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Proposed Regulations Favor Interstate Commerce, Independent Plants

The USDA's Federal Safety and Inspection Service recently proposed regulations that will allow certain state-inspected plants to ship meat and poultry in interstate commerce. This impressive development is part of USDA's larger initiative, "Know Your Farmers, Know Your Food," which seeks to develop economic opportunities within regional and local food systems. Secretary Vilsack and Under Secretary Mande are to be applauded for such a far-sighted decision, one which could have a transformational effect on independent livestock producers.
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Vilsack Announces Loan Assistance for Rural Businesses

From the USDA Newsroom: Yesterday Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced announced that USDA is now accepting applications for up to $1.7 billion to fund projects that help spur business activity and economic growth in rural communities. This infusion of money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into rural business is designed to create and save jobs and help rural communities grow and prosper. The funding announced today will be made available through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan program, which supports the development of private businesses...
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Deadline to Comment on Subsidy Loophole!

Food Democracy Now's Dave Murphy has brought to our attention today's deadline for closing a loophole that allows subsidy payments for large corporations. Murphy says of these subsidies, "As part of his 2010 budget, the President proposed phasing-out direct payments in an attempt to save $9.8 billion over 10 years. Currently direct payments, which total $5.2 billion a year, are paid regardless of crop prices and are not tied to need. This means: Even in times of high commodity prices, corporate farmers still get a paycheck from the government...Today's current subsidy system allows large corporate farms to take advantage of subsidy loopholes that place independent family farmers at a serious competitive disadvantage."
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A Greener World promotes verified farming practices and encourages food choices that deliver positive impacts for the environment, society and animals—whether farmed or wild. We advocate practical and positive solutions, centered on a range of trusted and transparent market-based certifications, to inspire people to spend their food dollars in ways that result in real change.

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