July 18, 2017

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    See you in New Orleans! NASDA & COSDA Annual Meeting Registration Now Live

    Registration for the 2017 NASDA Annual Meeting, September 11-14, 2017 is now live. Please register online by August 18 to receive the discounted early-bird rates. Visit www.nasda.org/2017 for the full suite of information on both the NASDA & COSDA Annual Meeting.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 07/18/2017 by Nathan Bowen

    The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released last night the administration’s negotiating objectives as it seeks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ahead of the start of talks next month in Pittsburg. The administration’s objectives for agriculture highlight the need to “maintain existing reciprocal duty-free market access for agricultural goods,” a key priority NASDA and other agriculture organizations pressed upon the administration.

    Other key NASDA priorities were also reflected in the document, including the administration’s stated desire to eliminate non-tariff barriers for U.S. ag exports, promote greater regulatory compatibility, and establish a mechanism to quickly resolve barriers that block U.S. ag and food exports. Many of these objectives borrowed heavily from work in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

    Notably, the objectives also include significant emphasis on reducing bilateral trade deficits ...

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  • 07/14/2017
    Press Release
    Following the White House’s Appointment of Steve Censky, currently CEO Of the American Soybean Association, as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) CEO Dr. Barbara P. Glenn made the following ...
  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/18/2017 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) released its Emerging Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan. The plan outlines a strategy to detect and respond to emerging animal diseases and define the processes that APHIS will use to identify, evaluate, and respond to emerging diseases in animal populations.

    Emerging disease events may negatively affect animal health, public health, and trade. Examples of emerging diseases in the U.S. in the past 20 years include porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, infectious salmon anemia, West Nile virus, and more recently porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. APHIS developed the framework for this plan in 2014, and then shared an initial draft of the plan for input with Federal and State agencies, American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), livestock groups, and individuals.  Their feedback is included in ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/18/2017 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) collaborates everyday with many partners, cooperators, and stakeholders to protect plant health. To keep us on the leading edge, PPQ explores scientific frontiers, develop new plant protection methods, and make critical advancements that safeguard our nation’s agricultural and natural resources while facilitating the safe global trade of agricultural products.

    To share these latest innovations and results, PPQ has created a new Plant Protection Today  resource. This site highlights some of PPQ’s most successful and impactful programs and activities.  Each month, PPQ will publish new stories about their work. Recent postings include a new:

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/18/2017 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA APHIS announced the start of the fiscal year (FY) 2018 open period for submitting suggestions to implement Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Program (PPDMDPP) of the 2014 Farm Bill. The FY 2018 open period will last six weeks from July 10, 2017, through August 18, 2017. There will be $75 million available with at least $5 million going to the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The open period for submitting NCPN project suggestions will be announced separately.

    Please note that for FY 2018, APHIS is piloting an abbreviated format for submitting Goal 1 Survey suggestions for Farm Bill funding. Goal 1 Survey suggestors will log into Metastorm as in previous years, fill out the required Applicant and Cooperator Information, and add a very brief Abstract (one short paragraph). The remainder of the suggestion template is contained in an Excel workbook, which is posted at on the Farm Bill PPDMDPP Website, and upon completion can be uploaded to Metastorm to ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/18/2017 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The National Feral Swine Damage Management Program, within the USDA’s APHIS-Wildlife Services (WS) program, has unleashed detector dogs as a new tool to help stop the spread of feral swine, one of the United States’ most destructive and ravenous invasive creatures.

    WS first used detector dogs in 2013, to successfully sniff out the scat or droppings of invasive Nutria on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore as part of the Chesapeake Bay Nutria Eradication Program (CBNEP), a multifaceted effort to rid the area of the damaging animal. Applying the same training techniques, the dog handlers from the Nutria program were able to cross train the canines to locate and detect feral swine scat. WS field staff from across the country sent in samples of feral swine scat so the dogs could be trained to detect it.

    Recently, two dogs, along with their handlers, had the opportunity to put this new training into action when they were flown to the San Diego area. Experts believed feral ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The State Agriculture Technology Officers (SATO) group was formed at the beginning of this year and had its first meeting on February 24, 2017.  The primary driver for this group coming together is to increase collaboration among state IT leaders in agriculture. 

