Stand Up for GMO Labeling
Tell the Senate: Stop the DARK Act! Rep. Mike Pompeo’s (R-Kans) Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARK – Act was just passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. If Big Food gets its way and the DARK Act passes the Senate next, the fight for GMO labeling is OVER. There will be […]
Cromnibus – 2015’s Federal Funding Bill
Sometimes sustainable agriculture advocacy requires taking a long view. Certainly, in the ebb and flow of federal funding, Fiscal Year 2015’s final federal funding bill represents a significant ebb. As it has for many years, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute worked with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to support its annual campaign to optimize federal […]
Compromised Farm Bill Poised to Pass Senate — Hard Fought Wins, Tough Losses
For two and a half years, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and its partners across Wisconsin and the nation have pressed Congress to pass a balanced, responsible farm bill. This week, the House-Senate conference committee released its compromise bill, which the House passed on Wednesday, January 28.
Food Safety Modernization Act Workshops a Success!
The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, with collaboration from community partners, held 4 workshops on the Food Safety Modernization Act in Madison and Milwaukee in October and November. These workshops served as educational training sessions for producers and consumers who are concerned with the potential ramifications of the current FSMA draft rules written by the Food […]
Michael Fields Public Policy Program Video
Food Safety Modernization Act Workshops — Bring Your Laptop!
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, envisions tremendous changes to food safety policy, particularly regarding harvesting, handling, and processing of fresh produce. As people who support local farmers and the access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods that they help provide, you have the opportunity to voice your opinions on these rules and make sure that the FDA implements fair food safety provisions on all producers.
What is the Food Safety Modernization Act and Why Does it Matter?
Food Safety Modernization Act Workshops — Attend an Event Near You!
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, envisions tremendous changes to food safety policy, particularly regarding harvesting, handling, and processing of fresh produce. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been given the task of drafting rules to implement FSMA. The FDA’s first draft of these rules would put severe and prohibitive cost burdens on many small and mid-size farm operations through its provisions related to use of manure and compost, water testing, simple value-added processing techniques, and other provisions. The good news is that FDA is actively encouraging comments on these rules. The comment period is open until November 15, 2013. Comments on how FSMA will impact you as a farmer or a consumer can be submitted during this time. As people who support local farmers and the access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods that they help provide, you have the opportunity to voice your opinions on these rules and make sure that the FDA implements fair food safety provisions on all producers. The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, with collaboration from community partners in Milwaukee and Madison, has organized training workshops to help you submit comments to the FDA.
Farm Bill Update – How Long is Too Long?
Really now, I begin to feel like a scold. The parent in me wants to send Congress to its room or worse. A year ago, farmers and eaters alike were shocked to see that Congress planned to abdicate its responsibility to pass a new Farm Bill before the 2008 Farm Bill authorization expired at the end of September 2012.
GRAZE Magazine Features Article on MFAI and the Farm Bill
In late June, as legislators in Washington, DC, shaped the twin bill in the Senate and House, Outpost’s Sustainability Manager, Jessy Servi, met in East Troy with MFAI Policy Director, Margaret Krome, asking about the lengthy process of crafting a Farm Bill. Find out more…
Promotional video about Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Farm Bill update: Spectacularly Dysfunctional House of Representatives Edition!
Every five years or so, Congress usually takes several months to pass a Farm Bill. But this time, due to a spectacularly dysfunctional House of Representatives, it’s almost two years since Congress began working on it. What’s the best way out of a bad situation?
Apply now for Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants!
We are very excited to announce that the Wisconsin grants program for local food projects is now accepting applications! The maximum award is $50,000 and the deadline is October 21.
Farm Bill update: rotten tomato edition
Hundreds of millions of Americans depend on Congress to pass the Farm Bill – comprehensive farm and food legislation. Those Americans were thrown a rotten tomato on Thursday when the House of Representatives failed to get enough votes to pass the Farm Bill. But there is a silver lining!
Please call now for a fair Farm Bill!
Thanks to all of you Sustainable Agriculture Supporters, we have already made headway in making a more just Farm Bill! Now we need to make sure that the Farm Bill supports beginning farmers and historically underserved farmers. Can you make a call today?
You saved Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants!
Thank you and congratulations! Due to overwhelming support for the state’s Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant program, the Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee just restored the funding on a 16-0 vote!
Grant Writing Basics for Food Systems Projects
Want to learn about federal programs that can help you build community food systems projects? Are you seeking basic grant-writing advice so you can apply competitively for grants and other federal funding to support your work? Want answers to questions about how to get started? Join in on this free webinar!
Now’s the time! Save WI’s local food program!
Governor Walker eliminated the state’s local food program – the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants program – from the state budget. But the legislature can restore it.
Wisconsin’s Support of Agricultural Jobs
How did local food and agricultural entrepreneur programs fare in the Governor’s budget? Here are three programs that were eliminated: Wisconsin’s local foods program – Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Farmers across Wisconsin have increased sales because of projects funded by Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grants. People who care about buying Wisconsin products now find them […]
Farmers: apply to the Conservation Stewardship Program!
Farmers and ranchers will again have the opportunity to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program, which rewards producers for conservation practices on working lands. Funding for new acres to be enrolled in 2013 were accidentally left out of the government spending bill that passed last October, but recent legislation corrected that. Normally the deadline for the […]
Hey, farmers selling locally! Ever wanted to bring in an expert to do something like design a logo, set up an account system, take a look at your farming plan, or something else a consultant could do? If cost has been an issue, apply to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s Producers First Program by March 31.
Local Food Producer Workshops: Buy Local Buy Wisconsin
Three great workshops on Post-harvest handling and on-farm food safety, bookkeeping through QuickBooks, and farm financing will be available this winter in person and via webinar.
Discrimination Against Women and Hispanic Farmers
The USDA is now looking for women and Hispanics who believe they were discriminated against when applying for farm loans so that they can be compensated. (The USDA has given similar compensation for African American and Native American farmers.)
Assistance For Grants To Innovate and Educate
Have you been thinking about experimenting on your farm to increase your profitability, conserve natural resources, or provide a healthier product to consumers? Do you want to help youth learn about growing food and fiber sustainably? Then you should consider applying to the SARE Farmer-Rancher or the SARE Youth Educator Program.
Legal Guidance for CSAs – Free Webinar
Wisconsin is proud of its CSAs, and the CSA model is a great way for members to take on some of the risks and rewards of farming. But that doesn’t make it risk-free for farmers, and another way CSA farmers can manage their risk is to consider the legal aspects. Farm Commons has a free webinar on December 10th on just this topic.