October 25, 2016

  • Elizabeth  Rowland Posted on 10/18/2016 by Elizabeth Rowland
    NASDA is Hiring!

    We are currently accepting applications for three open positions on the NASDA Team.

    Coordinator, Member Services (Retweet the Twitter announcement)

    Administrative Assistant  (Retweet the Twitter announcement)

    Agriculture Policy Intern (Retweet the Twitter announcement)

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  • Rebecca Creighton Posted on 10/25/2016 by Rebecca Creighton

    USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced the availability of $17.6 million for research and outreach activities to support the organic agriculture sector. The grants are funded through NIFA’s Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.
     
    “The organic industry is the fastest growing segment of U.S. agriculture, with sales growing by $4.2 billion last year to reach a record $43.3 billion,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Over the past seven years, USDA has invested nearly $261 million in research to improve the productivity and success of organic agriculture, including seed-breeding. The Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative is one of the many ways USDA is helping this sector meet growing consumer demand.”

    OREI funds high-priority research, education and extension projects that enhance the ability of producers and processors who ...

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 10/25/2016 by Dudley Hoskins

    Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (WS) conducts a research needs assessment (RNA) to help ensure the program’s research efforts address high priority and newly identified wildlife issues. This year, WS partnered with Mississippi State University’s Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts to gather feedback from a variety of professionals with expertise and interest in wildlife damage management. Results from the 2016 RNA are now available online.

    RNA respondents provided information about their most pressing economic and ecological wildlife conflicts; livestock and human pathogens carried by wildlife that are of most concern; research needs related to existing wildlife management tools; new technologies that should be explored; specific program, state or regional wildlife conflicts; and the use of and satisfaction with various services. The RNA, along with Congressional Directives, helps to determine WS' research focus, ...

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 10/25/2016 by Dudley Hoskins

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced 12 awards in 10 states totaling $2.3 million to help relieve shortages of veterinary services through education, extension, training and support for new or existing veterinary practices in designated rural shortage areas. These fiscal year 2016 competitive grants are funded through the new Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

    VSGP grants fund work by universities, veterinary associations, and state, local or Tribal agencies to help relieve veterinary workforce shortages in the U.S. food and agriculture sector. Funds may also be used to support the establishment or expansion of veterinary services in eligible rural areas.

    Fiscal year 2016 grants include:

    • American Association of Bovine Practitioners, Opelika, Ala., $224,136
    • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo., $238,251
    • University of Georgia, Athens, Ga., $236,243
    • Kansas ...
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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 10/25/2016 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Last week, USDA NRCS published the final rule on the updated Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). Landowners and entities interested in applying for a conservation easement can submit applications any time to a USDA NRCS Service Center, however, applications must be submitted by Nov. 18, 2016 to be considered for the initial application batch cut-off date for fiscal year 2017 funding.

    The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provides financial and technical assistance to help conserve agricultural lands and wetlands and their related benefits.  Under the Agricultural Land Easements (ALE) component, NRCS helps Indian tribes, state and local governments and non-governmental organizations protect working agricultural lands and limit non-agricultural uses of the land.  Under the Wetlands Reserve Easements (WRE) component, NRCS helps to restore, protect and enhance enrolled wetlands.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 10/25/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Registration is now open for the 2017 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference, January 25-27.

    This year’s focus takes a deep dive into behavior change -- the heart of improving food safety practices at home and at work.  The timing could not be better for food safety and health educators to get the latest research, effective applications, and cutting edge knowledge for food safety and behavior change experts.

    Learn from keynote speakers:

    Primary tracks include motivation and risk perception as keys to behavior change, influencing behavior though physical design, measuring behavior change, targeting at-risk populations and behavior change in the digital ...

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  • Rebecca Creighton Posted on 10/25/2016 by Rebecca Creighton

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for the 2017 Borlaug Global Research Alliance Fellowships. Fellows will work with a mentor at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service or a U.S. university for up to 12 weeks on climate change mitigation research. The U.S. mentor will later visit the fellow’s home institution to continue collaboration.

    The application deadline is November 30, 2016.

    Click here for application instructions and additional information.

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  • Dudley Hoskins Posted on 10/25/2016 by Dudley Hoskins

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is seeking nominations  for membership on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health. Selected members will serve 2-year terms.

    The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health advises the Secretary of Agriculture on strategies, policies, and programs to prevent, control, or eradicate animal diseases. The committee considers agricultural initiatives of national scope and significance and advises on matters of public health, conservation of national resources, stability of livestock economies, livestock disease management and traceability strategies, prioritizing animal health imperatives, and other related aspects of agriculture.

    Terms will expire for the current members of the Committee in 2017. The Secretary will select up to 20 members from across the agricultural community, including producers, processors, marketers, researchers, State and Tribal agricultural agencies, trade associations, and others, to obtain ...

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  • Rebecca Creighton Posted on 10/25/2016 by Rebecca Creighton

    California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones has been honored for her extensive contributions to animal health and animal agriculture with a 2016 USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Administrator’s Award, recently bestowed by APHIS administrator Kevin Shea at the annual meeting of the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA).

    Dr. Jones, who serves as treasurer of USAHA, was honored for a long list of accomplishments in public service, including directing the state and federal partnership to eradicate an outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease; successfully directing the response to detections of avian influenza; and consistently demonstrating an ability to work cooperatively with other government agencies, the public, and industry in emergency animal disease planning efforts at the local, state, and federal levels.

    “This is a very prestigious award at USDA, and no one is more deserving than Dr. Jones,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 10/25/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) and Three Square Food Bank of Las Vegas teamed up on Tuesday, Oct. 11 to provide fresh, Nevada-grown produce to 692 food-insecure seniors in Las Vegas.

    “Through the USDA Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, we provided 5,203 coupon booklets, valued at $30 each, to improve food-insecure seniors’ access to fresh, local produce statewide,” Donnell Barton, administrator of the NDA’s Food and Nutrition Division, said. “With excess funds, we were pleased to be able to put an additional $20,000 toward this bulk buy.”

    The $20,000 was used to purchase 15,000 pounds of Nevada-grown produce, including tomatoes, onions, potatoes, squash, eggplant, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, yams, garlic, peaches, pears and apples. In addition, 9,984 ounces of local honey was purchased, and the NDA partnered with Three Square of Las Vegas to distributed the items through their Senior Share program.

    “It’s very ...

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