News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The House passed H.R. 1599 this week by a bipartisan vote of 275 to 150. Forty-five Democrats supported the bill; 12 Republicans opposed it. The legislation would preempt state GMO labeling laws and establish a federal voluntary labeling program at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service similar to the popular green certified organic label. The label will cover plant-based foods only and will not be allowed for use on meat and dairy products. NASDA wrote a letter in support of the legislation. The bill’s future is unclear as it has even more hurdles to clear in the Senate.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    North Carolina: Recruitment Open for Associate Dean of Ag at NC State and Extension Director

    North Carolina State University (NC State) invites applications and nominations for its position of Associate Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service (NCCES).

    This position has primary leadership responsibility for all aspects of the Extension Service, leading the organization at the state, regional, national and international levels. The position reports to the Dean of the College and, as Associate Dean, serves with the Associate Deans for Academic Programs and Research as a member of the Dean’s administrative team.

    To read the full prospectus, click here.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The presenters will share their experiences from more than a decade of small-scale field-edge monitoring in Wisconsin and neighboring states. The webinar will include information on:
    • Matching data quality and monitoring intensity with study objectives
    • Challenges of change detection and alternative benefits of edge-of-field monitoring data
    • Equipment selection, monitoring challenges
    • Standard operating procedures used and working with fine-scale time-series data
    • Sampling techniques
    • Precipitation-runoff relations and water-quality characteristics of nutrients and sediment in edge-of-field runoff at livestock farms in Wisconsin
    • Comparisons of runoff and water-quality data between surface and subsurface tiles
    • How field conditions and the timing of field-management activities affect the quantity and quality of runoff from agricultural fields

    Wednesday, August 12, 2015
    2PM Eastern / 11AM Pacific
    90 Minutes

    Join the webinar ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The USDA is partnering with Microsoft to launch the "Innovation Challenge," a contest designed to explore how climate change will impact the United States' food system with the intent of achieving better food resiliency. The challenge invites entrants to develop and publish new applications and tools that can analyze multiple sources of information about the nation's food supply, including key USDA data sets that are now hosted on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft's cloud-computing platform.

    For the first time, key USDA datasets are being made available in the cloud where they can be accessed and blended with other data to give novel insights or used in new types of end-user applications. Combining these USDA data with cloud-computing resources allows even very high fidelity and complex models to be processed in a timely manner and enables results to be delivered to remote users on their laptops, tablets or mobile phones.

    The challenge offers $60,000 in prizes, including a top ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is contacting farmers and ranchers from now through August as part of a national survey of conservation practices.

    During the first phase of the National Resources Inventory (NRI) – Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), NASS will contact approximately 24,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide to determine if their operations and properties meet eligibility criteria to participate in the survey. Farmers and ranchers deemed eligible may be contacted from October 2015 through February 2016 and asked to participate in the survey, part of a two-year project. The same survey process and schedule will be followed later in 2016 with a different set of producers.

    “The survey gives farmers and ranchers the power to provide a more complete and accurate picture of the conservation practices they choose to use on their lands and in their operations,” said NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly. “If ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/28/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Intern Perspective: Importance of Involving Youth in Agriculture

    George Washington once said, “Agriculture is the most healthful, most useful, and most noble employment of man.” Even though this quote is over 200 years old, it still holds true today. In a recent study conducted by the USDA and Purdue University, it was found that agriculture is one of the best fields for college graduates. There are approximately 57,900 jobs available annually within agriculture, but there are only 35,400 college graduates to fill these positions. Today, more than ever before, we are in dire need of young leaders within agriculture to help fill those jobs and provide our industry with their expertise.

    Growing up on a small farm, I became heavily involved in Oklahoma 4-H where I developed my passion for agriculture. Upon graduating high school I was not sure what I wanted to major in, but I knew it was going to be in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University. After taking some classes my freshman year, I ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/28/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    For the past several months, the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has conducted epidemiological investigations and other studies with the goal of identifying transmission pathways of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Late last week, APHIS released an updated epidemiology report, initially published on June 5, 2015, which includes:
    • Interpretation of data from 81 turkey flocks investigated for HPAI;
    • Preliminary results from a case-control study conducted in layer operations in Iowa and Nebraska; and
    • Preliminary results of a study of wildlife near affected and unaffected premises.

    With the data from both reports, APHIS concludes there is not substantial or significant evidence to point to a specific pathway or pathways for the current spread of the virus. This edition of the report includes data on the characteristics and biosecurity measures of infected turkey farms and a case control ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/28/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will offer two Webinars to assist stakeholders who are planning to submit an FY 2016 Farm Bill Section 10007 project suggestion. Each 1-hour session will review:
    • Objectives of the 6 goal areas
    • How to obtain a Metastorm account
    • How to submit a suggestion
    • How to reach program coordinators

    Participants will be able to ask questions during each session. The Webinars will be held on Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 2:00 PM (ET) and Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 2:00 PM (ET).
    If you have questions about the upcoming Webinars or the FY 2016 Suggestion Open Period, please contact the APHIS Farm Bill Management Team at farmbillsection10007@aphis.usda.gov. To learn more about Farm Bill Section 10007 and the FY16 Suggestion Open Period, please visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/farmbill.

    To join the Webinar: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usda/join?id=FarmBill_FY15&role=attend. To join the audio ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 07/28/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    Ministers from the twelve nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement are meeting this week in Hawaii in an attempt to reach a final agreement on the far-reaching trade pact. While observers are hopeful a final deal is near, a number of sticky issues remain unresolved. Among those, access for American dairy products to Canada, patent protections for US manufacturers of biologic pharmaceuticals, and Japanese bilateral trade in automobiles and agricultural products loom large over the talks.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 07/28/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is s soliciting research topics from state and federal commodity boards funding under Agriculture And Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program (AFRI). Under the AFRI program, commodity boards are able to apply for competitive grants to match their own matching funding for research into the following priority areas: plant health and production and plant products; animal health and production and animal products; food safety, nutrition, and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agriculture systems and technology; and agriculture economics and rural communities. Requests for Applications (RFAs) are due by 5:00pm September 22.

