Beginning Farmer and Rancher Farm Bill Fly-in

On Jan. 28 and 29, beginning farmers and ranchers from California, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Iowa, and Montana were in Washington DC to take part in a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Fly-in.

The event was designed to influence members of the 2008 farm bill conference committee to support two important beginning farmer programs in the final farm bill. These programs are the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Individual Development Account Program.

Value- Added Producer Grant Program Deadline Nears

The 2008 round of Value-Added Producer Grants (VAPG) is now underway. According to USDA Rural Development, a total of $18,400,000 will be awarded this year. The VAPG program aims to help eligible farmers and ranchers (as an individual or as a group) develop and pursue viable marketing opportunities. This year, the cap for planning grants is $100,000; and for working capital grants the cap is $300,000. Due date for these grants is March 31, 2008.

SARE's 20th Anniversary New American Farm Conference

Coming March 25-27, 2008, at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, MO, SARE’s 20th Anniversary New American Farm conference will feature 20 years of groundbreaking SARE-funded research, experience, and innovations in sustainable agriculture.

Winds of Life Statewide Art Auction

The public is invited to the Minden Opera House in Minden, NE on Saturday evening, March 29, 2008 for a live and silent art auction. After a 2007 full of communities and artists creating pieces and events worth touring, the Center for Rural Affairs' Winds of Life project is hosting an auction of some of these items, especially outdoor windmill sculptures.


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