February 7, 2017

  • 02/01/2017
    Press Release
    Today, the National Association of State Departments established priorities for the next Farm Bill. NASDA called for enhanced investment in American agriculture that provides producers the tools they need to succeed.  Further, NASDA emphasized that the Farm Bill is vital to providing ...
  • 01/31/2017
    Press Release
    The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) emphasized the importance of international trade and expanded markets for U.S. agriculture at their annual Winter Policy Conference today.  NASDA members voted on a number of measures that called on the new administration to ...
  • Carly Grether Posted on 02/07/2017 by Carly Grether
    NASDA Seeking Applicants for Summer Internship Position

    NASDA, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, is seeking highly motivated students interested about the legislation and regulations that impact American agriculture. 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. This internship does provide a monthly stipend but housing is not provided. Start and end dates are flexible. The deadline to apply is Monday, February 27. Click here to learn how to apply.

    Caption: NASDA's spring intern, Lacie Dotterweich, had the opportunity to meet Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Social Media Guru Bill Northey at NASDA's recent Winter Policy Conference and become an overnight social media sensation!

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Vermont: Under New Leadership, VT Agency of Ag Launches Statewide Listening Tour for February

    Under the direction of newly-appointed Ag Secretary, Anson Tebbetts, and Deputy Secretary, Alyson Eastman, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets has announced plans to host a statewide listening tour throughout the month of February. The public meetings, which will be held in Lyndonville, St. Albans, Brattleboro, and Middlebury, are designed to open the lines of communication between the Agency, the farming community, and the public.

    “I am inviting all farmers, and all Vermonters interested in agriculture, to attend these meetings, to share thoughts and ideas about the future of farming in our state,” said Tebbetts. “I want to learn about the issues that matter most to our farmers, and how the Agency can support them.”

    “We hope to hear from farmers of all types, and sizes – from maple to meat, to produce and dairy,” said Eastman. “This is an opportunity for us to listen and learn from the people who are driving ...

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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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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/07/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Oklahoma: Oklahoma Enumerators Count Among Nation's Best

    Two employees at the Oklahoma Data Collection Center received national honors for the work they do in gathering agricultural information from farmers and ranchers. Rhonda Withrow was selected as the 2016 Supervisor of the Year and James McDaniel was selected as the 2016 Enumerator of the Year. The data they collect from phone surveys with producers provides needed information that affects the livelihood of individual farmers and farm communities across the country. Enumerators at the collection center are employees of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA).

    It takes more than good phone manners to be a successful phone enumerator. It also takes a certain amount of personal charm and persuasion. Survey questions take time from a farmer’s busy day and may require very detailed information about crops planted and harvested. Experienced enumerators like Withrow and McDaniel ask survey questions pleasantly but efficiently and understand farm operations ...

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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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  • 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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  • 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

    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

    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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