News

  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 11/25/2014 by Amanda Bryant

    NASDA recently submitted comments, drafted and reviewed with the support of our Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) Technical Working Group, on the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) proposed guidance on the SCBG Multi-State Project Competition. The new multi-state projects were created in the most recent Farm Bill and allow for $1 million per year, up to $5 million in the fifth year, for projects which address a regional or national specialty crop issue. There will be a total of $3 million available for FY 2015. NASDA advocated for preservation of the state-driven nature of the program so that grants can continue to be distributed in a flexible and locally responsive manner. NASDA will continue to work closely with USDA AMS and the specialty crop industry to ensure a workable and successful program.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/25/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, EPA issued Federal Register notice stating the Agency will not finalize the 2014 volume standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program before the end of the year. This announcement follows a public notice and comment period on the proposed rule, published in Nov. 2013. Due to the delay in finalizing the standards for 2014, EPA intends to take action on the 2014 standards rule in 2015. One of EPA’s stated objectives is to get back on the annual statutory timeline by addressing 2014, 2015, and 2016 standards in the next calendar year.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/25/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    In a nationally televised address, the President announced his Executive Action on Immigration, which outlines a series of initiatives to “increase border security, focus enforcement resources, and ensure accountability in our immigration system.” Following this announcement, a number of agricultural labor groups expressed concern over the impacts this Executive Action may have on achieving meaningful, permanent reform to overhaul and improve farm labor programs for temporary or seasonal workers, which will require Congressional action. With only eight legislative days remaining in the 113th Congress, there is concern this Executive Action might also frustrate potential legislative action on renewing expired tax provisions (Sec. 179 and bonus depreciation) and any chance of passing an omnibus spending bill.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/25/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Federal Pollinator Health Task Force held two listening sessions this month and published a Federal Register notice soliciting stakeholder input on best management practices including pesticide risk mitigation, public-private partnerships, research, education opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements, and other actions that the Task Force should consider in developing a Federal strategy. NASDA submitted written comments, drafted and reviewed with the support of our Pollinator Workgroup, outlining our support for state-driven solutions to the numerous and complex factors associated with bee health.

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  • Carol  Black Posted on 11/25/2014 by Carol Black

    EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) distributed a survey to all stakeholders in the Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training Program (PACT). Planning for the 2015 Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training Workshop is in full swing. The agenda and registration information will be available early in 2015. The PACT Planning Committee is asking for your feedback, so please review the list of topics under consideration and submit your requests by Monday, December 8th.

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 11/25/2014 by Amanda Bryant

    Last Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved H.R. 5656, which was first introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) in September. This bill is expected to strengthen President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative, which was brought forward in 2010 to combat global hunger, and ensure long term food security. Although this legislation has bi-partisan support, its fate is uncertain in the lame-duck session. A markup of the legislation in the Senate has yet to be scheduled.

    Written by Emily Ruby

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 11/25/2014 by Amanda Bryant

    Bayer CropScience has released a new Thankful4Ag Initiative to help feed 200,000 meals to hungry families this holiday season. We encourage you to make a plate at www.Thankful4Ag.com and share it through social media. Bayer CropScience will donate 10 meals for ever share on social media.

    Educators who include the #T4AgGrant will earn a chance to win a $5,000 grant for their school. 

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 11/18/2014 by Nathan Bowen

    On Monday, Under Secretary of Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie and several conservation partners hosted a press conference to announce a carbon credits partnership with GM in an effort to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide. Through the carbon credits system, landowners voluntarily place their working grasslands under easement, but still retain the right to work it. The benefits of avoided conversion of grasslands are quantified and registered, ultimately resulting in carbon credits that are made available to entities interested in purchasing carbon offsets. Landowners can then receive compensation for their carbon credits. Chevrolet purchased almost 40,000 carbon dioxide reduction tons generated on working grasslands in North Dakota. This purchase was part of their voluntary commitment to reduce 8 million tons of carbon dioxide from being emitted.

    Written by Emily Ruby

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 11/12/2014 by Bob Ehart

    In Burlington, NASDA members heard from AGree co-chairs Jim Moseley, Indiana farmer, and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, and Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, Inc., about “Cultivating a culture of Ag Literacy.” This week the food policy think tank that represents nine of the world’s leading foundations in Washington, DC, announced a landmark set of consensus recommendations and targeted initiatives on critical issues facing food and agriculture. The recommendations call for far-reaching changes to federal policy and private-sector action and have significant implications for food production, processing, and consumption. Agree includes a highly diverse and remarkably broad group of farmers, ranchers, agri-businesses, environmentalists, nutritionists, and other experts who have sought consensus with often wide-ranging and diverse points of view. The AGree initiatives launched this week are Working Landscapes: Achieving Productivity, ...

