News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Florida: Commissioner Adam Putnam, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and Other Officials Survey Damage to Florida Agriculture

    Yesterday, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Tom Rooney and Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart surveyed agricultural damage from Hurricane Irma and met with affected farmers in Clewiston, Fla. 

    Image: Sen. Marco Rubio, Secretary Sonny Perdue, Commissioner Adam Putnam, Congressman Tom Rooney prior to tour of agricultural damage.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Governor Chris Sununu issued the following statement announcing the intended retirement of New Hampshire Department of Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill.

    "For the past 10 years, Commissioner Merrill has done an outstanding job as Commissioner of Agriculture. Her passion and dedication for New Hampshire farms, farmers and local communities across the State of New Hampshire will be missed. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors."

    "It has been a real privilege to serve the people of New Hampshire as Commissioner of Agriculture," said Lorraine Merrill. "These 10 years have brought challenges, but also opportunities-and renewed awareness of the importance of local farms and foods for our communities and our state. I will especially miss the dedicated, hard-working team of professionals I have had the honor of serving with at the Department of Agriculture."

    "As Chairman of the Agriculture Advisory Board, I have appreciated ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    OFRF is pleased to release our Request for Proposals (RFP) for 2018 research grants. Applicants residing in Canada, Mexico, and the United States are eligible to apply. In particular, OFRF encourages farmers, ranchers, graduate students, early career researchers, veterans, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding. The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2017. OFRF will notify applicants about funding decisions in spring 2018.
     
    We selected our priority areas for the RFP based on direct feedback from farmers and ranchers across the U.S. These priorities reflect the top areas where investment in research will make a real difference in helping organic farmers and ranchers be successful. 

    Research priorities include are not limited to:

    1. Soil health. Topics of particular interest include nutrient balancing, crop rotations, and fertility management focused on reducing environmental impacts.
    2. Innovative weed control. Topics of particular ...
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Significant Women in Oklahoma Agriculture Highlight: Anita Van der Laan

    Growing up in the Holland province Fryslan, Anita Van der Laan never imagined she would one day have an 8,000 head dairy in Oklahoma.

    Van der Laan’s love for dairy began at a very young age on her family’s 90-head Holstein dairy back in Holland. She is a 5th generation dairy farmer, with farmers on both sides of her family.

    A defining moment in Van der Laan’s life occurred when she was graduating high school. Because she was a woman, the family dairy went to her brother, and her father told her it was time for her to find somewhere else to work.

    “It really hurt,” Van der Laan recalled. “It still hurts 30 years later. But it made me want to encourage other women to go into the dairy industry.”

    Van der Laan made the decision to move to the United States and start dairying here. Her life took another twist when she attended a Thanksgiving dinner in Texas with neighboring dairy farmers. A young man named Pieter Van der Laan had a birthday on ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    From the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture Commissioner Carlos Robles:

    We just received the latest weather information and unless there is a miracle waiting in heaven, we will be taking another direct hit.  Puerto Rico will also be receiving a direct hit as opposed to a minor brush with Hurricane Irma. I know that FEMA is more interested in the lives of humans and USDA generally handles animals and humans (SNAP School Lunch Program etc.,

    I am aware that a disaster declaration is being processed for the territory as of this email through the USDA Farm Service Agency. This along with the usual disaster loan processing will take some time.

    Our basic need after the hurricane has passed for our livestock and horse (race horse) population will be hay and feed. Hurricanes destroy leaf cover from all flora.  This would probably be one of the critical needs during the recovery.

    If we have could rally some donations after the storm has ...

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  • Carly Grether Posted on 09/19/2017 by Carly Grether

    NASDA is currently seeking applications for highly motivated public policy interns interested in learning about the legislation and regulations that impact American agriculture. There is one internship position available per semester and we are accepting applications for the upcoming spring semester (January - May). The deadline to apply for this semester is October 27, 2017. This full-time position is located in Arlington, Virginia.

