News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 03/03/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Witte to Represent NASDA at WOTUS Hearing

    New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte will represent NASDA at a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing on the impact of the proposed Waters of the US rulemaking. In his testimony, Witte will focus on the significant negative impacts this proposed rule could have on farmers, ranchers, and other stakeholders across rural America. To view the live audio and/or video for this hearing, click here.

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 03/03/2015 by Bob Ehart

    The FDA is scheduled to host a national kick-off meeting on the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

    When
    Thursday, April 23, 2015 (8:30 AM-5:30 PM)
    Friday, April 24, 2015 (8:30 AM-1:00 PM)


    Where
    Washington Marriott at Metro Center
    775 12th Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20005

    How
    More meeting specifics, including information on how register for the meeting, will be made available in March through a Federal Register Notice and on the FSMA website at http://www.fda.gov/fsma.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 03/03/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    USDA recently released data showing the opportunities for agriculture of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) to help boost agricultural exports across the 50 United States. TPP is a 21st century trade agreement that will promote job growth, increase farm income, generate greater rural economic activity, and help expand U.S. agricultural exports to some of the fastest growing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. USDA released its TPP data today after President Obama announced a set of new executive actions to help grow manufacturing in rural areas and to provide new markets to small businesses across our nation's heartland.

    Fiscal years 2009 to 2014 represent the strongest six years in history for U.S. agricultural trade, with U.S. agricultural product exports totaling $771.7 billion, despite the fact that many other countries' markets are not as open to American products as our markets are to theirs. Agricultural exports last fiscal year reached $152.5 billion, the highest level on ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 03/03/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Oregon: Now Recruiting for a Food Safety Retail Specialist

    Oregon Department of Agriculture is currently recruiting for a Natural Resource Specialist 4 to join our Food Safety & Animal Health and Identification Program Area. This position is required to report frequently to Salem. However, candidates may work out of a home office within Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill, Marion, Polk, Benton, Linn or Lane County. Position location will be finalized when a job offer is made. For more information, click here.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 03/03/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    NRCS released its Interim Final rule for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) last week. The Notice is available in the Federal Register and will be open for a 60 day comment period. As an interim final rule, the rule is immediately effective and NRCS is in the process of distributing policy guidance to the field on how to implement the rule. There is, however, the opportunity to provide comment on the rule, which NRCS will consider when issuing their final rule. We have been told to expect a final rule later this fall or winter. The FY15 program will operate under this interim final rule and associated guidance.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 03/03/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    In a news release today, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) announced that they have introduced the Prevention of Antibiotic Resistance Act (S. 621) to “combat the overuse of medically-important antibiotics in agriculture.” The bill is cosponsored by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). The bill requires the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw its approval of medically-important antibiotics used for disease prevention or control that are at high risk of abuse, unless the producer of the drug can demonstrate that its use in agriculture does not pose a risk to human health. Antibiotics that meet the standard for prevention and control uses would be issued a revised label that supports prudent antibiotic use.

    The release also mentions that the bill addresses a gap in the guidelines issued by FDA in December 2013, which called on the industry to eliminate the use of antibiotics for ...

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 03/03/2015 by Bob Ehart

    In 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied FDA’s foreign offices. A report issued that year found that the agency had engaged in a variety of activities relating to food safety but faced challenges because of increasing workloads. In a follow-up report, published last week, GAO found that FDA is not keeping pace with the number of foreign inspections mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The report concludes that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to do more to ensure that its foreign offices are keeping foods that are imported to the United States safe.

    Under FSMA, FDA was required to inspect 600 foreign food facilities in the first year following its enactment, For each of the next 5 years, after the first year, FDA was mandated to inspect at least twice the number of facilities inspected during the previous year. Under this requirement, the agency should have inspected 4,800 facilities in 2014; it conducted 1,323 inspections this ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/27/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Deadline to Apply for Summer Ag Policy Internship is Monday

    NASDA, is seeking highly motivated public policy interns interested in learning about the legislation and regulations that impact American agriculture. The deadline to apply for a summer internship is this Monday, March 2. The deadline to apply for a fall internship is May 15. This is a full-time only internship located in Arlington, Virginia.

    What is NASDA?
    NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all fifty states and four U.S. territories.
    Our mission is to represent the state departments of agriculture in the development, implementation, and communication of sound public policy and programs which support and promote the American agricultural industry, while protecting consumers and the environment.

    About the Internship
    Applicants should be classified as a sophomore or greater by their academic institution and have excellent written and oral ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/24/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The USDA has recently launched a site www.usda.gov/newfarmers which serves as a one-stop-shop for new and beginning farmers or ranchers seeking information on the diverse amount of technical assistance, risk management, conservation opportunities, and more available from the USDA.

    Are you a woman farmer or rancher? Check out the new Ag Women Lead initiative by emailing agwomenlead@usda.gov for more information about this support service for this growing and unique sector of American agriculture.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/24/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of more than $160 million in funding for research, education, and extension projects that address key challenges affecting U.S. agriculture production. NIFA will fund the awards through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).

    "The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative was created to find innovative solutions to the challenges we face as a society, such as hunger and food security, health, climate, food safety, and bioenergy," said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director.

