USDA e-News - California Edition - June 2013
Welcome to USDA e-News, California Edition. A multi-agency newsletter providing California's producers and other interested parties with current information from the following USDA agencies:
USDA NRCS Geospatial Data Gateway
The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) is the One Stop Source for environmental and natural resources data, at any time, from anywhere, to anyone. The Gateway allows you to choose your area of interest, browse and select data from our catalog, customize the format, and have it downloaded or shipped on CD or DVD. Please see: http://datagateway.nrcs.usda.gov/GDGHome.aspx
This service is made available through a close partnership between the three Service Center Agencies (SCA); Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Rural Development (RD).
USDA Rural Development continues to accept applications for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees through July 15, 2013
The REAP Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) was published March 29, 2013. Financial assistance, grant and loan guarantees, is available to eligible agriculture producers and rural small businesses for the development and construction of renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvement projects; as well as renewable energy system feasibility studies. To be considered for Fiscal Year 2013 funds, applications must be received in the California State Office, 430 G Street, Agency 4169, Davis, CA 95616-4169, no later than 4:30pm PST June 14, 2013 for grants; and July 15, 2013 for loan guarantees.
USDA NRCS accepting applications for landowners in Calleguas Creek and Salt River Watersheds
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California will invest $1.7 million to improve water quality in the Calleguas Creek and Salt River watersheds. This is the second year that the NRCS National Water Quality Initiative is providing accelerated assistance to landowners in these watersheds. Completed applications will be screened and ranked in two batch periods, on June 21 and July 12, 2013. Applications received by June 21 will receive first priority and, if additional funds remain, those received by July 12 may also receive funding consideration. Eligible farmers and ranchers should visit http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ or contact their local NRCS office for additional information on eligible practices and to submit an application.
Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative (SC2): Second Cohort Request for Letters of Interest Now Open
The Administration anticipates selecting a relatively small SC2 cohort for its second round of SC2 cities, likely between five and ten locations nationally, pending availability of resources. An invitation is being sent to 91 of the most distressed communities, based on census data, asking them to apply. It ensures a transparent, competitive process while balancing the size of the universe of eligible applicants with the relatively small number of places that will ultimately receive an SC2 Team. There are 17 California cities on the eligible list. In California USDA Rural Development has been a primary player in the first round SC2 City of Fresno, one of 6 selected. Participation in SC2 is an opportunity to work with a interdepartmental federal team, leverage the economic strengths of the region, and strengthen or create public private partnerships. Eligible California communities are encouraged to apply to be selected for the second round of SC2 cities. Letters of interest must be submitted via email to Matthew Dalbey at Dalbey.Matthew@epa.gov no later than Monday, July 8, 2013, by 6:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. If you have questions about this solicitation, please contact Matthew Dalbey, at: 202-402-3138; or Dalbey.Matthew@epa.gov.
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for Loan Guarantees Under Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing Program (GRRHP) for Fiscal Year 2013
The Notice of Funding Availability was published in the Federal Register on May 23, 2013. The purpose of the GRHHP is to increase the supply of affordable rural rental housing through the use of loan guarantees that encourage partnerships between the Agency, private lenders and public agencies. Eligible Lenders are invited to submit responses for new construction and acquisition with rehabilitation of affordable rural rental housing. To be considered for Fiscal Year 2013 funds, eligible responses will be accepted until December 31, 2013, 9:00PM PST at the California State Office, 430 G Street, Agency 4169, Davis, CA 95616-4169.
USDA RMA announces Request for Applications for the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program and the Targeted States Program
RMA announces that the FY 2013 Request for Applications for the (1) Risk Management Education Partnerships Program and (2) the Targeted States Program have been published on the Federal Register. The link to the Federal Register is: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/index.html (click on Today’s Federal Register in the center of the page). Please notify past, present, potential applicants of this partnership opportunity. Applicants should be aware of the following important information:
Contact Dick Mansfield, (530) 792-5878, Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The California Small Farm Conference is seeking proposals for presentations for its 27th annual conference. Deadline: August 1, 2013
The California Small Farm Conference is looking for creative and dynamic presentations that educate and enlighten farmers, farmers’ market managers and the local agriculture community for this year’s Conference in Rohnert Park, CA, on March 9 – 11, 2014. The mission of the California Small Farm Conference is to conduct an educational conference on topics relevant to family farming, direct marketing and issues related to agricultural sustainability. Successful proposals are concise (250 words or less in response to each question) and focused on a timely topic. Additionally, our attendees like to hear directly from farmers. Please submit your proposal online at http://www.californiafarmconference.com/index.php/conference/call-for-presentations before August 1, 2013 for consideration.
U.S. Food Waste Challenge Launches
Did you know? In 2010, 133 billion pounds of food from U.S. retail food stores, restaurants, and homes never made it into people's stomachs. In advance of World Environment Day, June 4th, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, inviting producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies to join us in our efforts to reduce food loss and waste, recover wholesome food for human consumption, and recycle discards to other uses including animal feed, composting, and energy generation. To join the Challenge, participants will list the activities they will undertake to help reduce food waste in the United States. Everyone with a stake in the U.S. food chain - from field to final disposition - is invited to join the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. To learn more, visit: www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste or join us on Twitter using #foodwastechallenge. For more information, contact FoodWasteChallenge@oce.usda.gov. The goal of the Challenge is to leverage public and private efforts to spread the word about the extent and implications of food waste in the United States; disseminate information about best practices to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste; and stimulate the development of more of these practices across the entire U.S. food chain. The inventory of activities will also provide a snapshot of the country's commitment to-and successes in-reducing, recovering, and recycling food waste.
USDA Webinar Series for the Fruit and Vegetable Industry
The Agricultural Marketing Service's Fruit and Vegetable Program invites you to take part in a series of free, interactive webinars on our many programs and services. At each webinar, you'll hear a presentation from a USDA expert on a specific topic, be introduced to our staff, and take part in an interactive question and answer session. These informative webinars are designed for fruit and vegetable growers, packers, shippers, processors, wholesalers and retailers of all sizes. All of the webinars are free and available to anyone with Internet access. Registration is, however, required and space is limited. Log on today to register - it's your first step to gaining a competitive edge and learning how we can work together to meet your unique business needs. If you miss a webinar, just visit our Webinar Archive to watch it online. Take a look at all we have to offer. Follow the links next to the webinar titles below for full information on each session and to register. We'll see you online!
Farm Service Agency (FSA)
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
Risk Management Agency (RMA)
Rural Development (RD)
If you would like to receive a copy of future newsletters or have relevant information for California producers that you want to include in this newsletter, please email one of the contacts listed below. Please be advised that not all activities may be published.
Reina Rogers, American Indian Liaison
National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS)
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