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IMPORTANT FARM BILL GUIDANCE: The implications of the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill

Many programs and policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were authorized under the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (“2008 Farm Bill”) through September 30, 2012. Beginning October 1, 2012 the authority or funding provided under the 2008 Farm Bill for USDA to operate a number of these programs expired, including the following NIFA programs: Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative, the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program, the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, and the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program. As of today, Congress has not passed a 2012 Food, Farm and Jobs Act or other legislation extending the authority for USDA to carry out this program, and USDA cannot make new commitments to these programs.

Because the authority for these programs has expired, NIFA cannot move forward on the release of new RFAs for these programs. NIFA can continue to manage existing grant awards that were made in FY 2012 and previous years. Note that two of our mandatory-funded programs, Community Food Projects and Risk Management Education, receive funding that is subject to the OMB operating guidance and legislative provisions of the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution. Therefore, these programs are not impacted by the expiration of the Farm Bill.