News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/18/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Nebraska: Statement from Director Ibach following Today's Announcement by the WTO on the COOL Law

    “Today’s WTO ruling opens the door for Canada and Mexico to place retaliatory tariffs on goods imported from the United States. As two of Nebraska’s largest markets, such action will negatively impact our agriculture sector, especially meats and feed products.

    “Canada indicates some 23 commodities currently exported from our state could be targeted. Beef and pork exports, valued at roughly $200 million, are among the potential top impacts.

    “Expeditious, corrective action is needed regarding the Country of Origin Labeling law as any delay could prove to be extremely costly to the United States and specifically to Nebraska.”

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/18/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    California: CDFA Announces 2015 Funding for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP)

    The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) begins accepting applications today, May 18, 2015, for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation (Assembly Bill 91). An estimated $10 million will be available for competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to implement irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gases and save water on California agricultural operations. The funding is made available through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, the proceeds of California’s greenhouse gas Cap and Trade program.

    Agricultural operations can apply for funding up to $150,000 per project. The funding can be supported by a broad range and/or combination of irrigation and water distribution-related practices that provide quantifiable water savings and greenhouse gas reductions.

    To view the full press release, click here.

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 05/18/2015 by Bob Ehart

    Today, NIFA announced the availability of $2.3 million for the establishment of two regional centers to support comprehensive food safety training and education, pursuant to FSMA. A separate funding announcement from the FDA will be released in the coming weeks to support an additional two regional centers.

    The joint NIFA-FDA program will award grants to establish one national coordination center and four regional centers. The national coordination center will coordinate the overall program, while the regional centers will reach out into local communities to work with FSMA audiences across the country. Regional centers will also coordinate with one another through the national coordination center.

    For more information, click here.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 05/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, the House Agriculture Committee approved the Commodity End-User Relief Act (H.R. 2289), by voice vote. The bill was introduced by Chairman K. Michael Conaway (TX-11), Rep. Austin Scott (GA-8), and Rep. David Scott (GA-13) to reauthorize the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The text of the bill can be found here. The House Ag Committee summary of the legislation can be found here, and other information on the markup can be found here.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 05/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is holding its third webinar on May 20, 2015, from 4-7 pm EDT for stakeholder engagement regarding APHIS’s regulation of the products of biotechnology. Those wishing to attend and/or comment at the webinar are strongly encouraged to register today. This webinar will be the same as the previous two; they vary only by date and time.

    Stakeholders can also provide written comments through June 22, 2015, at the eRulemaking Portal. Please note that webinar commenters may be limited by time depending on the number of individuals who wish to speak; those seeking to provide additional comments or supplementary material are encouraged to use the eRulemaking Portal.

    APHIS seeks input on the following questions:
    1. Should APHIS regulate based on the characteristics of biotechnology products and the potential risks they may pose, or by the process by which they were created? In either case, what criteria should be used to determine ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 05/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) enforces numerous laws and is committed to doing so effectively and transparently. I am pleased to tell you today about a new resource that makes frequently requested enforcement information readily and consistently available to the public.

    APHIS’ Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) unit makes possible our Agency’s enforcement of 10 U.S. laws covering a broad range of issues. With roughly 140 employees stationed in locations across the United States, IES provides critical support to APHIS’ four regulatory programs—Animal Care, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, Plant Protection and Quarantine, and Veterinary Services—as well as to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for its agricultural quarantine inspection (AQI) activities. IES conducts thorough investigations and works with program personnel to analyze evidence and determine appropriate enforcement actions informed by provisions in the ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 05/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Late last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in additional flocks in Iowa and South Dakota. The affected premises have been quarantined and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.

    The United States has the strongest AI surveillance program in the world. As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps: 1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 05/18/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    After overcoming a 60-vote procedural hurdle in the Senate last week by a vote of 65-33, Trade Promotion Authority legislation (H.R. 1314) and a host of potential amendments to that legislation are set to be considered on the Senate floor this week. Despite the potentially slow pace for votes on amendments, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he thinks the Senate could vote the final bill by the end of this week.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 05/18/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    An appellate body of the World Trade Organization ruled today that mandatory U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements are out of compliance with the United States’ international trade obligations. This fourth and final ruling by the WTO will set in motion actions by Canada and Mexico to impose retaliatory tariffs against U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods. Those retaliatory measures could be in place as early as late summer.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 05/12/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The House is scheduled to vote on legislation (HR 1732) this evening that would direct EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw their proposed Waters of the United States rule. The legislation would also direct the agencies to develop a new rule following a set of consultations with state and local governments as well as impacted stakeholders. Legislation has also been introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators. That bill, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S 1140), would also direct the agencies to withdraw the proposed rule and develop a new rule in consultation with states and stakeholders, but it would also establish principles the new rule should be based on.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/11/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA CEO Speaks to Future of Ag at University of Maryland

    NASDA CEO Barb Glenn presented "NASDA, you and the future of agriculture" to the University of Maryland chapter of Sigma Alpha, the women's agriculture honorary sorority on May 4 in College Park, MD. NASDA will welcome Rebecca Creighton, former chapter president of Sigma Alpha, to the staff team later this month.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/11/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    USDA: One of the best fields for new college graduates? Agriculture.

