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AnnouncementOctober 7, 2016

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP) is pleased to announce the approval of new temporary variances for certain counties in the northeastern United States and to share a grant funding opportunity.
Drought Relief: Organic Ruminant Producers
In September 2016, Secretary Vilsack designated several counties located in the northeast United States as primary or contiguous drought disaster areas. As a result, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Elanor Starmer granted a temporary variance for the 2016 grazing season to livestock producers located in certain counties in the northeastern U.S.

For more information on the counties and specific restrictions of the temporary variances, see the
current list of Approved Temporary Variances
NIFA Announces Grant Funding for Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced the availability of $17.7 million in grant funding to help train and educate the next generation of agricultural producers.
The grants, offered through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, are designed to help fund organizations implementing programs throughout the United States that train beginning farmers and ranchers, through workshops, educational teams, training and technical assistance.
For more information, view the press release or the request for applications. NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on Oct. 26 from 1-3 p.m. EST. Applications are due no later than December 8. 
About the Agricultural Marketing Service
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) facilitates the competitive and efficient marketing of agricultural products. Through its National Organic Program, AMS facilitates trade and ensures the integrity of organic agricultural products by consistently implementing organic standards and enforcing compliance with the regulations throughout the world.
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