News

  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 02/22/2017 by Nathan Bowen

    NASDA joined more than 500 organizations representing a broad spectrum of farm, food, environment, and nutrition organizations this week urging the House and Senate to not propose any cuts for the next Farm Bill. The letter sent to Congressional appropriators and budget leaders states:

    "With the agriculture and rural economy struggling, households across the country struggling to meet their basic needs for nutrition, and farm income down 46 percent from only three years ago, it would be perilous to hinder development and passage of the 2018 Farm Bill with further cuts."

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 02/22/2017 by DeWitt Ashby
    NASDA Highlights Key Findings of the 2016 NRA Trade Show, Highlights Space Availability at 2017 Show

    The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show is one of the leading trade show events in the U.S., including every product category necessary to open or operate a restaurant. NASDA operates the American Food Fair Pavilion within the NRA Show to highlight small U.S. owned food and beverage businesses seeking to export to new markets. In 2016, the NRA show attracted over 2,300 exhibitors who were visited by more than 45,000 attendees. This include nearly 5,000 international attendees from over 120 countries - the super majority of whom rated “seeing new products” as extremely or very important.

    Food and beverage exhibitors in the American Food Fair Pavilion at the NRA Show, sponsored by NASDA and FAS/USDA, reported $19 million in export sales.  More than 10% of American Food Fair exhibitors reported a first time export sale to a new market.

    Limited space is still available in the 2017 American Food Fair, May 20-23 2017 in Chicago. Contact us today to be a part ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/22/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA President Appointed to Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Board of Trustees

    NASDA President and Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture & Forestry Dr. Mike Strain has been appointed to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) Board of Trustees. Commissioner Strain joins the likes of Julie Borlaug Larson, James Greenwood, President & CEO, Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and many other thought leaders in agriculture science in service to the organization.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/22/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Last week,, the House Committee on Agriculture (Committee) passed two bills that are integral to the pesticide stakeholders’ ability to operate in a highly regulated, yet predictable environment.  The Committee passed H.R. 1029, the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA), addressing funding of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and  H.R. 953, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2017, addressing the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Pesticide General Permit (PGP), via voice vote. Although the bills have different regulatory focuses, they both offer solutions to existing inadequacies.  

    PRIA

    Established in 2004, PRIA creates a more predictable and effective evaluation process for affected pesticide decisions by coupling the collection of fees with specific decision review periods.

    PRIA has been reauthorized three times, with the most recent reauthorization due to expire on September 30, 2017. In addition to extending ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/22/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Sandy Adams, Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services

    Our first Member Spotlight for 2017 features one of NASDA's 11 female members. Sandy Adams has led the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS) as Commissioner since June 2014.

    How do you start your day?

    Nothing starts my day off better than a fast walk first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes. This is usually doable 10 out of 12 months in Virginia. I come back to coffee and a review of the news before I leave the house. I bring my second cup of coffee and my breakfast with me. I have a 20 – 45 minute commute to our office on Capitol Square, depending on the traffic, and that gives me time to mentally organize my day. A second check of messages, as well as catching up with key staff starts the day once in Capitol Square. About 20 percent of the time, I head directly from home to a meeting or to work with one or more of our employees somewhere around the Commonwealth.

    What do you think is missing from the conversation ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/22/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Nevada had the highest percentage increase in school breakfast participation according to the annual School Breakfast Scorecard released yesterday by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), a national anti-hunger advocacy group. The scorecard ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on participation of low-income children in the School Breakfast Program.

    This increase is due in large part to the “Breakfast After the Bell” bill, which was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval on June 12, 2015. The bill mandates all Nevada schools with 70 percent or greater free/reduced lunch eligibility implement an option for students to have access to breakfast after the start of school each day. The bill also set aside $2 million in grant money to assist in implementation.

    The Nevada Department of Agriculture reports breakfast participation among those qualifying schools in Nevada has doubled, increasing from 20 percent in the 2014-2015 school year to 44 percent in ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 02/22/2017 by Nathan Bowen

    The eleven remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership countries are currently deciding what their next steps will be, as a result of the U.S. withdrawing from the agreement. To discuss what comes next, Chile has invited all countries involved and extended invitations to China and South Korea.

    Foreign leaders made it known they are still pursuing the TPP and are not as interested in President Trump’s proposed alternative to the Asia-Pacific deal, which consists of new bilateral trade deals.

    Many believe there is no reason why the deal shouldn’t move on without the U.S. Experts say the other countries could find a way to move forward and boost some economic gains while establishing new trade rules.

    The possibility of China joining a multilateral deal may be an attractive option to the other countries. The biggest driver for most TPP participants was access to the U.S. market, which accounts for 69% for the combined GDP of the 12 countries. China’s 1.3 billion population ...