    Applicants should be classified as a sophomore or greater by their academic institution and have excellent written and oral communication skills. A basic understanding of the legislative process is preferred but not required.

    Please click here for more information.

    Interns are paid for their time at NASDA but housing is not provided.

    Submit the following documents to Carly Grether carly@nasda.org on or before October 27, 2017Please note: All of the following documents are required to be considered:

    • Cover letter
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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 09/19/2017 by Britt Aasmundstad
    McKinney Nomination Hearing Today

    Today, NASDA member, Director Ted McKinney of Indiana provided testimony to the Senate Agriculture Committee on his nomination for position of USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs. McKinney was joined by Stephen Censky, who is nominated to be deputy secretary of agriculture. This hearing is the first USDA nomination hearing since Secretary Perdue in March 2017.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    GMO Answers Launches GMO Innovation Video Contest

    October marks GMO Answers’ annual “Get to Know GMOs Month” campaign. This year GMO Answers, a platform dedicated to answering the public’s questions about GMOs and biotechnology, is launching a video innovation contest designed to engage students and young science enthusiasts to come up with creative ways to help solve for some of the world’s most pressing food challenges, and we need your help to spread the word.

    The Challenge

    The GMO Innovation Contest challenges participants to submit a 15 – 30 second video answering the question: If you could use biotechnology to solve any food problem around the world, what would it be and why?

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today gave high marks to Steve Censky and Ted McKinney for their joint appearance before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  President Donald Trump has nominated Censky to service as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, while McKinney is the president’s choice to be the very first Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.  The two await approval of the entire U.S. Senate before beginning work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    Secretary Perdue issued the following statement:

    “Today we saw two nominees who are experienced, prepared, and capable of providing the steady leadership we need at USDA, and we can’t wait to get them on board.  We have accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time in our department, but we need Steve Censky and Ted McKinney to join the team as we face serious challenges in agriculture in the coming months and years.

    ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/19/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Honors Public Servants to Agriculture at Annual Meeting

    At the annual meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) in New Orleans, Louisiana last week, top employees of three state departments of agriculture will be honored for their service, communication, and administration to their state.

    “There is so much talent working to advance American agriculture in our departments, talent that often goes unrecognized. NASDA’s Honor Awards Program provides our members the opportunity to recognize their staff for their work on a national stage,” said NASDA President and Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry Dr. Michael G. Strain. “Congratulations to our 2017 NASDA Honor Awards recipients!”

    James A. Graham Award

    The purpose of the James A. Graham Award is to recognize an individual for outstanding work in providing service to agricultural producers.

    The James A. Graham Award was awarded to Joe Reardon, Assistant Commissioner for Consumer Protection at the North ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/06/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    We have received many concerned inquiries about the ongoing Hurricane Harvey response and incoming threat of Hurricane Irma to the United States. The 2017 NASDA Annual Meeting and our upcoming USA Pavilion at America's Food & Beverage Show in Miami are still a go. We will continue to closely monitor the weather in both Louisiana and Miami. Please click here for the most up to date weather in New Orleans.

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  • Charlie Ingram Posted on 09/06/2017 by Charlie Ingram

    During September, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts two surveys critical to small grains producers around the country, including those growing wheat, oats, barley and rye.  The results of the surveys (Agricultural Survey – September and the County Agricultural Production Survey) help determine elements of farm payment and risk management programs. The Agricultural Survey also asks for grain stocks information.

     “The most important take-away message for producers is to respond to NASS surveys,” says NASS Agricultural Statistics Board Chair Joseph L. Parsons. “Farm programs important to small grains producers rely on farmer-reported NASS data. When enough producers do not respond to surveys, NASS is not able to publish data. Without these data, USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Risk Management Agency may not have information on which to base the programs that serve those same producers. Producers can lose out ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/29/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    California: Secretary Ross Meets with Mexican Agriculture Agency – Reaffirms Partnership with California’s Largest Trading Partner

    CDFA Secretary Karen Ross is in Mexico this week with a California Grown trade delegation focusing on expanding opportunities for California specialty crops.