    NIFA released six separate requests for applications (RFA) through the AFRI program. Five RFAs will support AFRI's challenge areas: food security, water, childhood obesity prevention, food safety, and climate. The challenge areas fund integrated, applied science that seek to find solutions to societal challenges that impact our ability to feed, clothe, and shelter a rising global population. An additional RFA ...

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    Resource Added: 02/24/2015

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/24/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has released their much anticipated report. Sustainability and increased vegetable and fruit consumption are key aspects of the 571 page report written by a group of 14 nutritionists. NASDA staff are currently reviewing the report and identifying next steps.The USDA and HHS will use this report to develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which must be completed by the end of the year. The public is invited to provide comments on the report by March 24. Beyond the issue of sustainability, the advisory committee completely drops their previous cholesterol limits and no longer explicitly recommends lean meat as part of a healthy dietary pattern.

    The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were last updated in 2010 and included a switch from the nutrition triangle to the My Plate icon, are used to determine meals provided through federal feeding programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 02/24/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA is allocating $280 million to eligible applicants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) to assist rural agricultural producers and small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems. Application deadlines vary by project type and the type of assistance requested.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 02/24/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Last week, the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union tentatively reached a five-year agreement concluding the dispute that has been on-going since last October. This dispute has been especially detrimental to agricultural producers of perishable products. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez was sent to California last week to help mediate the agreement and said both parties agreed to resume work last Saturday. Once ratified, it is estimated it will take eight weeks to clear the current shipping backlog.

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 02/18/2015 by DeWitt Ashby

    The Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company including TMall (a business to consumer portal) will be offering two education programs in Los Angeles on March 12th and 13th. The first program will provide a high-level overview of the booming Chinese B2C market, including Alibaba’s TMall and will be followed by a networking reception. The second program will provide more specialized information for FAS/USDA cooperator groups who would like to promote their members’ products. Please see these links for registration information and registration for cooperator groups. For additional information about e-commerce in China, contract Valerie Brown-Jones at the Agricultural Trade Office (FAS) in Shanghai Valerie.Brown-Jones@fas.usda.gov.

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  • DeWitt  Ashby Posted on 02/18/2015 by DeWitt Ashby

    Excellent opportunities remain available for states and ag businesses to provide sponsorship for the USA Pavilion at Expo Milan (The World's Fair). Themes of the USA Pavilion include America’s role in global food security and American regional cuisines. This event will attract high-level agricultural policy makers as well as millions of consumers. Sponsorship opportunities can be customized to take advantage of specific product availability. To discuss further, please contact Megan Badasch at mbadasch@epiphanyproductions.com.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/18/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    National Invasive Species Awareness Week is scheduled for February 22-28, and experts with the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) say it is more important than ever for each of us to get involved.

    “Damage caused by invasive weeds causes a multibillion dollar annual drain on our nation’s economy,” says Lee Van Wychen, Ph.D., WSSA science policy director. “If each of us stays informed and commits to taking action, we can focus on prevention and can detect new infestations early to limit their impact.”

    Many invasive plants – such as water hyacinth and Scotch broom – were first introduced to the U.S. from other countries as ornamentals. Unfortunately they became aggressive weedy invaders in their new habitat, often spread by unsuspecting humans, their pets and outdoor gear.

    This year there are lots of options for taking part in National Invasive Species Awareness Week and improving your own understanding of invasive weed species ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 02/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently published proposed regulations for the commercial use of small (55 lbs or less) unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for visual line-of sight use during daylight hours. The proposal requires the operate to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test every two years, and obtain a certification from the FAA. The comment period is open for 60 days, and in addition to the proposed regulations, the FAA is asking for input on whether to permit beyond-line-of-sight operations, and if so, what the appropriate limits should be.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 02/18/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Hiring for Public Policy, Member Services Positions

    NASDA is currently seeking applications for two new positions: Manager, Public Policy and Coordinator, Member Services.

    The Manager, Public Policy works as a member of the NASDA Policy team and independently to execute policy development, implementation and communication in support of NASDA. The goal of this position is to support the mission of NASDA through successful policies that enhance agriculture through programs within state departments of agriculture and for agricultural stakeholders in the states. This goal is achieved through the incumbent’s able and timely work that is multi-functional among state and federal agencies, legislative entities and stakeholders. For more information or to apply, click here.

    The Member Services Coordinator works as a member of a team to support NASDA’s operations. Specifically the incumbent is responsible for tasks providing administrative assistance for the organization, including meeting and event registrations and sponsors ...

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 02/10/2015 by Bob Ehart

    Michael Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, addressed the NASDA Winter Policy Conference last week. During his address and in a recent FDA Voice blog, Mr. Taylor indicated that “…we’re at a critical juncture as Congress considers the funding that will help transform all the plans and preparations we’ve shared with you into protections that will greatly reduce the number of illnesses caused by contaminated foods and greatly increase consumer confidence in the safety of our food supply.” He makes the case that a lot of work has to be done now to ensure that the FSMA rules are implemented on time in late 2016 and 2017. The President’s budget, submitted to Congress last week, would provide an additional $109M for FSMA implementation; $32M are requested for state programs. NASDA has a cooperative agreement with FDA, working on key aspects of FSMA implementation and creating an Integrated Food Safety System.

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