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IFAI’s policy and research team monitors the Federal Register for updates, notices, information, events, and more that are important or could impact Indian Country. The listings are broken down into three categories:

  • Announcements

  • Rule/Policy Updates

  • Nominations

Annoucements| Rule/Policy Updates| Nominations

Announcements

These are Federal Register notices about upcoming Tribal Consultations, listening sessions, public meetings, and funding opportunities as well as policy updates.

Notice of Semiannual Regulatory Agenda for Fall of 2023

Agency: USDA Office of the Secretary

Action: Notice of Semiannual Regulatory Agenda

Why it matters: This semiannual agenda provides a summary of significant and non-significant regulations being developed in USDA. This provides an opportunity for Tribal Nations and organizations to monitor federal regulations that may impact Tribal food and agriculture. 

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Rule/Policy Updates

These are Federal Register notices about rules, regulations, and policy updates that have potential impacts to Tribal food and agriculture and provide opportunities for public comments or feedback. 

Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP)

Agency: Commodity Credit Corporation and USDA’s Farm Service Agency

Action: Final Rule Effective July 1, 2024

Why it matters: ELAP provides emergency relief to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish for losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture, that are not covered by the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP)  or the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP). This final rule, which takes effect on July 1, 2024, changes ELAP to provide financial assistance to dairy producers who face milk losses due to H5N1 infection of their dairy herds. The federal register notice outlines eligibility criteria, application process, and payment calculations.

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Fair and Competitive Livestock and Poultry Meats

Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

Action: Seeking Public Comments on a Proposed Rule by August 27, 2024

Why it matters: USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing a rule that would define unfair practices as conduct that harms market participants and conduct that harms the market. This proposed rule aims to promote fair and competitive markets in the livestock, meats, poultry, and live poultry markets.

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Notice of Request for an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection re Agency Service Delivery

Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

Action: Seeking Public Comments by August 12, 2024

Why it matters: USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) requests an extension on a currently approved information collection activity about Agency service delivery. AMS seeks to gather qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback such as information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions (not statistical survey) that can be generalized. The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery.

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Submission for OMB Review; Comments Requested on WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Forms and Regulations

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Action: Seeking Public Comments by July 17, 2024

Why it matters: USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) seeks public comments on the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) Forms and Regulations. FNS will collect information from each state that receives a grant under the FMNP program in conjunction with preparing annual financial and recipient reports. Indian Tribal Organizations are among the State and local agencies expected to respond to this information collection.

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Poultry Grower Payment Systems and Capital Improvement Systems

Agency: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service

Action: Seeking Public Comments by August 9, 2024

Why it matters: AMS is proposing amendments such as (1) prohibiting live poultry dealers (LPDs) from discounting or reducing the grower’s rate of compensation based on the grower’s grouping, ranking, or comparison to others; and (2) requiring LPDs to establish and maintain written documentation of their processes for the design and operation of a broiler grower ranking system.

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Agency Information Collection Activities; Outreach and Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (2501 Program) Application and Performance Reporting

Agency: USDA

Action: Seeking Public Comments by June 29, 2024

Why it matters: Information sought about the 2501 program at USDA will include (1) the recipients of funds made available under the program; (2) the activities undertaken and services provided; and (3) the number of current and prospective socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers served and the outcomes of such service. 

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Child Nutrition Programs; Meal Patterns Consistent with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Action: Final Rule effective July 1, 2024

Why it matters: USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has issued a final rule that aligns Child Nutrition Programs with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The rule will take effect on July 1, 2024, and incorporates feedback from stakeholders, including 200 comments on the proposal to add “traditional foods”’ to the regulations. USDA also sought feedback on which traditional foods USDA should incorporate in the Food Buying Guide. Some of the responses suggested adding wild game, including moose, reindeer, and caribou as well as plants such as kelp and Eskimo potatoes and fruits like salmonberries.

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Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC): Revisions in the WIC Food Packages

Agency: USDA Food and Nutrition Service

Action: Notification of Final Rule Effective June 17, 2024

Why it matters: The changes to the WIC food packages are intended to provide participants with a wider variety of foods that align with the latest nutritional guidance in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Changes also provide WIC State agencies with greater flexibility to prescribe and tailor food packages that accommodate participants’ special dietary needs and personal and cultural food preferences as well as address key nutritional needs to support healthy dietary patterns.

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Nominations

Including Native voices and perspectives to inform federal agencies through committees and boards is critical to addressing the unique needs of Indian Country. Check out this curated list of current opportunities, and please reach out with any questions: agpolicy@uark.edu.

FSA County Committee Nominations

Announcement: County FSA Committee Elections Begin

Description:  USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committees are an important part of the day-to-day operations of FSA. These committees allow grassroots input and location administration of federal farm programs. More than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees across the U.S. The committees are made up of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms..County committees impact the administration of the Farm Service Agency within a community. They help make determinations on programs such as disaster assistance, hiring decisions, and assist with outreach. County committee members can impact producers through their decision-making and help shape the culture of a local FSA office.

Where can I submit a nomination: Find out where and how to nominate qualified individuals in your FSA Local Administrative Areas (LAA) on FSA’s website here.

Deadline: Aug. 1, 2024

Learn More

 

Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

Description: USDA seeks nominations for four positions on the Federal Advisory Committee for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. This 12-member committee is part of USDA’s efforts to increase support for urban agriculture and innovative production. Members provide input on policy development and help identify barriers to urban agriculture.

Deadline for submission: July 6, 2024

Where can I submit a nomination: Nomination packages must be submitted by email to UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov or postmarked by July 6, 2024. If sent by mail, packages should be addressed to USDA NRCS, Attn: Brian Guse, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 4083, Washington, DC 20250. Any interested person or organization may nominate qualified individuals for membership, including self-nominations. For special accommodations, contact Markus Holliday at UrbanAgricultureFederalAdvisoryCommittee@usda.gov.

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