News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/27/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Winter Policy Conference Kicks Off on Super Bowl Sunday

    NASDA is gearing up for its 2015 Winter Policy Conference which begins this Sunday, February 1. The four-day conference, which was relocated this year to DC, will kick off with a Super Bowl Party and Welcome Reception.

    The conference's keynote speaker is Ambassador Michael Froman, United States Trade Representative, who will highlight the critical role of international trade in agriculture.The Honorable Michael Conaway, newly appointed Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, will also speak to the meeting's 200 attendees. All meeting attendees will visit the USDA later in the week for a reception highlighted by remarks from U.S Secretary of Agriculture Ton Vilsack.

    During committee meetings, NASDA Members will discuss a number of emerging and ongoing legislative issues including farmer veterans, international trade, the upcoming child nutrition reauthorization, pollinator health, and more. Policy Amendments and Action Items that will be considered by NASDA Members during the ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 01/27/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic (HPAI) H5N8 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Stanislaus County, California. This is the first finding of HPAI in commercial poultry during the ongoing disease incident in the Pacific Flyway. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally, and there continues to be no public health concern.

    APHIS is partnering closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), which has quarantined the facility. APHIS and CDFA have initiated an incident command response, and APHIS will assist CDFA in depopulating the remaining birds on the property to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the involved flock will not enter the food system.

    USDA will be notifying the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) of this detection as part of USDA’s ongoing reporting of ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 01/27/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young named Dr. Eileen Thacker as the first ARS Animal Welfare Ombudsman. This announcement follows Secretary Vilsack’s directive to ARS to provide an updated Animal Welfare Strategy within 60 days following reports of mismanagement at the USDA-ARS Clay Center. The Strategy will include updated training protocols and an independent panel review of policies regarding animal handling and research-related practices within ARS.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/27/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a partnership through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.

    "The Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program is a key to USDA’s efforts to revitalize rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems," said AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo. “The grant workshops will ensure that more communities and businesses across the country can participate in the competitive grant process with proposals that create real economic opportunities and help meet the growing demand for locally and regionally produced food.”

    A list of upcoming grant workshop dates and locations can be found at http://www.amsta.net. More workshops ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/27/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Meets with Chinese Veterinarian Delegation

    NASDA met with a delegation from the Bureau of Veterinary Services, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture earlier this week to share ideas and information related to animal health policy priorities, research needs, and disease monitoring efforts. The discussion included a number of timely topics, such as the recent High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) incidents, Swine Enteric Coronavirus Diseases (SECD) & Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus, and antibiotic use and resistance issues in livestock.

    The Bureau of Veterinary Services, Chinese Ministry of Agriculture develops and conducts policy, strategy, and regulation to support the health and quality of animals, animal products, and improve veterinary medicine, and representatives from the delegation invited all NASDA members to visit them during your next trip to China.

    Written by Blake Ramsey

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 01/27/2015 by DeWitt Ashby

    Exhibit space sales at the American Food Fair (May 16-19, 2015 in Chicago), NASDA’s export pavilion at the National Restaurant Association’s annual trade show are approaching sold out status with 700 square feet of space remaining. The American Food Fair is produced annually with support from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in partnership with NRA.

    Contact: DeWitt Ashby dewitt@nasda.org or Megan McDonald megan@nasda.org
     

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  • Elizabeth  Rowland Posted on 01/27/2015 by Elizabeth Rowland
    NASDA Seeking Applications for Ag Policy Internship Program

    NASDA is currently seeking highly motivated public policy interns interested in learning about the legislation and regulations that impact American agriculture. There is one internship position available per semester and we need applications for the upcoming summer semester (May-August). The deadline to apply for this semester is February 20th . This full-time position is located in Arlington, Virginia.

    Applicants should be classified as a sophomore or greater by their academic institution and have excellent written and oral communication skills. A basic understanding of the legislative process is preferred but not required.

    Intern responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Conduct research on various legislative issues of importance to NASDA’s membership
    • Represent NASDA in Congressional hearings, conference calls, and other venues, and provide written analysis of these events to policy staff members
    • Write articles covering various ...
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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/20/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Maryland: Secretary of Agriculture Hance Stepping Down, Bartenfelder Named New Secretary

    Buddy Hance, Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Maryland, announced last Friday that he will resign from his position, effective today. Hance, a fourth generation Southern Maryland farmer, was appointed Secretary by Governor Martin O’Malley in May 2009. Prior to taking the position, he had served as Deputy Secretary from 2007-2009.

    “The past seven years have been such a tremendous opportunity. I am honored to have met so many good people and its been such an amazing learning experience. I’ve enjoyed getting to know the outstanding staff at the department and see first-hand their steadfast dedication to the work they do on behalf of Marylanders. I extend my deep thanks to all MDA staff members for their commitment to Maryland agriculture,” said Secretary Hance.

    “Maryland farmers are recognized as national leaders for their conservation efforts. The future for Maryland Agriculture is and will continue to be bright and prosperous. I will especially ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/20/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    North Carolina: Ag Forum Will Highlight Importance of Partnerships Between Agriculture, Military

    The potential for North Carolina’s two largest industries – agriculture and the military – to work together will be highlighted at the 10th annual Ag Development Forum on Feb. 5 at the State Fairgrounds.