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 11/12/2014 by Amanda Bryant
    NASDA Members Speak at the AFA Conference in Kansas City, MO

    Director Fordyce, Secretary Lentsch, and Director Ibach spoke to over 500 college students at the Agriculture Future of America Conference forum in Kansas City, MO on November 7th. Missouri and South Dakota Departments of Agriculture also exhibited at the career fair. Our Human Resources Director, Elizabeth Rowland, was there promoting NASDA's Stephen Haterius Student Agriculture Leadership Program.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/12/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers temporarily closed a stretch of the Mississippi River (Mile Marker 632-635) to daylight traffic without proper notice to operators and shippers. The Corps began conducting mat-laying repair work, but the timing and location of this work added further complication and frustration to barge operators shipping grain and other agricultural products during harvest season. Over the weekend, the Corps agreed to revisit its decision and is working to clear the queue of barges through the restricted areas.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/12/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA is reminding farmers and producers of the opportunity to choose between the new 2014 Farm Bill established programs, Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Selection begins Nov. 17, 2014 and continues through March 31, 2015. USDA helped create online tools to assist in the decision process, allowing farm owners and producers to enter information about their operation and see projections that show what ARC and/or PLC will mean for them under possible future scenarios.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/12/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced a Federal Register notice seeking input from the public to guide its development of a new industry-funded promotion, research and information order (also known as a "checkoff program") for beef and beef products. The new order would be in addition to the existing beef checkoff program. USDA is asking for comments by December 10, 2014.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/12/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    As part of the Federal Pollinator Health Task Force’s effort to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators, EPA and USDA announced two upcoming listening sessions to solicit stakeholder input on best management practices including pesticide risk mitigation, public-private partnerships, research, education opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements, and other actions that the Task Force should consider in developing a Federal strategy. The listening sessions will take place on November 12 and 17 in the DC metro area. The agencies are accepting written comments through November 24, 2014. NASDA’s Rebecca Creighton attended the listening session today and Dudley Hoskins will be attending the second session next week.

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  • Amanda  Bryant Posted on 11/12/2014 by Amanda Bryant

    The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will conduct a Listening Session regarding the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) proposed rules. The Listening Session will include presentations by the FDA regarding the updated revisions to two proposed FSMA rules: Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption, and the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals. A question and answer session will immediately follow the presentation.


    Date/Time: November 21, 2014, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

    Where: The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center
    14625 County Road 672
    Wimauma, FL 33598


    We encourage all interested parties to attend this opportunity to hear the proposed rule changes directly from the FDA. You ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/04/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reopening the comment period for the proposed rule that would allow, under certain conditions, the importation of fresh (chilled or frozen) beef from a region in Argentina located north of Patagonia South and Patagonia North B, referred to as Northern Argentina. APHIS is extending the comment period through December 29, 2014.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 11/04/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, USDA announced an extension to the enrollment and the comment period on the Margin Protection Program and Dairy Product Donation Program. Producers will now have until December 5, 2014 to enroll in the voluntary program, and the comment period will remain open through December 15, 2014. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin (the difference between the price of milk and feed costs) falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. USDA developed a Margin Protection Decision Tool to assist producers in calculating the best levels of coverage for their respective operations.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 10/28/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is seeking public comments on two new surveys that complement its existing Bee and Honey Inquiry (0535-0153), which targets bee keepers with five or more colonies. The Colony Loss Quarterly Survey will be administered quarterly to a subsample of bee keepers responding to the annual Bee and Honey Inquiry. Respondents will be asked to report quarterly honeybee colony losses on an annual basis. Together, these surveys will yield the number of honeybee colonies that are comparable in methodology to the Census of Agriculture counts (which is available only every five years). The data collected will include state of colony residence, the commercial movement of colonies between states, newly added or replacement colonies, colony losses, and presence of colony stress factors, such as pests or parasites. Comments are due by December 29, 2014.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 10/28/2014 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded more than $4.5 million to 51 American veterinarians, made through the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP), to help repay a portion of their veterinary school loans in return for serving in areas lacking sufficient veterinary resources. In fiscal year 2014, NIFA received 163 applications, and recipients are required to commit to three years of veterinary service in a designated veterinary shortage area. To determine which shortage situations correspond with offers extended to applicants who successfully competed for available funding during the most recent VMLRP program cycle, click on your state(s) of interest from the US map on the NIFA website.

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