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 02/14/2017 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Last week, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its decision to recommend California enact a Federal Milk Marketing Order (FMMO). Comments from the public will be accepted for 90 days after the official publication in the Federal Register, on Tuesday, February 14th.

    FMMOs establish provisions in which dairy processors buy milk from dairy farmers that supply a marketing area, and regulate the purchasing of milk between farmers and buyers. A marketing area can be defined as a geographic area where dairy processors compete for packaged fluid milk sales. The marketing area recommended by USDA would cover the entire state of California.

    Where it is applicable, the FMMO will propose the adoption of uniform order provisions included in the 10 current FMMOs. These provisions include dairy product classification, end product price formulas and the producer handler definition.

    California produces over 20% of all U.S. milk production and is currently regulated by a state milk ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/14/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Arkansas Agriculture Department is looking for a summer intern to help promote programs offered through the Southern United States Trade Association (SUSTA) that help Arkansas agricultural businesses sell their products in international markets. This summer internship pays!

    As an intern, you will gain knowledge and experience in:

    • Arkansas Agriculture;
    • Global produce/food markets;
    • Challenges in exporting;
    • Communication & Marketing.

    In order to apply for the Arkansas Agriculture Department/SUSTA Internship Program, you must:

    • Be enrolled in undergraduate coursework for a degree;
    • Be in good standing with your school;
    • Not be more than halfway through your final semester;
    • Be willing to work in Little Rock;

    Students studying agricultural business, agricultural economics, business, international business, marketing or related fields preferred.

    To apply, submit the following documents by email to Christian.olson@aad.ar.gov:

    1. A Resume demonstrating academic ...
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/14/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Californians throw away nearly 6 million tons of food scraps or food waste each year. This represents about 18 percent of all the material that goes to landfills. In order for California to reach its goal of 75% source reduction, recycling and composting, food waste must be addressed.

    California’s Mandatory Commercial Organics Recycling law requires businesses to recycle their organic waste. The links below provide more information on food waste management as well as examples of how various business groups and public entities are managing food waste.

    Everyone has a role in saving resources and wasting less food. Creative food rescue projects like the UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign work to save healthy fruits and vegetables from becoming waste. Rather than throwing away excess food, find ways to manage it more thoughtfully, such as working with groups to ensure that it goes to disadvantaged people, and composting for soil restoration. To further educate the public about food waste, ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/14/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently announced the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. The grants available include the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grants, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).

    AMS will host a webinar for potential FMPP and LFPP grant applicants on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and a teleconference for potential FSMIP grant applicants on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  For more information about FSMIP, FMPP and LFPP, visit: www.ams.usda.gov/AMSgrants.  The website also contains a link to a grants decision tree, "What AMS Grant is Right for ME?”, to help applicants determine which AMS grant fits their project best. 

    The grant applications for FSMIP, FMPP and LFPP must be ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/14/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Service Food & Drug Protection Division is now seeking applicants for a Dairy Administrator.

    This position will be responsible for management of the North Carolina Grade A Dairy Program, including enforcement of the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, the NC Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the NC Administrative Code, the USPHS/FDA Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), FDA Guidance Documents and NCIMS Model Documents.  Duties include managing inspections, ratings, sample collections, investigations, compliance, and enforcement activities; monitoring and responding to complaints, recalls, potential foodborne illness outbreaks, and dairy farm and processing plant emergencies; developing and executing contracts and cooperative agreements with FDA or other entities to support Program activities; managing the Dairy Program budget; collaborating with federal, state, and local agencies, including public health, universities, ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/14/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    New Educational Website Explores Plant Breeding Innovation, Gene Editing

    What is plant breeding innovation? What do plant breeders do? And what could new breeding techniques like gene editing mean for the future of agriculture and our society? Find answers to these questions and more at Seeding Innovation website-- a public-facing educational resource developed by ASTA.

    The plant breeding innovation microsite is a multimedia platform that houses FAQs, a blog, plant breeder profiles, videos, one-pagers and other educational resources about the evolution-and future--of plant breeding. Visit www.seedinginnovation.org and follow @Better_Seed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more. Watch the Man on the Street video as a preview of what's to come!

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/14/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    This Valentine’s Day, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets is taking a moment to proclaim its love for Vermont’s farmers.

    “The Vermont we know and love simply would not exist without the hardworking women and men who dedicate their lives to agriculture,” says Vermont’s Ag Secretary, Anson Tebbetts.  “Farmers provide food, create jobs, keep our landscape open, and support our local communities. Farmers deserve our adoration!”

    Tebbetts thinks Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion for Vermonters to profess their fond feelings for farmers.

    “There are so many reasons to love Vermont agriculture, it’s nearly impossible to count the ways,” Tebbetts added.

