Department of Agriculture – Federal Register Recent Federal Regulation Documents

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Document Number: 2015-12515
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service (FS) is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the extension with no revision of a currently approved information collection; Community Forest and Open Space Program (Community Forest Program). The Agency is in the process of a proposed rule revision that will include a new information collection request; when the revised rule is final, the Agency will merge the new information collection with this information collection. This notice replaces Federal Register document #2015-07996 that was published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2015.
Document Number: 2015-12222
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-22
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. RUS has published on its Web site http:// www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices-solicitation-applications-no sas the amount of funding received through the final appropriations act. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk. In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for DLT grants applicable for the fiscal year. The DLT Grant Program regulations can be found at 7 CFR part 1703, subparts D through G.
Document Number: 2015-12322
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-21
Agency: Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to request revision and extension of a currently approved information collection, the Mink Survey. The target population will be pulled from farmers who have reported mink production in the past, trade magazines, or grower's association's lists. The questionnaire that NASS is planning to use is the same as what was used in previous years, with one additional pelt color class being added to both the producer and price questionnaires. Any additional changes to the questionnaires would result from requests by industry data users.
Document Number: 2015-12258
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Document Number: 2015-12225
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service announces the availability of $3,000,000 in competitive grant funds for the FY 2015 Socially-Disadvantaged Groups Grant (SDGG) program, formerly known as the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant program, as authorized by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235). We are requesting proposals from applicants who will provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas. The Agency is encouraging applications that direct grants to projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. This emphasis will support Rural Development's (RD) mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them. Eligible applicants include Cooperatives, Groups of Cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers.
Document Number: 2015-12224
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service
The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within Rural Development, announces that it is soliciting competitive applications under its Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) program. This action is taken to comply with Agency regulations found in 7 CFR part 1944, subpart N, which requires the Agency to announce the opening and closing dates for receipt of pre-applications for HPG funds from eligible applicants.
Document Number: 2015-12220
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Commodity Credit Corporation
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) published a final rule on February 27, 2015, amending the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) regulations to implement changes required by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill). We are extending the comment period for the final rule to give the public more time to provide input and recommendations on the final rule.
Document Number: 2015-12205
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a new collection for the purpose of evaluating the Fiscal Year 2015 Pilot Projects to Reduce Dependency and Increase Work Requirements and Work Effort Under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Document Number: 2015-12192
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
This notice is announcing a meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF), that will be held on June 10, 2015, by audio conference call that is open to the public. The Committee will continue its discussions, from its November 17, 2014 meeting, on microbiological criteria as indicators of poor process control or insanitary conditions. After further discussion, the committee plans to adopt its final recommendations.
Document Number: 2015-12165
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Document Number: 2015-12163
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-20
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Housing Service, Rural Utilities Service
This interim rule implements Section 6025, Strategic Economic and Community Development, under the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). Unless the Agency provides otherwise, the Agency will reserve up to 10 percent of the funds appropriated to certain Rural Development (RD) programs each fiscal year to fund projects that support the implementation of strategic economic and community development plans across multi-jurisdictional areas. The programs from which funds will be reserved are community facility programs, water and waste disposal programs, and rural business and cooperative development programs. To be eligible for the reserved funds, projects must be first eligible for funding under the programs from which the funds are reserved. In addition, projects must be carried out solely in rural areas. Any reserved funding that is not obligated by June 30 of the fiscal year in which the funds were reserved will be returned to the programs' regular funding accounts.
Document Number: 2015-12073
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-19
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with regulations for the importation of Christmas cactus and Easter cactus in growing media from the Netherlands and Denmark.
Document Number: 2015-11999
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to extend the approved information collection regarding requirements for official establishments to notify FSIS of adulterated or misbranded product, prepare and maintain written recall procedures, and document certain HACCP plan reassessments. The approval for this information collection will expire on August 31, 2015. FSIS is making no changes to the approved collection. The public may comment on either the entire information collection or on one of its three parts.
Document Number: 2015-11997
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to collect certificates of medical examination to determine whether or not an applicant for an FSIS Food Inspector, Consumer Safety Inspector, or Veterinary Medical Officer in-plant position meets the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved medical qualification standards.
Document Number: 2015-11947
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published a notice soliciting nominations from qualified individuals to serve on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in the Federal Register on April 9, 2015. Nominees will be considered for a 5-year NOSB term that will commence on January 24, 2016, and end January 23, 2021. The nomination period, as set in the notice, was to end on May 15, 2015. To ensure adequate opportunity for all interested members of the public to submit nominations for the NOSB, AMS is extending the nomination period by 30 days. Additional details can be found in the initial Federal Register notice at 68 FR 19059, and on the National Organic Program (NOP) Web site.