    Secretary Ross met with Mr. Raul Urteaga Trani, general coordinator for international affairs with Mexico’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA).

    Mexico is California’s largest trading partner and the fifth-largest export destination for California’s agricultural products, with a value exceeding $1 billion.

    The meeting provided an opportunity to share common commitments and values as well as enhance ongoing cooperation on agricultural trade.  California and Mexico share many agricultural issues – this meeting reaffirmed their partnership, and a commitment to farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers who benefit from the longstanding trade ties.

    Read the full story here.

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  • Carly Grether Posted on 08/29/2017 by Carly Grether
    Apply Now for Competitive Internship Opportunity at NASDA

    NASDA is currently seeking applications for highly motivated public policy interns interested in learning about the legislation and regulations that impact American agriculture. There is one internship position available per semester and we are accepting applications for the upcoming spring semester (January - May). The deadline to apply for this semester is October 27, 2017. This full-time position is located in Arlington, Virginia.

    Applicants should be classified as a sophomore or greater by their academic institution and have excellent written and oral communication skills. A basic understanding of the legislative process is preferred but not required.

    Please click here for more information.

    Interns are paid for their time at NASDA but housing is not provided.

    Submit the following documents to Carly Grether carly@nasda.org on or before October 27, 2017Please note: All of the following documents are required to be considered:

    • Cover letter
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/29/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    These FREE! Sustainable Agriculture Lesson Plans are for grades 9-12 with the goal of increasing students' knowledge about the social, economic, environmental, and production components of sustainable farming and ranching in the 21st century.  

    At the end of each lesson, students will complete an Online Learning Experience that corresponds with the respective lesson plan.

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 08/29/2017 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Last week, EPA and the Corps of Engineers announced public input sessions for stakeholders to make recommendations on a revised definition of “waters of the United States.” The agencies will hold nine two-hour long teleconferences that will be tailored for specific sectors. The agriculture call is on October 17, 2017. Each will run from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. eastern time. Information on how to register for each of these meetings is available on the EPA website.  Registration for each webinar will close a week prior.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/29/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS) program released the Cooperative Screwworm Eradication Program environmental assessment (EA) for public review. In response to the elevated threat of infestation of screwworms to livestock and humans in the United States, APHIS proposes to participate cooperatively with state agriculture departments in localized actions designed to exclude and eradicate screwworms in the United States. Each eradication action will be adapted in response to the individual circumstances associated with the detection of persons or animals with myiasis.

    The EA analyzes the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for APHIS' involvement in screwworm eradication. The two alternatives considered for eradication of screwworms in the United States are (1) take no action or (2) implement a cooperative screwworm eradication program (APHIS’ preferred alternative).

    APHIS is ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/29/2017 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Perdue marked the 51st anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and announced USDA will be asking for input from the public to help determine potential updates to the law’s licensing requirements.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is tasked with upholding and enforcing the AWA.  The AWA was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 24, 1966.

    “As a trained veterinarian, humane standards of care for animals are close to my heart and central to my love and concern for our four-legged friends,” Perdue said.  “Administering the AWA is a key USDA mission, and we are always looking for ways to improve.  We welcome comments from the public as APHIS considers changes to the licensing requirements to help us fulfill this important responsibility.”

    Each year, USDA issues nearly 6,000 licenses to people who breed, sell, or exhibit animals for ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/29/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is providing emergency assistance  in caring for animals – livestock and domesticated – in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. APHIS is working to aid producers and positioning staff in key areas in Texas and Louisiana where flooding may cause further damage. In addition, APHIS is helping to meet the emergency needs of pets and their owners, as inspectors are coordinating closely with zoos, breeders, and other licensed facilities in the region to ensure the safety of animals in their care.

    On the livestock front, APHIS veterinarians are working alongside the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) to conduct on-site assessments to document the needs of producers whose ranches were in the path of the storm. All needs assessments are being shared directly with the joint State-Federal Emergency Operations Center for tasking in order to provide prompt assistance. ...

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