News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/27/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is searching for a well-versed management professional to lead our Pesticide Management Division. The division encompasses four Programs: Pesticide Compliance, Dairy Nutrient Management, Registration Services, and Certification and Training. The Division protects the public interest, health and welfare of the people of the state of Washington by providing cost efficient and effective services for the regulation of pesticides, dairy nutrient management and fertilizers. The deadline to apply is June 30. Click here for more information.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/27/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Kansas: KDA Program Receives Food Safety Award

    The food safety and lodging program in the Kansas Department of Agriculture received the 2017 Elliot O. Grosvenor Food Safety Award from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) at their annual conference in Houston, Texas, on June 20.

    The Grosvenor Award is selected by a panel of judges to recognize outstanding achievements made by food safety programs across the U.S. and in Canada. The award goes to a program that showcases improvement, innovation or sustained high performance. The KDA program was honored due to its commitment to consumer protection and food safety statewide, and in particular for its proactive work in food safety education in the growing cottage food industry.

    The KDA food safety and lodging program is responsible for food safety inspections of food establishments, including restaurants, grocery stores, conveniences stores and schools, along with food processors and lodging establishments. Nearly 50 inspectors cover the state of Kansas, promoting public ...

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 06/27/2017 by DeWitt Ashby
    Over 20 Percent of Sales from Last Month’s American Food Fair Destined for the International Marketplace

    NASDA’s 2017 American Food Fair Pavilion at the NRA Show, held May 20-23, set new records for exhibits and exhibit space sold.  The 2017 show, featuring 97 exhibitors, increased in square footage to 12,600 net square feet, a nearly 33% increase from the year before. The almost 19% increase in exhibiting entities included five NASDA Members – Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Hawaii.  Exhibitors in this year’s show reported $40.9 million in sales (actual and projected) with over 20 percent destined for overseas markets.

    Looking forward to 2018, over 90 percent of the show floor is committed, including the addition of two new state pavilions featuring products from Indiana and Maine.  NASDA produces the American Food Fair with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service Market Access Program, a top priority for NASDA in the next Farm Bill. For every $1 invested in MAP, $24 is returned in export ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/27/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The Delaware Department of Agriculture is seeking applications for a Food Safety Program Coordinator. The coordinator is responsible for administering a statewide program which resulted from the implementation of the Federal Safety Modernization Act. This position will be responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing a produce safety program to include conducting outreach, education, technical assistance, training, sampling and enforcement activities. Incumbent administers program related grants including reporting, budgeting and monitoring. Additionally, they will provide technical guidance to a wide variety of fruit and vegetable producers and serve as point of contact for farmers, trade associations, school districts, farmers markets, state agencies and the public. The deadline to apply is June 30. Click here for more information.

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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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  • 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

    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
    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 06/13/2017 by Barbara P. Glenn
    Making Room for Specialty Crop Innovation in the Next Farm Bill

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

    Specialty Crops. This is a term the average consumer likely does not use or recognize despite (hopefully) consuming them in their daily diet. Congress defines specialty crops as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Congress created the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) in 2006 to provide locally-driven innovation for specialty crop research, marketing, consumer and producer education tools, and more. NASDA Members have partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service to distribute over $537 million in competitive grants to local commodity groups, colleges and universities, municipalities, tribal organizations, and non-profits. The end game of these grants is to increase the competitiveness of specialty crops – this means supporting farmers while making Americans healthier!

    What does a SCBGP grant look like at ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/13/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service and Food Safety and Inspection Service yesterday laid out the requirements and documentation necessary for U.S. companies wishing to export beef to China. The two countries reached an agreement on U.S. beef exports which will open the giant market of China to U.S. producers for the first time since 2003. The export agreement comes as part of the U.S.-China 100-Day Action plan announced on May 11, 2017 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin.