    We have similar challenges and problems and there is no reason we can’t share solutions!  When situations arise that affect some, or all of the states, we tend to address them in isolation.  So we are solving those problems alone as opposed to attacking them as a consortium.  This scenario tends to favor vendors in our industry in that they can financially benefit from solving the same problem, over-and-over again!  While we are fortunate to have many good vendors in IT, there are also questionable ones and you may never know that unless we are sharing information better than we do today.  WE want to change that!

    Here’s what we’re going to do about this current ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Sustainable Cape Jump Starts Veterans Farmers Market Nutrition Vouchers: Funding from Farm Credit East

    Sustainable Cape’s Francie Randolph  welcomed Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture Resource, John Lebeux to  start of the Truro Farmers Market   Massachusetts first Veterans Farmers Market Nutrition Voucher program on July 10th. With a grant from Farm Credit East (Enfield, CT),  Randolph said Veterans are welcome  at the Truro Farmers Market  weekly  every  Monday morning from 8 am to noon to pick up $10 in Veterans Vouchers to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from Cape growers.

    Massachusetts Commissioner of Agriculture John Lebeaux  thanked and welcomed  Pat Kirby of Farm Credit East. Kirby joined Sustainable Cape’s Francie Randolph and former Massachusetts Commissioner of Food and Agriculture Gus Schumacher for the July 10th kick off.  LeBeaux and Schumacher were joined by State Senator Julian Cyr.

    Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO said Farm Credit East was pleased that “Sustainable Cape ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Oklahoma: Department's Jelly Making Trails Program Wins National Award

    Agriculture placed in the hands of the consumer.

    That’s one definition of the growing trend known as “u-pick” farms.

    The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) recognized the popularity of such farms and in the spring of 2016 launched the “Jelly Making Trails.”

    On the trails, consumers can pick produce off the tree or the vine, from the orchard or the patch, and it’s quite possible not everyone makes it to the kitchen and the jelly making process before deciding to enjoy the fruits of Oklahoma.

    The program took little time to ripen into a success. As a result, the “Jelly Making Trails” program earned the Marketing in Excellence Award, given by the North American Agricultural Marketing Officials, at the annual NAAMO conference, held this month in Manhattan, Kan. Each state is allowed to submit an application for this award. The field is then narrowed down to a select few that are invited to present their project ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said that applications are now being accepted for reimbursement of organic certification costs through the Organic Certification Cost Share Program for fiscal year 2017.

    “Organic farmers, ranchers, processors and handlers can receive up to $750 of the organic certification costs paid between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017,” Goehring said.

    Certification assures consumers that products are produced by recognized organic methods. Certification enables organic producers and processors to label and sell their products with a federal organic seal. Such products typically command a higher price in the marketplace.

    Applicants must provide a 2017 cost share application form, a copy of a dated certificate or letter from a certifier verifying certification between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, an itemized statement showing payment between October 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, and a completed IRS W-9 Form for new applicants. Applications ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    In part two of this four-part blog series about the algal blooms in Lake Erie, the author discusses how some of yesterday’s solutions may actually be some of today’s problems, as well as the critical knowledge gap that needs to be filled. (Read Part 1 Here.)

    This is where things start to get complicated. Let’s begin with phosphorus. Until recently, we thought it was simple. Phosphorus binds to soil. Therefore, farmers and researchers believed that if they could keep the soil from moving off the land and into the river systems, they could prevent the phosphorus from entering Lake Erie. As a result, farmers methodically adopted a number of best management practices to prevent soil erosion—including riparian buffers (barriers of vegetation around the farmland that retain soil and absorb phosphorus), no-till farming (planting crops without exposing the soil), and cover crops (broadly grown vegetation planted after harvest that stay on the field through the winter).

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded more than $165,000 in grants to ten food hub projects that will help Minnesotans gain access to locally grown and raised foods.

    The competitive Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) Food Hub Grants were awarded to food hubs and other alternative community-based food distribution businesses throughout the state of Minnesota.

    Awardees will use AGRI Food Hub Grant funds to develop their business plans, conduct feasibility studies, or create marketing plans; other projects will use funds to purchase equipment, or make physical improvements to their businesses that will allow them to purchase, process and distribute more Minnesota agricultural products.

    To read the full statement, click here.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/18/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. The program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses. The SBIR program also fosters and encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

    Funds may be awarded up to 100,000 for a project and proposals are due by October 5. For more information, click here.

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