Document Number: 2015-11916
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is amending the Federal meat inspection regulations to require the use of the descriptive designation ``mechanically tenderized,'' ``blade tenderized,'' or ``needle tenderized'' on the labels of raw or partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products, including beef products injected with a marinade or solution, unless the products are to be fully cooked or to receive another full lethality treatment at an official establishment. Under these final regulations, the product names of the affected products will have to include the descriptive designation ``mechanically tenderized,'' ``blade tenderized,'' or ``needle tenderized'' and an accurate description of the beef component. The print for all words in the descriptive designation and the product name will have to be in a single easy-to- read type style and color and must appear on a single-color contrasting background. The print may appear in upper and lower case letters, with the lower case letters not smaller than one-third (\1/3\) the size of the largest letter. In addition, the labels of raw and partially cooked needle- or blade-tenderized beef products destined for household consumers, hotels, restaurants, or similar institutions will have to bear validated cooking instructions. The instructions will have to specify the minimum internal temperatures and any hold or ``dwell'' times for the products to ensure that they are fully cooked. FSIS is amending the regulations because of scientific evidence that mechanically tenderized beef products need to be fully cooked in order to reduce the risk of pathogenic bacteria that may be transferred to the interior of the meat during mechanical tenderization. FSIS is also announcing the availability of updated guidance for the use of federally inspected establishments in developing validated cooking instructions for mechanically tenderized product.
Document Number: 2015-11914
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
Regional Forester Daniel J. Jiron signed the final Record of Decision (ROD) for the Shoshone National Forest revised Land Management Plan (Plan) on May 6, 2015. The Final ROD documents the Regional Forester's decision and rationale for approving the revised plan.
Document Number: 2015-11911
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The Gila National Forest, located in southwestern New Mexico, is initiating the forest planning process pursuant to the 2012 Forest Planning Rule. This process results in a Forest Land Management Plan which describes the strategic direction for management of forest resources for the next fifteen years on the Gila National Forest. The first phase of the process, the assessment phase, is beginning and interested parties are invited to contribute in the development of the assessment (36 CFR 219.6). The trends and conditions identified in the assessment will help in identifying the current plan's need for change, and aid in the development of plan components. The Forest hosted a series of community conversations with key stakeholders in March 2015. Additional public participation opportunities are forthcoming in the near future to discuss the assessment processinformation on these opportunities and all future public participation opportunities will be made available on the Gila Plan Revision Web site (see below for the link).
Document Number: 2015-11907
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
This final rule establishes regulations for seasons, harvest limits, methods, and means related to taking of fish for subsistence uses in Alaska during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 regulatory years. The Federal Subsistence Board (Board) completes the biennial process of revising subsistence hunting and trapping regulations in even-numbered years and subsistence fishing and shellfish regulations in odd-numbered years; public proposal and review processes take place during the preceding year. The Board also addresses customary and traditional use determinations during the applicable biennial cycle.
Document Number: 2015-11906
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-18
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The South Central Idaho Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Jerome, Idaho. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/ minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://fs.usda.gov/ Sawtooth
Document Number: 2015-11752
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, this Notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on proposed information collections. This collection is a revision of currently approved burden for the applications, periodic reporting, and notices burden calculations for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The revision also modifies the net estimates for PRA burden associated with proposed rule ``Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Eligibility, Certification, and Employment and Training Provisions'' published on May 4, 2011 at 76 FR 25413.
Document Number: 2015-11742
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service published a Notice in the Federal Register on Friday, May 8, 2015 (80 FR 26528), inviting applications for the Value Added Producer Grant Program. The document contained an incorrect date for submitting paper applications, as well as an incorrect contact telephone number.
Document Number: 2015-11741
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-15
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service
The Rural Housing Service (RHS), an agency within the USDA Rural Development mission area herein referred to as the Agency announces the acceptance of applications under the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development that will support the community. This Notice lists the information needed to submit an application for these funds. This Notice contains revised evaluation criteria that are streamlined, in order to enhance program efficiency and delivery.
Document Number: 2015-11629
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The Southwest Montana Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Dillon, Montana. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional RAC information, including the meeting agenda and the meeting summary/ minutes can be found at the following Web site: http://www.fs.usda.gov/ main/bdnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees.
Document Number: 2015-11581
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-14
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing the availability of the final revision of the Compliance Guideline for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems validation and responding to comments received on the draft guide that FSIS published in May 2013 in the Federal Register. In addition, FSIS is announcing its plans to verify that establishments meet all validation requirements.
Document Number: 2015-11582
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to extend the approved information collection regarding voluntary recalls from commerce of meat and poultry products. FSIS is making no changes to the approved collection. The approval for this information collection will expire on August 31, 2015.