    Written by Alex Noffsinger

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/13/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    For the first time in nearly a decade, State Agriculture Commissioner and President of the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA) Richard A. Ball today announced that New York State is hosting the 2017 NEASDA conference in Cooperstown.  Beginning today and running through June 15, the NEASDA meeting is considered one of the most important agricultural conferences of the year. It brings together commissioners, secretaries, and directors of 10 state departments of agriculture from across the Northeast, as well as federal and international partners, educational groups, and industry representatives to discuss policy initiatives impacting the industry.  New York State last hosted the NEASDA conference in 2009. 

    “I am honored to ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/13/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the projects selected to receive the USDA’s annual farm to school grants designed to increase the amount of local foods served in schools. Sixty-five projects were chosen nationwide.

    • $100,000: The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will use grant funds to assist farmers with GAP certification, revise the Alabama farm to school website, develop a state-wide promotional campaign, and support school garden curriculum development. The Druid City Garden Project will utilize funds to facilitate building mobile cooking units for schools to engage students in cooking demonstrations with produce grown in school gardens.
    • $100,000: The Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Agriculture will assist communities in tailoring their farm to school efforts to their strengths, resources, and interests by creating a regional model of farm to school stakeholder engagement. The project team believes this will help ...
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/13/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Now Seeking Nominations for Annual Honor Awards Program

    We are now accepting nominations for an important part of our annual meeting program, the NASDA Honor Awards. For 45 years, NASDA has honored exemplary employees of NASDA Members through this program. Current NASDA Members are not eligible for nomination. The deadline to submit nominations is Friday, July 14, 2017 at 5:00 PM EDT.

    The award recipients are selected by an independent panel of judges, familiar with the work of state agriculture agencies, but not employed by NASDA or any member states. Actual presentation of the awards occurs as a highlight of our upcoming Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA on September 14, 2017 at the President’s Banquet.

    The awards open for nomination are below. A full description of awards, submission requirements, and previous recipients can be found here.

    1. Douglass-Irvin Administration Award—Recognition of outstanding contributions within a state agency resulting in improved efficiency and impact.    
    2. Communications ...
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  • Carly Grether Posted on 06/13/2017 by Carly Grether
    NASDA Welcomes Michigan State Student as Summer Intern

    NASDA is pleased to welcome Alex Noffsinger, a senior at Michigan State University, as their summer agriculture policy intern.

    Alex, a native of the Lansing, Michigan area, is majoring in Social Relations & Policy and minoring in Science, Technology, and Environmental Public Policy. Alex spends his extra time getting involved with Kappa Alpha Pi Pre-Law Fraternity, running competitively for the MSU Running Club, and working for the Associated Students of Michigan State University. Prior to joining NASDA, Alex interned last summer with the U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee’s minority staff, working on issues ranging from crop insurance to food labeling. Alex has also completed an internship with the Michigan Legislature. While not directly studying agriculture, Alex has always had an affinity for agriculture. Growing up in a farming community with a mother and uncles involved in agribusiness, from a young age Alex came to appreciate the important ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 06/13/2017 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Idaho hosts Secretary Sonny Perdue and Secretary Ryan Zinke

    From Capital Press, Written by Sean Ellis

    Farmers and ranchers described a private meeting with two of President Donald Trump’s cabinet members June 2 as unprecedented and historic.

    Instead of addressing the group, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke listened and took notes, according to those who were there.

    “They just didn’t have an agenda. They truly wanted to listen to us,” said Aberdeen potato farmer Ritchey Toevs.

    They covered a wide range of topics, from immigration and the importance of labor to aquifer recharge, Food Safety Modernization Act requirements, NAFTA, the U.S. Sheep Experiment station in Dubois, invasive water species, farm bill funding, the Endangered Species Act, Equal Access to Justice Act and grazing and other federal land-management issues.

    The meeting was set up by Idaho State Department of Agriculture Director Celia Gould and kept on track by Gov. Butch Otter, a Republican rancher.

    ...

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