News

  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 09/17/2014 by Amanda Bryant
    NASDA President Chuck Ross Hosts Successful Annual Meeting

    Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross hosted members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) for their annual meeting last week in Burlington, Vermont. Representatives from 48 states, as well as various federal and industry stakeholders from around the country, gathered to discuss a host of agricultural issues centered around the theme of the event: agriculture literacy.

    The NASDA membership voted unanimously on an action item introduced by North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Doug Goehring to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to withdraw the proposed Waters of the U.S. rule under the Clean Water Act. NASDA members also updated and streamlined their policy guidelines on domestic marketing. To review the full text of the policy amendments and action items passed during the meeting, as well as presentations given, please click here.

    Distinguished guests of the meeting include the ...

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 09/17/2014 by Amanda Bryant
    NASDA Intern Honored for Lifesaving Efforts

    Dennis Kelly, Syngenta's Team Lead for State Affairs, honored Rebecca Creighton, NASDA's Agriculture Policy Intern from the University of Maryland, at the Annual Meeting for her lifesaving efforts during the collapse of NASDA staff member Bob Ehart last month. Rebecca lead the NASDA team in providing CPR to Bob prior to the arrival of emergency medical services. Thank you, Rebecca, for saving Bob's life!

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/17/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting stakeholders to submit suggestions for fiscal year (FY) 2015 projects to implement Section 10007 Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Prevention Programs (PPDMDPP) of the 2014 Farm Bill. APHIS will accept suggestions for FY 2015 projects from September 15, 2014, through October 24, 2014. Detailed submission instructions and an explanation of the evaluation process are available on the APHIS Farm Bill Section 10007 website.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/17/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    According to the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV), the most recent National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) report found 53 positive Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) accessions out of 672 tested at eight veterinary diagnostic labs for the week ending September 6. This brings the total number of positive PEDv pig farm samples to 8,316 in 31 states. Since testing was fully reported last November, twenty-three percent of the 31,472 farm samples have tested positive for the virus. NASDA continues to work with USDA and industry stakeholders to mitigate the spread and economic impact of the disease.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/17/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Food & Water Watch filed suit in federal court in an effort to prevent the implementation of the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) rules. The suit alleges USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) new rule violates the Agency’s responsibilities under the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957. The new rule would allow poultry processing plants to increase their line speeds up to 140 birds per minute and permit poultry processing facility staff to assume floor inspections, which would enable FSIS inspectors to focus more time and resources on off-line inspection areas, such as microbial testing.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 09/17/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    The House of Representatives is slated to vote on a Continuing Resolution in the coming days that would fund the government through December 11. The bill, which had been expected to be on the House floor last week, would funding for the government at the current fiscal year rate of $1.012 trillion. The bill would also include a short-term reauthorization for the Export-Import Bank. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) has indicated that he would like Congress to act on an omnibus funding bill during a lame-duck session following the midterm elections. Such an omnibus from the House could include policy riders such as language preventing EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from finalizing their Waters of the U.S. rulemaking.

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 09/08/2014 by Amanda Bryant
    Ag Literacy Theme of NASDA's Annual Meeting

    The 2014 NASDA Annual Meeting begins tomorrow, September 10, in Burlington, Vermont. The meeting, hosted by NASDA President and Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross, will focus on a theme of agriculture literacy. The opening plenary session, titled "Creating a Culture of Ag Literacy," will feature a panel including Dr. Jean Richardson, Chair of the National Organic Standards Board; Jim Moseley and Gary Hirshberg, Co-Chairs of AGree; and Charlie Arnot, CEO of The Center for Food Integrity. The Honorable Krysta Harden, Deputy Secretary for the US Department of Agriculture, will also address meeting attendees on Friday morning.

    During the meeting, NASDA members will examine key issues facing American agriculture including the legal challenges of industrial hemp, opportunities for dairy exports, EPA's proposed Waters of the U.S., and emerging technologies in agriculture such as big data and unmanned aircraft systems.

    Complimenting the theme of ag literacy, the tours ...

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 09/08/2014 by Amanda Bryant

    The Food Pools Lodging Section Manager Position vacancy is now open competitive (all qualified job seekers) effective September 3, 2014 through midnight on September 12, 2014.

    For more information, click here.

    [Health Program Manager Senior – 14HEAL000276]
     

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 09/08/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    Today, the House of Representatives is scheduled to consider legislation (HR 5078) that would require EPA and the Corps of Engineers to withdraw the agencies’ Waters of the U.S. proposed rule, as well as the Interpretive Rule for Agricultural Conservation Practices. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), would also require the agencies to initiate a robust dialogue with state and local governments on a path forward.