    Admission is free and lunch will be provided, but registration is requested by Jan. 30. Register online at www.ncagr.gov/agforum. Individuals with questions may contact Christina Waggett at 919-707-3008.

    The forum will feature a panel discussion about the potential and benefits of partnerships between agriculture and the military. Presentations from organizations and businesses that supply food to military bases will help farmers learn about selling to the armed services. Following the program, buyers will be available to talk with farmers about potential sales opportunities.

    “Agriculture and the military are North Carolina’s two largest industries, so it makes sense to explore the possibilities for partnerships between them,” said Agriculture ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 01/20/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Jason Weller announced last Wednesday that the USDA will fund 115 new projects designed to improve water and soil quality, encourage efficiency in the use of water, and support more wildlife habitat.

    The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) will contribute $372.5 million in federal funding for these projects, which will also receive an estimated $400 million from partnerships with private organizations.

    RCPP was created by the 2014 Farm Bill and will fund $1.2 billion over the next 5 years. The program also expects toleverage at least that amount from private organizations. In remarks announcing the projects,Vilsack highlighted the impact on water quality many of these programs will have in the coming years.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 01/20/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its determination of nonregulated status for Monsanto’s soybeans and cotton resistant to certain herbicides, including dicamba. The Federal Register notice includes the Record of Decision (ROD). The 60-day comment period closes on March 23, 2015. EPA is expected to complete its concurrent review in the coming months.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 01/20/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The President is expected to support a proposed tax overhaul for transportation infrastructure funding during the State of the Union address tonight. Last week, the White House rolled out a new bond proposal to incentivize public-private partnerships to support transportation infrastructure projects. Congress will need to address the funding component of the highway bill by May of this year, and the Highway Trust Fund is expected to fall below sustainable funding levels this spring.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/13/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (AFBFA)  recently announced that, with the support of DuPont Pioneer, it is launching an online database of educational resources to improve understanding of the agriculture industry among students.

    The new “Best of Ag Literacy” database will include more than 200 publicly submitted tools and resources tailored to multiple grade levels, the foundation said. Users will be able to review and download the resources for free, in addition to interacting with other users to share feedback and implementation strategies.

    Farm Bureau is inviting the public to submit resources for consideration for the database by February 13. To receive a submission form and more information, email the American Farm Bureau Foundation education director.

    To read the full press release, click here.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 01/13/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture recently announced a request for grant funding applications for its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) which is intended to "... support the development of educational outreach curricula, workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance programs to assist beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises ..." NIFA anticipates having approximately $18,540,000 in total available grant funds for the program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. Applications are due by March 13.

    For more information, click here.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 01/13/2015 by Nathan Bowen
    China Bans U.S. Chicken

    China announced Monday that it will not allow U.S. chicken or eggs into the country, following the discovery of avian flu in the Pacific Northwest. Still unclear is whether the ban extends to cooked products.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 01/13/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it is making permanent a pilot program that allows Mexican motor carriers to conduct long-haul, cross border operations in the U.S. The pilot program, which expired late last year, began in 2011 following a NAFTA Dispute Settlement panel decision that found the U.S. was out of compliance with the trade agreement by not allowing full access to Mexican trucks. Mexico retaliated following that decision by imposing tariffs on U.S. agricultural products and manufactured goods.

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 01/13/2015 by Bob Ehart

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a notice in the Federal Register today announcing the availability for public comment of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Proposed Rule and the agency’s plan to hold a public meeting on the Draft EIS.

    There will be a public meeting on the Draft EIS on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 in College Park, MD. The comment period is for 60 days from Monday, January 12, 2015 to Friday, March 13, 2015.

    To view FDA's complete constituent update, click here.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 01/13/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The House Rules Committee met yesterday and cleared the way for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act of 2015 (H.R. 240) to come to the floor this week. House Republicans are looking to offer amendments to the funding measure to nullify the President’s Executive Action on immigration, which temporary delays deportation of approximately four million illegal immigrants. The DHS funding bill also includes $300 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF), which will replace the Plum Island facility in New York, for research on highly toxic animal diseases.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/06/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    As the chief agriculture officials in their states, NASDA Members are keenly aware of the changing dynamics and increasing challenges in food, fiber and fuel production across the country and have a deep appreciation for the important contribution agriculture makes to our nation’s economy. As we turn to 2015, NASDA will be taking a closer look at the partnerships we can leverage to address current and upcoming challenges to American agriculture. With last years elections, various retirements, and other changes, NASDA will also be welcoming several new members. Texas, Wyoming, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Arkansas will all have new leadership in their agriculture departments.

    There are three key priorities that NASDA will focus on for 2015. These include the controversial Waters of the U.S. proposed rule, pollinators, and implementation of FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

    Waters of the U.S.
    NASDA feels the Waters of the U.S. proposal ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 01/06/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Ag Safety Council Launches Safety Infographic

    The Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America (ASHCA) has recently launched a new infographic focusing on a snapshot of the agriculture workforce, the economic toll of worker injuries and the benefits of investing in safety

    According to the infographic by ASHCA, the annual cost of occupational injuries in agriculture is $8.3 billion in medical costs and lost productivity. For more information, and to view the infographic, click here.

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