    But here’s a start…

    Ten Reasons to Love Vermont Farmers

    1. There are over 7,300 farms in Vermont, and each is unique.
    2. Vermont is known for its dairy and maple industries, but our agriculture runs the gambit. Vermont farmers are ...
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    This story originally appeared in Modern Farmer written by Brian Barth.

    Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit founded by chef Michel Nischan, is renowned in social justice circles for its success in bringing healthy food to those who need it most. The organization pioneered the idea of doubling the value of SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) when recipients use them to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, which is now commonplace across the country.

    Less known is that for the last six years, Wholesome Wave has worked quietly on an equally ambitious initiative: getting healthcare providers to write prescriptions for produce, rather than just pills. It’s called FVRx (Fruit and Vegetable Rx) and its ready to storm the nation—starting with downtown LA.

    Target, the national retail chain, has sponsored the biggest FVRx program to date, in which more than 500 families who receive healthcare services at the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center in Los Angeles are ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) is seeking partners for an innovative program called the Fruits and Vegetables Fund (F&V Fund). In 2016, the CAFB distributed over 46 million pounds of food, 15 million of which was fresh fruits and vegetables in part due to the F&V Fund. Each CAFB partners with local farms to purchase high-quality, cosmetically imperfect produce to provide to their partner agencies through Agency Mart, where they can pick up the produce at no cost. This allows CAFB to both provide more nutritious food to their partners and to support local agriculture by guaranteeing a steady source of income.

    CAFB is now accepting bids for the 2017 F&V season, which will run from June to December. Interested parties should send the completed agreement to me by COB on March 1, 2017, and growers invited to participate will be sent a separate contract prior to the start of the season. For more information contact Lauren Sauder at ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Checkoff programs, commonly referred to as research and promotion programs, are designed to promote and provide research and information for a particular agricultural commodity without reference to specific producers or brands.  State and federal checkoff programs for beef, soybeans, rice, pork, and many other commodities play a critical role in supporting industry promotion, information, and research programs.  Additionally, the programs are important to states’ departments of agriculture, states’ farm bureaus, the land grant university system, producers, and others.  Checkoff programs are increasingly the target of litigation efforts as well as important regulatory developments.  This webinar will provide a comprehensive overview and update on recent and emerging legal issues involving state and federal checkoff programs.

    Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
    12:00 – 1:00 (EST)
    Click here to access the webinar shortly before it begins.

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  • Charlie Ingram Posted on 02/07/2017 by Charlie Ingram

    USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting the 2016 Certified Organic Survey to gather new data on certified organic crops and livestock commodities in the United States. This effort is critical to help determine the economic impact of certified organic agriculture production in the United States.

    NASS is mailing the survey to all known certified organic farms and ranches within the 50 states. The form asks producers to provide information on acreage, production, and sales, as well as production and marketing practices. The agency asks all participants to respond by February 19. Producers can return their forms by mail or complete the survey online at www.agcounts.usda.gov.

    “In recent years, U.S. farms and ranches have experienced tremendous growth in certified organic agriculture sales. Last year, NASS reported that U.S. certified organic producers sold a total of $6.2 billion in products in 2015, up 13 percent since 2014,” said Adam ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Attend the Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference & Trade Show in Sturbridge, March 7-9 and Turn Up the Volume on Your Farm Marketing! Experience nearly 30 workshops on topics such as retail and wholesale marketing, agri-tourism, business planning, value added product development, social media, online marketing and more!

    A small sampling of the workshops include: Legal Structures for Your Farm, The Latest Food Trends and the Power of “Local,” Get More from Your Online Marketing and Social Media, Running Your Business (Instead of Letting it Run You!), On-Farm Food Festivals and Dinners, and also Financing and On-Line Crowd Funding Platforms: How do They Work? Are they Right for Me?

    Are you looking to develop a value-added product? The value added track will take you from product conception to marketing.  An all day workshop for New England Farmers’ Market Managers will be held on Wednesday, March 8th. Don’t forget the trade show with ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Nevada: Department of Agriculture Currently Accepting Summer Food Service Program Partners

    The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) is seeking sponsors to provide free meals to children during the summer through the federally funded Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

    “Nevada’s youth need nutritious meals year round, and this program provides food for children outside of the normal school year,” said Donnell Barton, administrator of the NDA’s Food and Nutrition Division. “Last year, more than 650,000 meals were distributed by schools, non-profits, government agencies, Native American tribes and other partners.”

    Sponsors may prepare meals or serve meals obtained from another SFSP sponsor, public or commercial food vendor, a local government agency or a school food service department. All meals must meet USDA’s minimum meal pattern requirements. Past year’s sponsors have included Three Square Food Bank, Food Bank or Northern Nevada, churches, city parks, schools and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state.

    “All ...

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