June 6, 2017

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/06/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Mike Jaspers, South Dakota Department of Agriculture

    This week's NASDA Member Spotlight is South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers. Secretary Jaspers was appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard in June 2016.

    How do you start your day?

    I start most days with a good look at the South Dakota countryside out my patio window.  Then a check on the grain and cattle markets, the weather forecast and on to my email inbox.

    What do you think is missing from the conversation when we don’t have women at the table and in leadership roles?

    Perspective.  Just as all of us as individuals are created differently; men and women are also programmed differently, much less the path each of us have taken thus far through life.  South Dakota is very fortunate to have many women who have taken on leadership roles within our agricultural industry. Their perspective is valued immensely.

    As the chief agriculture official for South Dakota, where do you hope to see your department in five years?

    In five years, I hope the ...

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 06/06/2017 by Bob Ehart

    Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is exploring ways to simplify the agricultural water standards established by the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) produce safety rule (PSR) after receiving feedback from stakeholders that some of the requirements are too complex to understand  and implement.

    FDA is now announcing its intention to extend the compliance dates for agricultural water requirements in the PSR (other than for sprouts). The FDA intends to extend the compliance dates using appropriate procedures at a later time and the length of the extension is under consideration.

    The FDA intends to use the extended time period to work with stakeholders as it considers the best approach to address their concerns while still protecting public health. The extended compliance dates will also give farms an opportunity to continue to review their practices, processes and procedures related to agricultural water and ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/06/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Genetic Engineering: One Tool Saving East Africa’s Bananas

    By Leena Tripathi
    This blog post originally appeared on Medium.com.

    The banana is an important fruit crop globally, and is one of the most important staple food crops in East Africa, particularly for Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. It feeds more than 100 million Africans and is mainly grown by smallholder subsistence farmers. Annual global production of bananas is about 145 million tons and approximately a third of that production is in Africa. Uganda is the world’s third largest grower with a total annual production of about 10.5 million tons. It is Africa’s biggest producer and consumer of bananas. Annual per capita consumption of bananas in Uganda is the highest in the world at 0.70 kilogram daily per person. The traditional meal called ‘Matooke’ — a mashed meal consisting of green bananas (plantain), which are peeled, boiled (or steamed in banana leaves), is the main food for Ugandans.

    Xanthomonas Wilt Disease

    The production of bananas is ...

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

    Agriculture is built on iconic images of golden fields and livestock grazing in the pastures but there is also a complex string of business structures that can make information gathering difficult. In May, Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture, Don Brown, by invitation, discussed the increasing complexity of farm businesses with the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on National Statistics to help create a picture of the American farm family and how many of them conduct their business operations.
     
    “While 97 percent of farmland in the country is owned by families, they still have multiple company structures, just like any other type of business. For example, my family farm includes multiple generations, tax structures, and properties which make sorting and providing data rather difficult and it is so important to provide factual data to help provide a comprehensive snapshot of the state and federal agricultural picture,” said Commissioner Brown.
     
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/06/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Recently, a West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) employee participated in Career Day at Leading Creek Elementary in Lewis County. Kudos to these teachers for setting forth the importance of introducing their students, at such a young age, to careers that fall under the science, technology, engineering and math initiative called STEM. Now, more than ever, West Virginia needs jobs that will bring innovation and attract the best and brightest to our state. As we consistently rank last for percentage of the population that holds a college degree, schools like Leading Creek Elementary are needed to stir the creative bubbles in our young people. As policy makers, we cannot turn a blind eye to investing in our students. Without an investment in STEM, West Virginia may never turn the course of the last 60 years.

    STEM is a great program that West Virginia needs to embrace it fully, but we need to add an "A" to STEM for agriculture. STEAM usually incorporates an ...

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

    The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s (UDAF) Division of Laboratory Services Division has completed its move to the Utah Unified Laboratory Building, located in Taylorsville, Utah.  The move completes efforts to expand and improve the lab’s ability to perform food safety and agriculture product testing.  The lab serves as a resource for UDAF divisions that collect and test raw and processed foods as well as confirm truth in labeling claims.      

    The new building houses the UDAF’s four laboratories; the Dairy Testing Lab where products from dairies and dairy plants are tested before they are sold in grocery stores; the Feed and Fertilizer Lab tests animal feed and fertilizer products to confirm content; the Meat Lab tests consumer grade meat for water and fat content and samples from meat plants are tested for the presence of pathogens; and the Pesticide Lab tests for pesticide residue in soils, foods, and other ...

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