Document Number: 2015-11559
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-05-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is proposing to amend its regulations on ante-mortem inspection to remove a provision that permits establishments to set apart and hold for treatment veal calves that are unable to rise from a recumbent position and walk because they are tired or cold. Under the proposed rule, non-ambulatory disabled veal calves that are offered for slaughter will be condemned and promptly euthanized. Prohibiting the slaughter of all non- ambulatory disabled veal calves will improve compliance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 (HMSA) and the humane slaughter implementing regulations. It will also improve the Agency's inspection efficiency by eliminating the time that FSIS inspection program personnel (IPP) spend re-inspecting non-ambulatory disabled veal calves. FSIS is also proposing to clarify in the regulations that all non-ambulatory disabled cattle must be promptly disposed of after they have been condemned.
Document Number: 2015-11495
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-13
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The Santa Fe National Forest will prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the potential effects of geothermal development on 194,910 acres. The decision will be whether to proceed with geothermal leasing and, if so, under what stipulations.
Document Number: 2015-11469
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) to establish the quantity of spearmint oil produced in the Far West, by class, that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2015-2016 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2015. The Committee locally administers the Far West spearmint marketing order (order) and is comprised of producers of spearmint oil operating in the Far West. The Far West includes the states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah. This rule establishes salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 1,265,853 pounds and 60 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 1,341,269 pounds and 56 percent, respectively. The Committee recommended these quantities to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market.
Document Number: 2015-11468
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-13
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This rule implements a recommendation from the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee for an increase of the assessment rate established for the 2015 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0200 to $0.0250 per 18-pound lug of grapes handled under the marketing order. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of grapes grown and handled in a designated area of southeastern California. Assessments upon grape handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began on January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Document Number: 2015-11420
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service proposes to alter an existing system of records in its inventory of record systems subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. The system of records is Veterinary ServicesRecords of Accredited Veterinarians, USDA-APHIS-2. This notice is necessary to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act to publish in the Federal Register notice of the existence and character of record systems maintained by the agency.
Document Number: 2015-11416
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-12
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Housing Service
This Notice announces a series of teleconference and/or web conference meetings regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 538 Guaranteed Rural Rental Housing (GRRH) program, which are scheduled to occur during 2015 and 2016. This Notice also outlines suggested discussion topics for the meetings and is intended to notify the general public of their opportunity to participate in the teleconference and/or web conference meetings.
Document Number: 2015-11339
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture
The Office of Advocacy and Outreach (OAO) will hold a public meeting entitled ``USDA's Receipt for Service Initiative'' on June 3, 2015. The purpose of this event is to promote public feedback on the implementation of the Receipt for Service or Denial of Service provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill (section 14003 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2279-1(e)) and as amended in section 12204 of the Agricultural Act of 2014).
Document Number: 2015-11319
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The Shasta County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Redding, California. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. The meeting is open to the public. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the 2015 two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and associated Title II funding.
Document Number: 2015-11316
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
The Shasta County Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) will meet in Redding, California. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (Pub. L. 110-343) (the Act) and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. The meeting is open to the public. The purpose of the meeting is to review and vote on project proposals to recommend to the Shasta- Trinity National Forest Supervisor.
Document Number: 2015-11311
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
We are amending the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act regulations to require that veterinary biologics prepared under the veterinary practitioner exemption must be prepared at the same facility the veterinarian utilizes in conducting the day-to-day activities associated with his or her practice. This exemption applies to veterinary biologics prepared by a veterinary practitioner solely for administration to animals in the course of a State-licensed professional practice of veterinary medicine under a veterinarian- client-patient relationship. This rule is necessary to ensure that veterinary biologics are not prepared in unlicensed establishments in violation of the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act and to clarify the regulations regarding the preparation of product by a veterinary practitioner under a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Document Number: 2015-10613
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-05-11
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
In accordance with provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, this proposed rule would revise the State agency's administrative review process to establish a unified accountability system designed to ensure that participating school food authorities comply with the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program requirements. The proposed administrative review process would include new procedures, retain key existing requirements from the Coordinated Review Effort and the School Meals Initiative, provide new review flexibilities and efficiencies for State agencies, and simplify fiscal action procedures. In addition to the new administrative review process, this rule proposes to require State agencies to report and publicly post school food authorities' administrative review results. These proposed changes are expected to strengthen program integrity through a more robust, effective, and transparent process for monitoring school nutrition program operations.
Document Number: 2015-11250
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responding to comments on the Federal Register notice, ``Ongoing Equivalence Verifications of Foreign Food Regulatory Systems,'' it published on January 25, 2013.
Document Number: 2015-11132
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Agricultural Research Service, Department of Agriculture
Notice is hereby given that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, intends to grant to Washington State Crop Improvement Association of Pullman, Washington, an exclusive license to the variety of field pea described in Plant Variety Protection Certificate Application Number 201500303, ``HAMPTON,'' dated April 13, 2015.