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report showing tremendous demand for recent college graduates with a degree in agricultural programs with an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States. According to an employment outlook report released today by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor's degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually.

    "There is incredible opportunity for highly-skilled jobs in agriculture," said Secretary Vilsack. "Those receiving degrees in agricultural fields can expect to have ample career opportunities. Not only will those who study agriculture be likely to get well-paying jobs upon graduation, they will also have the satisfaction of working in a field that addresses ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/11/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Kansas: KDA Provides Comment on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines

    Kansas Department of Agriculture recently provided comments on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (Report) to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Human and Health Services Secretary Burwell.

    Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey recognized the Report’s proper role of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and dairy in a healthy American diet, however, she specifically addressed the misrepresentation of the nutritional and health benefits of lean, red meat as well as inappropriate treatment of the topic of sustainability.

    “We appreciate that the report acknowledges the role of dairy foods as a source of calcium, potassium and Vitamin D,” said McClaskey. “But, the contradictory and confusing dietary information surrounding lean, red meat as well as vilifying modern agricultural practices causes confusion for Americans and can actually do more harm to public health than good. It is our duty to ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/05/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Late last week, the House Agriculture Committee passed H.R. 2051, the Mandatory Price Reporting Act of 2015, by a voice vote. The bill reauthorizes the law which was set to expire in September.

    In February, NASDA Members unanimously passed a Policy Amendment in support of mandatory price reporting for the purpose of fair, complete, and accurate marketing information.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/05/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Intern Perspective: Trade - The Future of Agriculture

    My time as a NASDA Agriculture Policy Intern has been one of the best educational experiences I could ask for as a university student. The internship, both eye opening and fun, exposed me to the numerous challenges our agricultural sector deals with on a daily basis. From attending hearings at our nation’s capital, to helping staff with various tasks, I gained numerous professional skills which I will apply to my future endeavors. My time at NASDA further confirmed that I want to begin my career path with agriculture.

    I have a personal passion for agriculture trade. International markets are important for many U.S. farm products. The U.S. agricultural sector has much to gain from trade, but this can come at a risk because trade is influenced by many different factors. I believe that American agriculture can truly benefit from trade. Successful trade practice allows the U.S. agricultural sector to have a trade surplus. Exports grew by 8 percent from 2000 to 2014. U.S. exports ...

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  • Charlie Ingram Posted on 05/05/2015 by Charlie Ingram
    NASDA Supervisor Honored for 50 Years of Service

    NASDA and the NASS Mountain Regional Office this week honored NASDA Supervisor Bonnie Egan of Colorado for 50 years of dedicated service. Bonnie supervises an enumerator team who work in northeastern Colorado, including Weld County which has historically been one of the largest agricultural counties in the U.S. The diverse agricultural economy in this area includes livestock, cattle, sheep, dairies, irrigated cropland and vegetables.

    NASDA employs part-time field enumerators who collect agricultural data from farmers and ranchers on behalf of NASS. This “grassroots” data collection and public relations work by NASDA enumerators is key to NASS’ ability to perform its mission of serving the Nation’s agriculture by providing timely, accurate and useful information. This important data is used by producers, state and federal policymakers, agribusiness, suppliers, farm organizations and others when developing programs that affect our farmers and rural communities.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 05/05/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam is dedicated to protecting Florida’s $120 billion agriculture industry from pests and disease. Laurel wilt, spread by the red ambrosia beetle, is currently threatening the state’s avocado industry.

    The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, under the leadership of Commissioner Putnam, has provided four Specialty Crop Block Grants to research and combat laurel wilt to save the state’s $64 million avocado industry. These grants funded research by experts at the University of Florida and Florida International University.

    The latest grant program funded disease-sniffing dogs and high-flying drones to identify laurel wilt in the groves.

    CBS News: Drones, Dogs Used to Protect Avocado from Disease
    CBS News: MAY 5, 2015, 8:35 AM | A devastating fungal disease in Florida threatens the nation’s nearly half-billion dollar avocado industry. That’s leading researchers to use extreme measures like ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 04/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Intern Perspective: Significance of the Advancement of Technology in Agriculture

    In the time I have spent as an intern here at NASDA, I have become very aware of the challenges we face in feeding the world. Despite the viewpoint that the majority of Americans are fortunate enough to have, a significant portion of the world does not know where their next meal will come from. New studies claim the world population is expected to reach 9.6 billion by the year 2050. If we have any hope of providing food to this many people on an increasingly limited quantity of arable land, agriculture must rely on the advancement of technology to increase food production.

    Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and this is encouraging for the future. Methods such as precision agriculture are making significant strides towards maximizing production, quality and efficiency. It is unbelievable to see the progress that has been made in food production the past few decades. The agricultural industry has taken countless measures to ensure a healthy and quality product for the consumer.

    I ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 04/28/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in additional six flocks in Iowa, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.

    The affected premises have been quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.

    All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and ...

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