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 09/08/2014 by Amanda Bryant
    NASDA Member Brings Taste of New Mexico to Virginia

    Secretary Witte took time out of his busy travel schedule to conduct “Education and Outreach” on the unparalleled aroma and wonders of the New Mexican Green Chili. NASDA's Public Policy Counsel, Dudley Hoskins, stopped by and picked up some great recipes.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/08/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    As Congress returns for an abbreviated legislative session before the mid-term elections, the White House made clear it will not pursue any executive actions related to immigration before November, which is in contrast to previous Administration statements. By all accounts, immigration overhaul is equally as unlikely to develop during the lame duck.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/08/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last Thursday, the Surface Transportation Board held a public hearing in Fargo, N.D. to hear concerns from key agricultural leaders over the on-going rail service problems, review BNSF and CP’s efforts to address those problems, and discuss additional options to improve service going forward. Among those providing testimony were Commissioner Goehring (ND), Secretary Lentsch (SD), and Commissioner Frederickson (MN). The STB is accepting written comments through September 11, 2014.

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 09/03/2014 by DeWitt Ashby

    The Americas Food & Beverage Show, featuring NASDA’s USA Pavilion, opens on Monday October 28th, preceded by product matched buyer appointments (for USA pavilion) exhibitors on October 27th. Limited space is still available in the pavilion. This event is idea for companies with interest in the Caribbean and Latin American markets, and is particularly suitable for smaller companies. For more information, contact DeWitt Ashby, dewitt@nasda.org, or Megan McDonald, megan@nasda.org.

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 09/03/2014 by Amanda Bryant
    Hoskins Participates in Farm Tour

    Last week, Dudley participated on a farm tour in Maryland to discuss various emerging policy issues. He is pictured here with Jared Hill (National Grain & Feed Association) and Megan Provost (Dow AgroSciences). We look forward to seeing Jared and Megan at our annual meeting in VT next week.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/03/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, USDA announced enrollment for the new Margin Protection Program (MPP), which was established under the 2014 Farm Bill (Agricultural Act of 2014). Sign up for the MPP is now available and will go through November 28, 2014 for 2014 and 2015. In conjunction with the MPP enrollment, USDA also released the Margin Protection Program Decision Tool, designed to assist producers to select the appropriate level of coverage. The MPP final rule was published in the Federal Register last Friday and will be open for a 60 day public comment period, which closes on October 28, 2014.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/03/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA is encouraging producers, who suffered eligible disaster-related losses, to act now to secure assistance by Sept. 30, 2014. The Budget Control Act passed by Congress in 2011 requires USDA to implement reductions of 7.3 percent to the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) in the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2014. USDA is encouraging producers to register, request an appointment, or begin a Livestock Forage Disaster Program application with their county FSA office before Oct. 1, 2014, to lock in the current zero percent sequestration rate. The Livestock Forage Disaster Program compensates eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire between Oct. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014. USDA encourages producers to review the LFP Fact Sheet and to contact their local FSA office for more information.

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 08/26/2014 by Amanda Bryant

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture, in accordance with CEQA guidelines, has released the draft Statewide Plant Pest Prevention and Management Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

    The draft Program EIR is a crucial step as CDFA carries out its responsibility to protect the state’s food supply and natural resources. Responding to invasive species such as plant pests and diseases is one of the primary ways that CDFA helps farmers and ranchers maintain a constant, dependable and safe supply of food.

    The draft Program EIR document provides a comprehensive, transparent overview of management programs to protect California’s food system through the principles of integrated pest management, while also protecting public health and the environment.

    The draft Program EIR includes a process to evaluate and include new developments and potential environmental impacts – called Tiering – while providing for public participation throughout the pest ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 08/26/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    Reports circulated last week, confirming earlier rumors, that the U.S. had lost the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) case before the World Trade Organization (WTO). Canada and Mexico had challenged the U.S. labeling rule that requires COOL on meat products. Once the report is made public in late September or early October, the U.S. will have 60 days to appeal the ruling. Canada has issued a list of possible tariffs it is considering imposing on U.S. imports in retaliation.

    Written by Rebecca Creighton

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/26/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published its final amended rule for the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection,” which establishes a new inspection system for young chicken and all turkey slaughter establishments. FSIS is also making changes to regulations that will affect all establishments that slaughter poultry other than ratites. The final rule comes after a two year review of the more than 250,000 responses the government received during a 120-day comment period in 2012. The rule goes into effect Oct. 20, and companies seeking to operate under NPIS must notify USDA by Feb. 23, 2015.

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