Document Number: 2015-11124
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the interstate movement of fresh sea asparagus tips from Hawaii into the continental United States. Based on the findings of a pest list and a risk management document, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, we have concluded that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the movement of fresh sea asparagus tips from Hawaii into the continental United States.
Document Number: 2015-11096
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Document Number: 2015-10449
Type: Proposed Rule
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service, Department of Agriculture
This proposal invites comments on expanding the membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (Council) under the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Council administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This proposal would increase the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This would help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. This proposal would also add eligibility requirements for the public member, clarify the Council's nomination procedures and its ability to serve the diversity of the industry, and increase the number of members needed for a quorum. This proposal also invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges for past due assessments. These changes would help facilitate program administration. All of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Council.
Document Number: 2015-10441
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is publishing this final rule for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. This final rule modifies the interim rule for VAPG based on comments received on the interim rule, which was published on February 23, 2011, on the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), and on a listening session, held on April 25, 2014, on the VAPG provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill. Under the final rule, grants will be made to help eligible producers of agricultural commodities enter into or expand value-added activities including the development of feasibility studies, business plans, and marketing strategies. The program also provides working capital for expenses such as implementing an existing viable marketing strategy. The program provides a priority for funding for applicants that are Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, Veteran Farmers and Ranchers, Socially- Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, operators of Small- and Medium- sized Family Farms and Ranches, Farmer and Rancher Cooperatives and applicants that propose a Mid-Tier Value Chain project. Additional priority points will be given to Agricultural Producer Groups, Farmer or Rancher Cooperatives, and Majority-Controlled Producer-Based Business Ventures whose projects ``best contribute'' to creating or increasing marketing opportunities for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, Veteran Farmers and Ranchers, Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers, and operators of Small- and Medium-sized Family Farms and Ranches. Further, it creates two reserved funds, each of which will include 10 percent of program funds each year, for applications that support opportunities for Beginning and Socially-Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and for proposed projects that develop mid-tier value marketing chains.
Document Number: 2015-10440
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-08
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Business-Cooperative Service
This Notice announces that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (Agency) is accepting fiscal year (FY) 2015 applications for the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Approximately $30 million in funding is available to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities for FY 2015. Approximately $10.2 million has been appropriated through the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 and the remaining funds have been made available through either carry over funding from FY 2014 or through the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill). The Agency is concurrently publishing a final rule that will revise the current VAPG regulation at 7 CFR part 4284, subpart J in response to: The 2014 Farm Bill; comments received on the interim rule, which was published on February 23, 2011 (76 FR 10122); a listening session, held on April 25, 2014, on the VAPG provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill; and to provide program clarifications. The Agency is encouraging applications that directs grants to projects based in or serving census tracts with poverty rates greater than or equal to 20 percent. This emphasis will support Rural Development's (RD) mission of improving the quality of life for rural Americans and commitment to directing resources to those who most need them.
Document Number: 2015-10951
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Document Number: 2015-10943
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) intends to hold a public scoping workshop and prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) in connection with possible impacts related to the construction and operation of a new gas-fired combustion turbine generation facility. The project, Hill County Generation Facility, is proposed by Brazos Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Brazos), of Waco, Texas. RUS may provide financial assistance for the project. The public scoping workshop is scheduled for Thursday, May 21, 2015, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. in the Community Hall of the First Presbyterian Church at 106 N. Lamar, Itasca, TX 76055.
Document Number: 2015-10621
Type: Rule
Date: 2015-05-07
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
This document contains a correction to the final rule published in the Federal Register on March 2, 2015, ``Professional Standards for State and Local School Nutrition Programs Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.''
Document Number: 2015-10607
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to extend the currently approved information collection regarding both its Consumer Complaint Monitoring System (CCMS) web portal and its electronic Food Safety Mobile questionnaire. The approval for this information collection will expire on August 31, 2015. FSIS is making no changes to the currently approved collection. The public may comment on either the entire information collection or on one of its two parts.
Document Number: 2015-10606
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension of a currently approved information collection associated with FSA Aerial Photography Program. The FSA Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) uses the information from the form to collect the customer and photography information needed to produce and ship the various photographic products ordered.
Document Number: 2015-10580
Type: Notice
Date: 2015-05-06
Agency: Department of Agriculture, Rural Utilities Service, Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration
In a request for comment (RFC) published in the Federal Register on April 29, 2015, the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce, which are co-chairing the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), asked for public input on barriers that are hampering deployment of broadband, ways to promote public and private investment in broadband, challenges facing areas that lack access to broadband, and ways to measure broadband availability, adoption, and speed.\1\ To explain the RFC's purpose and objectives, and to allow an opportunity for members of the public to pose questions regarding the RFC, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a webinar on May 20, 2015.
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