May 2, 2017

  • Barbara P. Glenn Posted on 05/02/2017 by Barbara P. Glenn
    You need a Farm Bill. I need a Farm Bill. We all need a Farm Bill.

    Why does something called a “Farm Bill” impact you? Not only do farmers and ranchers depend on such a bill, but  people in communities across the United States depend on the bill for a host of programs, from risk management and conservation, to nutrition programs. The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is leading the charge calling for a Farm Bill that ensures consumers have access to the safest, highest quality and affordable food supply.  We are glad to see the attention the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are devoting to crafting the next Farm Bill. We urge Congressional leadership and the Administration to work together to make the next Farm Bill a priority and ensure ample funding for effective farm and food programs.

    Why are we asking for a Farm Bill now? The Farm Bill started in 1933 to help struggling farmers during the Great Depression. Since then, this legislation has become vital for everything from agriculture ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 05/02/2017 by Nathan Bowen

    The FDA did some explaining on its imported food programs, President Trump considered a withdrawal from NAFTA, and a waiver needed to confirm USTR nominee Lighthizer was finalized. Here’s the review:

    • The FDA addressed its imported food programs through a blog on safety through partnerships, an interview with its Acting Assistant Commissioner for Food Safety Integration, and a posting to the transcript of public hearing held in February, in which the docket is still open for comment.
    • President Trump shocked many when it was revealed he was considering an EO to begin the U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, but decided against it after receiving significant pressure from the agriculture community and speaking with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts.
    • Commerce Secretary Ross announced preliminary countervailing duties on softwood lumber imports from Canada, ranging from 3 – 24% on more than $5 billion worth of imports.
    • USTR nominee Robert Lighthizer’s confirmation could ...
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Ben Brancel issued the following statement today:

    "For weeks we have been working against the clock, trying to find a home for milk from dozens of displaced Wisconsin family farms before May 1. Today I am grateful to announce that 99% of the milk has found a home, and that plans are in place to assist the few farms who have not yet signed a contract.

    "Thank you to the dairy processors and milk handlers who have stepped up to help our Wisconsin dairy farm families. I appreciate you making arrangements, if only for the short-term, to give these farms the opportunity to continue farming and make plans for the future. We understand the huge amount of work that had to be done to locate capacity, arrange transportation and complete contracts quickly.

    "President Trump and Governor Walker have stood up for Wisconsin’s dairy industry and are working to create a level playing field so ...

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  • Janell  Hendren Posted on 05/02/2017 by Janell Hendren

    The U.S. Senate and House budget negotiators announced an agreement Sunday night on a funding package to keep the government running through September 30th. The fiscal year 2017 omnibus provides for a total spending of $1.070 trillion in base discretionary authority.

    To refresh, NASDA sent a letter to House and Senate Appropriators on March 10, 2016 to request funding on a number of key items.

    Several NASDA funding priorities are proposed to be enacted at higher-than-requested amounts:

    • Food Safety Modernization Act Integrated Food Safety System: $100mil requested, $105mil proposed
    • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service program areas: $901mil requested, $946mil proposed
    • National Animal Health Laboratory Network: $15mil requested, $16.3 proposed
    • Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program: $5mil requested, $6.5mil proposed
    • Office of Water, Clean Water Sec. 319: $164.9mil requested, $170.9 proposed

    While the majority of the remaining funding priorities fell short of ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA's Megan McDonald Speaks at Texas AgriWomen Event

    NASDA's Megan McDonald spoke last weekend to a gathering of more than 300 at the McFadin Strube Farm in Uvalde, Texas for the Texas AgriWomen's "Banquet in the Field" to benefit scholarships, agriculture awareness and education. McDonald, a native of Uvalde, shared NASDA's priorities on international trade, implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, the next Farm Bill, and the importance of cooperative federalism in the legistlative and regulatory process. Natalina Sents, a millenial blogger and ambassador for Beck's "Why I Farm" Roadtrip also gave remarks. The farm-to-table menu showcased protein and produce sourced solely from Texas. Learn more about the Texas AgriWomen at http://texasagriwomen.org/.

