The Agricultural Act of 2014 - a summary for private landowners
Photo credit: NRCS.
On February 7th, the President signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (also known as the Farm Bill) into law. This law will provide producers and Americans with certainty for the next five years by setting funding and guidelines for a wide range of programs.
One of the most notable change is the Act eliminates direct payments and replaces it with subsidies for crop insurance. It also consolidates conservation programs and creates a new conservation easement program.
Read a tailored summary of the Act in the PLN Library
Introducing RFF Advisory Board Member Thomas Daniels
RFF Advisory Board Member Thomas Daniels.
The Resources First Foundation Advisory Board is just what it sounds like: It is a group of people who support what RFF is doing, and whom RFF can call on for advice or help. In this new segment, we will be introducing to you every week a member of the Advisory Board on the Private Landowner Network's Keep Working Lands Working blog.
This month, we are proud to introduce Thomas Daniels. Daniels joined the Advisory Board in 2011. He currently directs a 5-course program in Land Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania. Read the rest of the interview on our Keep Working Land Working blog.
Find Daniels on PLN here
Introducing the Critical Habitat Management Portal
Resources First Foundation has released in beta version the Critical Habitat Management Portal (CHMP)- a website that provides private landowners with the information and resources they need to manage and conserve habitat for species with declining populations. The inaugural species on CHMP is the Lesser Prairie Chicken, which is a grouse found in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Colorado.
We invite you to visit www.criticalhabitatmanagement.org and review the information and resources we have on Lesser Prairie Chicken. Any input or suggestions you may have is highly appreciated: please email: email@example.com.
We have also opened the CHMP discussion board and encourage you to add questions, answers, and successes or issues you have with the Endangered Species Act and Lesser Prairie Chicken habitat management.
Photo credit: USDA
Assistance Available for Drought Afflicted California Landowners
California's working landowners are currently suffering from the worst drought on record in over a century. Fortunately, there are State and Federal Agencies and Assistance programs available to help landowners through this trying time. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has a comprehensive Drought Resources for Farmers, Ranchers, & Farmworkers page, which includes drought related news and of summary of assistance programs provided by the State and USDA.
The USDA has its own Disaster and Drought Information page, which includes reports from the U.S. Drought Monitor and facts sheets for USDA emergency and disaster programs. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced in a press release the USDA "will make $20 million available for agricultural water conservation efforts throughout California to combat the effects of the drought. Interested landowners and managers have until march 3, 2014 to apply for available funds."
Read the article on the Conservation Exchange
Secretary Vilsack Announces Regional Hubs to Help Landowners Mitigate the Impacts of Changing Climate
Photo credit: USDA.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced February 5, 2014 the creation of the first ever Regional Climate Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locaitons across the country. The Hubs will build capacity within USDA to provide information and guidance on technologies and risk management practices at regional and local scales.
"USDA's Climate Hubs are part of out broad commitment to developing the next generation of climate solutions, so that our agricultural leaders have the modern technologies and tools they need to adapt and succeed in the face of a changing climate," Vilsack said.
Read the full article here.
"Made in Rural America" Export and Investment Initiative
On February 7, 2014 President Obama directed his Administration, working through the White House Rural Council, to bring together federal resources to help rural businesses and leaders take advantage of new investment opportunities and access new customers and markets abroad.
This initiative includes hosting regional forums to promote rural exports, convening an "Investing in Rural America" conference later this year, hosting training sessions to equip USDA Rural Development staff across the country with the tools they need to counsel businesses on export opportunities and resources, and much more.
Read the full article on the Conservation Exchange
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