office near you to discuss your project. Contacts and Grant Information


Friday, October 30, 2015: Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, Know Your Cooperative

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, KNOW YOUR COOPERATIVE Seminar will be hosted by Rural Development’s Jim Barham, and fellow Co-op specialists as they speak on the growing intersection between local food systems and cooperatives. Cooperative leaders from across the local food supply chain will discuss the advantages of the cooperative business model and how they are engaged in building robust local food systems. To speak about supply-side and distribution issues, we will be joined by four cooperatives:

·        Jim Crawford, Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative (PA)

·        Tad Williams, Shenandoah Valley Beef Cooperative (VA)

·        Nichola Thompson, Glut Food Co-op (MD)

·        Steve Cooke, Friendly City Food Co-op (VA)

Location: Washington DC, USDA’s Whitten Building, Room 107A

Online & Audio:

When: 10:00 – 11:30 PM EDT

If Using a Phone: (866) 525-2577 Conference ID : 50573752

Participants are encouraged to use computer’s audio and the “Chat” feature instead of phone lines.

Please RSVP: Send email to Scott Cessarich, Community Planning & Development Specialist at by Wed, Oct. 28, 2015 to RSVP if attending in person.


The Rural Assistance Center will be hosting a free webinar.

Title: NACRHHS Policy Briefs on Telehealth and Intimate Partner Violence
Date: Thursday, November 5, 2015
Time: 11:00 am Pacific, 12:00 pm Mountain, 1:00 pm Central, 2:00 pm Eastern

Following the Fall 2014 meeting in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services sent two policy briefs to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. One policy brief covered the use of telehealth in rural areas and how this technology aligns with the emerging focus on value in healthcare and the second covered the impact of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) on families and communities in rural areas.


·        Former Governor Ronnie Musgrove, Committee Chair

·        Eugenia (Geni) Cowan, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Sacramento

·        Karen Madden, Director of the Charles D. Cook Office of Rural Health in New York

 The National Advisory Committee on Health and Human Services is a 21-member citizens' panel of nationally recognized experts who provide recommendations on rural issues to the Secretary of the Department.  


Farm to School Program

Thursday, October 29, 11:00 AM EDT: Join Deborah Kane, Director of the Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), Office of Community Food Systems, for a review of the USDA Farm to School Program’s accomplishments and to discuss what lies ahead. Topics will include a review of new farm to school resources, preliminary results and plans for the second USDA Farm to School Census, and several new areas of emphasis, including farm to summer, farm to preschool, and incorporating traditional foods into child nutrition programs.

No registration required. To join, on Thursday, October 29 at 11:00 AM EDT:

Access webinar

Dial 1-800-988-0278 with participant passcode 1271320 for audio

This webinar will be recorded and made publicly available on the FNS Webinars and Videos webpage.


Newsletters and email from which we gather this information include:

v  Foundation Center RFP Service -  To subscribe visit:

v  To subscribe to the RAC Health Listserv - click here to go to the subscription form.

v  Electronic newsletter of the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Entrepreneurship NewsTo subscribe,  

v  Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City newsletter:

v  Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine - They have a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management, down-to-earth and useful.

v  Rural LISC e-newsletter -

v  National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) –

v  ERS - A notification service is provided by USDA's Economic Research Service for Charts of Note and other research to keep you informed of the latest and most relevant research on the topics that interest you. You can subscribe at

v  Orton Family Foundation – email sign-up -



Christopher Proctor

USDA Rural Development

1400 Independence Ave., S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20250 | 202-619-1739

“Committed to the future of rural communities.”


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