Thursday, December 20, 2007

SARE Appropriations Increase

National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture
PO Box 396 Pine Bush, NY 12566

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I'm happy to pass on the message below from Margaret Krome, who coordinates our appropriations campaign.


Hi friends,

I want to end 2007 by sharing the happy news of the results of your many phone calls, letters and visits on the Fiscal Year 2008 sustainable agriculture appropriations agenda. As you may have read in the paper, last night the House of Representatives signed off on a compromise omnibus appropriations bill for FY08 federal spending.

If you didn't happen to be in a state with a key agricultural appropriator, you can't imagine just hard your brethren in those states really poured on the action this year, with phone calls, letters and congressional visits. The National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture and our partner advocates want you to know that it made all the difference in the world. In a year with extremely tight budgets, several of our top priority programs got increases.

For example, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program finally got the increase that's been so long overdue, from $16.3 million in Fiscal Year 2007 to $19.0 million in FY08.

The Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) program had been wrongly treated as an earmark and slashed by 63% in FY07. For FY08 it will be funded at $2.6 million, which is a slight increase over the $2.5 million at which it had been funded for the six previous fiscal years before its funding was cut last year.

The Outreach and Technical Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (the "2501" program) will be funded at $6.4 million, up from $5.9 million last year.

And the funding caps that had been placed on the Conservation Security Program for so long were removed for FY08!

You know that the federal budget is under tremendous pressure. The sustainable agriculture movement is fortunate to have superb lobbyists in Washington. But they would be the first to say that the only way we could achieve gains like these in this budget climate is thanks to your contacting key members of Congress when we ask you to.

So thank you! If you made a call or wrote a letter or signed a sign-on letter when we asked you to do so regarding FY08 appropriations, you can end your year knowing that sustainable agriculture initiatives all over the nation will be better served next year thanks to your action.


Margaret Krome, Coordinator
Sustainable Agriculture Grassroots Appropriations Campaign

Sheilah Davidson
Administrative Director
National Campaign For Sustainable Agriculture
P.O. Box 396
Pine Bush, New York 12566
Phone: 845-361-5201 Fax: 845-361-5204

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Call for Diversity Proposals

Communities in the North Central Region continue to change, with representatives of different cultures regularly being added to an already diverse population. We know that cultural and economic barriers exist that prevent some in the region, new and established alike, from working with the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program to achieve our common sustainability goals.

Since we see sustainable agriculture as an important issue for all of the citizens of the North Central Region, we feel that it is incumbent upon us to identify any barriers that prevent participation by everyone who is interested in working to help push forward this process of change and then to promote fuller participation with the SARE program in our region.

Toward this goal, we suggest that NCR SARE review its programs and processes in an on-going manner to improve the relevance and accessibility to all the citizens of the North Central Region. We suggest that NCR SARE commit to building strong relationships with existing programs and organizations that currently serve those that may be underserved by NCR-SARE. We suggest that NCR SARE continue to grow in its capacity to act as a change agent to build cultural competency within the region from the regional down to the individual level for all involved with SARE.

In the end, increased diversity among those planning, carrying out and being served by the SARE program in the North Central Region is a positive attribute that we feel will help make Sustainable Agriculture more broadly accepted and more widely practiced."

To continue reading the NCR-SARE's Diversity Goals Narrative document, click here.

The Call for Diversity Proposals is now available on the NCR-SARE web site.

Click here to access the Diversity Research and Education Grant Program Call for Proposals.