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 07/21/2015 by Rebecca Creighton

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in cooperation with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is surveying U.S. crop producers to measure the impact feral swine have on their crops and livestock.

    “We will collect data about feral swine to estimate the extent of damage these animals may have caused to agriculture in 11 states,” says NASS Census and Survey Division Director Barbara Rater. “We thank producers in advance for their attention to this survey. The responses, which are always anonymous, can help inform policy and management actions about feral swine.”

    “We believe feral swine are a significant concern for farmers in many states,” said Dr. Stephanie A. Shwiff, project leader of the APHIS’ Economic Research of Human Wildlife Conflict project. “With this survey, we begin the process of quantifying the extent of the problem, which should help us determine the ...

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 07/21/2015 by Rebecca Creighton
    Register Today for the 2015 NASDA Annual Meeting

    Registration is now live! The early bird registration rate and discounted hotel rate is available until August 18. Take a look at the agenda and prepare your flight prior to registration as we will request your flight information during registration to plan your airport transportation. Make sure to check out the exciting excursion discounts the Hawaii team has acquired for us.

    Please visit www.nasda.org/2015 for more information about this event. See you in Hawaii!

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 07/21/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a $20.5 billion agriculture appropriations bill last Thursday. The funding levels outlined by the Senate are $3.7 billion below the enacted FY2015 amounts.

    Of note, the Senate would appropriate $876 million for APHIS--$5 million above FY2015 levels. The Senate language outlines $45 million for food safety activities—FSMA—compared to $40 million from the House. The FSMA language includes $8 million to support the integrated food safety system.

    Furthermore, the Senate would provide $168 million for NASS; the House committee would appropriate approximately $161 million. The president requested $180 million for NASS in FY2016.

    Compared to the House approved language, the Senate bill contains far fewer policy riders. The Senate bill would extend the ban on horse slaughter another year, require labeling of GE salmon, continue to waive whole-grains requirements for school meals, and delaythe Argentine/Brazilian beef import rule. ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 07/21/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    A pollinator focused op-ed by NASDA CEO Barb Glenn was recently featured in The Hill.

    "As I speak to agricultural colleagues across the country, I can honestly say that it has been truly gratifying to observe how so many people with little direct connection to beekeeping are aware of the importance of pollinators to our food and our society. Along with this increased attention, more people are also aware that beekeepers are facing numerous challenges to keep our nation’s hives healthy. The challenges they face are real and they’re difficult, but if our collaborative efforts are directed toward meaningful action there is reason to be optimistic about our future.

    One reason for optimism is the president’s recent Pollinator Task Force report, which calls for a more comprehensive approach to restoring bee health. Most bee experts know there are many factors affecting bee colonies and logic dictates that multiple solutions will be needed. The President’s ...

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 07/21/2015 by Rebecca Creighton

    The Nutrition Education and Promotion Branch of USDA Food and Nutrition Service located in Alexandria, Virginia is seeking to hire two nutritionists. Positions available: Nutritionist I and Nutritionist II. Questions regarding these openings may be directed to FNCSOperationsTeam@FSIS.USDA.gov. Applications are due by July 30, 2015.

    Written by Ricki Schroeder

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 07/14/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena today for the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), directing OIRA Administrator Howard Shelanski to turn over his office’s communications related to the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the U.S. rulemaking.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 07/14/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    The House Agriculture Committee approved by a voice vote legislation (H.R. 1599) that would block the ability of state and local governments from requiring labels for foods that include genetically modified ingredients. The legislation would also create a voluntary program administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to certify non-GMO foods.

    The legislation approved by the Agriculture Committee today is significantly different than the original legislation introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), in that it would give USDA a larger role in the process. The legislation today would also make additional changes to the legislation that were released last month in a discussion draft by the House Energy and Commerce Committee which shares jurisdiction over this legislation with the Agriculture Committee.
     

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 07/14/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Yesterday, Iowa Governor Branstad extended a disaster emergency proclamation for High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) in 18 counties in Iowa, which will facilitate disposal and other efforts by allowing producers to dispose of manure and compost from HPAI impacted premises. The original proclamation was set to expire tomorrow, and the extension will run through the end of the 2015 calendar year.

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 07/14/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    Last week, NASDA sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee re-emphasizing the need for enhanced Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS) and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influence (HPAI) funding. In total, the $20.65 billion bill is $175 million lower than the enacted FY 2015 bill.

    The current FY 2016 House Agriculture Appropriations bill contains $41.5 million for FSMA implementation compared to the $109 million requested by NASDA and the president's request of $109.5 million. Regarding FSMA, NASDA CEO Barb Glenn said “resources [are] required to ensure FSMA requirements do not become unfunded mandates for state agencies.” The bill also includes $2.5 million for the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA). This funding would be used for food safety outreach by NIFA and would make NIFA the sole agency providing education and technical assistance for producers in implementing FSMA.

    Additionally, the current bill ...

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  • Rebecca  Creighton Posted on 07/14/2015 by Rebecca Creighton

    The United States and Switzerland have entered into a trade partnership to streamline the trade of organic food products. The agreement recognizes both countries' organic programs as equivalent, with some exceptions that will likely mirror the U.S. - E.U. Equivalency agreement; including animal products treated with antibiotics and wine destined for the U.S. U.S. organic producers stand much to gain with the opening to the Switzerland market, as Switzerland is the largest per capita consumer of organic food in the world.

    Written by Zachary Mason

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