June 20, 2017

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/20/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Member Spotlight: Celia Gould, Idaho Department of Agriculture

    This week's NASDA Member Spotlight is Idaho Director of Agriculture Celia Gould. Director Gould was appointed to her position in January 2007 and is currently serving as the Western Region Representative on NASDA' Board of Directors.

    How do you start your day?

    This question made me think about the movie Tombstone when Doc Holliday says, “There's no such thing as a normal life, Wyatt. It’s just life.” Likewise, there’s no such thing as a “normal” morning for me.  I enjoy the variety of challenges and opportunities I get each day with this job. There’s always something different, but my favorite mornings are during weekends spent at the ranch with my grandkids. My granddaughter has the most extraordinary internal clock and wakes me up by saying, “Grandma, it’s light outside.” I can’t help but think she must get that from my grandpa who made sure all of his grandkids at the ranch were awake by knocking ...

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  • Barbara P. Glenn Posted on 06/20/2017 by Barbara P. Glenn
    Starving Out Hungry Pests through the Farm Bill

    By: Dr. Barbara P. Glenn, Chief Executive Officer

    Invasive species are threatening the health of our nation’s agriculture,  forests, rangelands, waterways, and wildlife species. Zebra mussels, fire ants, citrus greening disease, and those pesky fruit flies in your kitchen are all examples of invasive species. And they all result in a range of economic, ecologic, and cultural losses.  For example, citrus greening, an incurable disease caused by the tiny Asian citrus psyllid, has reduced Florida’s famed citrus production by 75% in just 12-years.  While it is difficult to quantify the economic damage from plant pests, disease, and invasive species, in 2013, the Congressional Research Service estimated the potential aggregate economic costs, from invasive species alone, at $127 billion annually in the United States.  The single largest of these impacts was damage to U.S. agricultural crop and livestock production, totaling nearly $65 billion annually.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/20/2017 by Nathan Bowen

    Agricultural groups with a diverse array of memberships all signaled concerns with the Trump Administration’s newly announced Cuban-policy changes. From a podium in Miami, President Trump issued new and continued restrictions on the United States’ relations with Cuba in what he indicated was an effort to empower the Cuban people while pressuring the Cuban government to increase political and economic freedom.

    Some of these key policy changes could directly and indirectly impact the ability of U.S. agricultural producers to increase their market access in Cuba. For instance, the new policy calls for channeling economic activities away from the Cuban government and toward free Cuban businesses, blurring the relationship U.S. agriculture has with Alimport, the official government importer of agricultural products. Moving forward, there will be greater restrictions on non-academic travel as Americans must now visit Cuba in travel groups with detailed itineraries. There are ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 06/20/2017 by Nathan Bowen

    An experienced veteran of D.C. agricultural policymaking in both the public and private sectors, Gregg Doud was named last Friday as chief agricultural trade negotiator in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Doud’s depth of knowledge and experience in agricultural trade is represented by his positions with U.S. Wheat Associates, the Commodities Market Council, U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, for which he served as chief economist and worked with both Republican and Democratic White House’s to gain market access for U.S. beef producers. Beyond winning Senate approval of his nomination, Doud’s immediate focus will be preparing for NAFTA renegotiations, which could start as early as August.

    Written by Alex Noffsinger

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/20/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    National Pollinator Week, June 19-25 this year, celebrates bees and other pollinators while also providing opportunities for all Oregonians to engage in activities centered around these important insects. With no shortage of interest among farmers and the general public, Oregon continues to be recognized as one of the more proactive states in addressing pollinator health issues and understanding the importance of pollinators to the state’s diverse specialty crop agriculture.

    The Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University, and a number of other collaborators want to make sure the special week provides a platform for more appreciation and better understanding of the role bees and other pollinators play throughout the year.

    “We are trying to make the public aware of what great bee diversity and abundance we have in Oregon,” says ODA entomologist Sarah Kincaid, who focuses ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/20/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Second Lady Karen Pence, Secretary Perdue Unveil Beehive at Vice President’s Residence, and Asks Public to Help Boost Pollinator Population

    Second Lady Karen Pence and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue recently unveiled a newly-installed beehive on the grounds of the Vice President’s residence, drawing attention to the plight of pollinators whose numbers are in decline. Together, the two urged Americans to do their own part to help reverse the population trend among the creatures, which are essential to producing much of the nation’s food.

    “All types of pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, birds and bats, are critical to providing our nation’s food, fiber, fuel and medicine,” Mrs. Pence said. “However, our beekeepers have been losing colonies for many years. This presents a serious challenge to our ability to produce many of the agricultural products that we enjoy today. The bees at the Vice President’s Residence will provide an added bonus to the vegetable and flower gardens by making them well pollinated and taste even better at harvest.”

    Perdue released a ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/20/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Kansas Department of Agriculture will host an Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) Forum on Thursday, June 22, 2017, at the K-State Alumni Center at 1720 Anderson Ave. in Manhattan. The forum will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude by 3:00 p.m.

    Similar to other public forums held around the country, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) will be on hand to provide information about the current ADT system and engage in a discussion on the successes and challenges of the current ADT framework, specifically for traceability in cattle and bison. Participants in the forum will also have the opportunity to provide solutions for improving the existing ADT system and ideas for the future of the program.

    Animal disease traceability — knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been, and when — is important to ensure a rapid response when animal disease events take place. An efficient ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/20/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is excited to announce a new series of educational guides designed to help organic farmers and ranchers enhance the soil health and overall resilience of their operations. “These guides to practical organic soil health management will assist farmers in selecting the best practices for their particular circumstances, while leading the way toward more sustainable agricultural systems," said Diana Jerkins, Research Program Director at OFRF.

    Each guide begins with tools and practices set in the context of the challenges and opportunities identified by organic producers in OFRF’s 2016 National Organic Research Agenda. For those interested in taking a deeper dive, the guides also include reviews of USDA funded organic research, future research priorities, and scientific literature references. The guides are now available to download free of charge at ofrf.org. This summer, a limited number of printed copies will be available ...

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