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  • Carly  Grether Posted on 05/02/2017 by Carly Grether

    NASDA is seeking applications for our fall internship position. Fall interns will be heavily involved in the NASDA Annual Meeting, and will get the chance to travel to New Orleans, LA in September! Applicants should be 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 provides a monthly stipend but housing is not provided. Start and end dates are flexible but the term will begin in August and end in December. The deadline to apply is Monday, May 22, 2017. Click here to learn how to apply.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 05/02/2017 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will not extend the stay of the final regulation regarding the importation of  fresh lemons from northwest Argentina into the continental United States. The final rule, which has received two 60 day extensions since January, will go into effect when the stay expires on May 26, 2017.

    USDA will work with Argentina’s National Food Safety and Quality Service (SENASA) to finalize the operational work plan described in the final regulation. For 2017 and 2018, Argentine lemons would be imported only into the northeastern United States. Under the final rule, numerous requirements must first be met before the lemons can enter the United States. The requirements are in keeping with sound science, and with the conditions we would expect all trading partners to apply to U.S. exports.  As authorized by the Plant Protection Act, USDA will not permit entry of lemons from northwest Argentina until all requirements are met.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will be hosting the 2017 National Industrial Hemp Regulatory Conference on July 18, 19 and 20 at the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville.

    In 2016 the first-ever National Industrial Hemp Regulatory Conference was held.  The departments of agriculture in Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont and Kentucky will again be collaborating to bring you this conference.  Those who attended last year, will remember that this conference is designed to provide guidance and allow for education and collaboration among the regulators of the state’s industrial hemp pilot programs.  This conference invites regulators who are administering an industrial hemp pilot program as well as those who are preparing for a program in the future.  This is not an industry or grower conference. 

    Please contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp Program Manager, Doris Hamilton for more details at Doris.Hamilton@ky.gov.

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 05/02/2017 by Bob Ehart

    USDA-NIFA is pleased to release the FY 2017 Food Safety Outreach Program Request for Applications (RFA).  The USDA-NIFA Food Safety Outreach Competitive Grant Program provides funding for food safety training and education for small and mid-sized producers, processors, and small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers affected by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For more information about the program, click here.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Oklahoma: Devon Energy Presents Pickups to Two Families Impacted by Wildfires

    Wildfires that ripped across areas of the Oklahoma Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma in early March generated much destruction.

    However, the hours, days and weeks since have yielded a steady stream of acts of goodness and kindness directed toward those farmers and ranchers impacted by the wildfires.

    That continued on Wednesday as Devon Energy presented a white 2012 Chevy 1500 Extended cab, four-wheel drive pickup to R.A. and Susan Bentley near Laverne, Okla., and a white 2012 GMC 1500 Extended cab, four-wheel drive pickup to Roy D. and Ilajoy Covalt near Woodward, Okla. The producers also received items from Nash area farmers and ranchers such as hay and fencing materials. 

    R.A. Bentley rubbed his fingers over the keys to the pickup and said, “This is just more than you could ever expect. I didn’t expect it. Wow. Just wow.”

    After receiving his pickup Roy D. Covalt took a few steps away and then turned around to look at the gift and said, “My, that ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) announces that the 2017 Borlaug CAST Communication Award goes to Jayson Lusk, a consummate communicator who promotes agricultural science and technology in the public arena. Lusk uses multiple forms of media to advocate for science, as he explains how innovation and growth in agriculture are critical for food security and global progress.

    [Jayson Lusk] Currently a Regents Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair with the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University in July he will become the head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.

    Lusk calls himself a "food and agricultural economist who studies what we eat and why we eat it." But as one colleague stated, "He's more than a scholar; he's an unparalleled communicator." Lusk uses articles, editorials, and a popular blog to take complicated issues and make them accessible to all. He has published ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Food & Drug Protection Division is seeking applicants for a Grade 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, ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/02/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    As hunters across Vermont gear up for the 2017 turkey season, Vermont’s Ag Secretary and Fish and Wildlife Commissioner are praising the many farmers and hunters, who work together the steward Vermont’s land.

    “There’s a strong tradition of partnership between Vermont’s farming and hunting communities, who share a natural appreciation for the rural beauty of our state, and a strong conservation ethic,” according to Vermont’s Ag Secretary, Anson Tebbetts, who is both a farmer, and a sportsman.  “We have more than 1.25 million acres of farmland here in Vermont. Many of those acres have been opened to hunters, thanks to the special relationships many hunters and farmers have formed over time.”

    “Private landowners play an important role in the hunting community, by fostering habitat and opening their land,” according to Fish & Wildlife Commissioner, Louis Porter. “As some of the largest landowners in the ...

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