News

  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/27/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    New Mexico State Fair attendees have spoken and the 2016 Battle of the Salsas winner has been decided!  Several hundred people at the New Mexico State Fair stood in line Saturday to sample 28 salsas.  After their votes were tallied, Black Market Salsa was named the best salsa in the state.

    Salsa lovers of all ages made their chile- and jalapeno-scorched voices heard in the Battle of the Salsas.  Ol’ Gringo Chile Company’s New Mexico Gold (Hot) Salsa of Las Cruces took second place, and El Rancho De Los Garcia’s Salsa of Roswell took third.  “New Mexicans can certainly be proud of the quality and variety of salsas that are produced in our state, and this contest truly brings out the best”, said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte as he announced the winners.

    Each salsa company was presented with a salsa bowl-topped trophy from the New Mexico Chile Commission which sponsors the always-popular event.  It’s hosted ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/27/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Member Spotlight: Joe Bartenfelder, Maryland Secretary of Agriculture

    As part of our centennial celebrations, NASDA is starting a new feature in NASDA News to highlight our members. This week's feature is Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder.

    1. How do you start your day?
      I begin my day early working on the farm.  After breakfast, I shower and hit the road from Preston to Annapolis to begin my day as Secretary.  I end the day by working the farm.
       
    2. What is your background in farming and agriculture?
      I was born into farming and agriculture.  I’ve worked the family farm since I was a young boy, through college and my tenure in the State Legislature.
       
    3. What is the most important function of your department/agency?
      The most important function of our Department is protecting the welfare of Maryland’s citizens and ensuring the economic stability of farms in the state.
       
    4. What are some of the biggest challenges facing Maryland agriculture today?
      Educating the public, legislation and ...
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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/13/2016 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS) is holding its annual Stakeholder Meeting  (virtually via the web and in-person) on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at the USDA Center at Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737. APHIS will be sending out additional information and launch registration in the coming weeks. You can monitor these announcements on APHIS BRS website.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/13/2016 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Division of Animal Systems, in conjunction with the Agricultural Research Services' (ARS) Animal Health program will host a series of Animal Health Webinar events from Oct. 20 to Nov 15 to identify, discuss, and prioritize the most pressing research, education and extension needs of animal health stakeholders.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/13/2016 by Dudley W Hoskins

    APHIS announced it is accepting public comments (VS.SPRS.Feedback@aphis.usda.gov) on the draft Emerging Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan (PDF) through November 1, 2016.

    APHIS will likely begin rulemaking to publish a proposed rule establishing a new part in title 9, Code of Federal Regulations for the The National List of Reportable Animal Diseases (NLRAD) and associated reporting requirements.  NLRAD was created in 2014 through a deliberative process led by the United States Animal Health Association/American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians’ Committee on Animal Health Surveillance and Information Systems and the National Animal Health Reporting System Steering Committee.  NLRAD proposes a single, standardized list of reportable animal diseases, and outlines who will be responsible for reporting, and describes how diseases are to be reported.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 09/13/2016 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it is entering the next phase of its efforts to mitigate antimicrobial resistance by focusing for the first time on medically important antimicrobials (i.e., those important for treating human disease) used in animal feed or water that have at least one therapeutic indication without a defined duration of use.

    FDA is requesting information from the public about how to establish appropriately targeted durations of use for the approximately 32% of therapeutic products affected by Guidance for Industry #213 with no defined duration of use in order to foster stewardship of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals and help preserve the effectiveness of these antimicrobials in animal and human medicine. Specifically, for certain species and disease indications as listed in the FR notice, the FDA wants to obtain additional information on:

    • The underlying diseases requiring these drugs for therapeutic ...
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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 09/13/2016 by Nathan Bowen

    Today, the Obama Administration has launched a new trade enforcement action against the People's Republic of China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning excessive government support provided for Chinese production of rice, wheat, and corn. United States Trade Representative Michael Froman and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack were joined by bipartisan members of Congress in announcing the complaint which challenges China's use of "market price support" for three key crops (rice, wheat, and corn) in excess of China's commitments under WTO rules.

    In 2015, China's "market price support" for these products is estimated to be nearly $100 billion in excess of the levels China committed to during its accession. China's excessive market price support for rice, wheat, and corn inflates Chinese prices above market levels, creating artificial government incentives for Chinese farmers to increase production. The United States is ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/13/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Applications Now Being Accepted for Youth Ag Summit

    Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 Youth Ag Summit, October 9 - 13, in Brussels, Belgium. Candidates should posses demonstrated leadership skills, good understanding of global agricultural challenges, oppenness to new ideas, ability to work in teams, and good communication skills. The deadline to apply is January 13, 2017. Travel, accommodations and all meals associated with the Summit are covered by Bayer. Click here for more information.

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  • Charlie Ingram Posted on 09/13/2016 by Charlie Ingram

    Over the next several months, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) plans to visit thousands of corn, potato and vegetable growers across the United States to conduct the Vegetable Chemical Use Survey and the second phase of the 2016 Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS II). Both of the surveys will focus on chemical use and production practices of these key crops.

    “Production agriculture in the United States is constantly evolving and results of these surveys help ensure that the most current information about production practices is readily available,” said NASS Census and Survey Division Director, Barbara Rater. “By responding, farmers ensure that decisions impacting their industry are based on facts.”

    Data for both surveys will be collected by personal interviews. All interviewers are employed by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA), which partners with NASS to conduct face-to-face and ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/13/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Hawaii: State Accepting Applications for Plant Quarantine Inspectors

    The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is now accepting applications for two Plant Quarantine Inspector positions in Oahu. To read a description of the positions or apply, click the links below.

    Plant Quarantine Inspector VI

    Plant Quarantine Inspector V

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/13/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    North Carolina: $5.3 Million Awarded to NCDA&CS to Establish Produce Safety Program

    The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently received a five-year, $5.3 million grant from the Food and Drug Administration to enhance produce safety.

    The funding will be used to ensure that North Carolina farmers and producers are ready to comply with the stricter production and harvest requirements of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act.

    “This funding will help our Food and Drug Protection Division support farmers and producers in getting their businesses ready to meet these new requirements,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “I am a firm believer in educating before regulating, and this funding will support training opportunities, on-farm readiness reviews and other education and outreach opportunities. This funding allows us to develop our inspection programs to meet the specific growing and harvesting needs of the farmers in our state.”

    The funding will also support infrastructure development at agricultural ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/07/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Recent reports of mosquito spraying for Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in other states have led to many N.C. residents asking what can they do to protect commercial and hobby beehives across the state. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages bee owners to use the BeeCheck mapping software to alert farmers and pesticide applicators to the location of their hives.

    “We have spent the past several months educating beekeepers and pesticide applicators about the program,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Since the program launched five months ago, 533 producers and more than 700 beekeepers have registered.”

    “This program is voluntary, non-regulatory and free to use,” Troxler added. “We are excited to see sign-up for the program has outpaced other states that have had the program a lot longer than us.”

    Growers, beekeepers and pesticide users can access DriftWatch and BeeCheck at ...

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 09/07/2016 by Nathan Bowen

    Congress returned from August recess yesterday with just over three weeks until the end of the fiscal year. Debate over funding the government after September 30 will likely dominate the agenda, with a continuing resolution funding the government until after the elections seen as the most likely resolution. Congressional leaders are also under intense pressure to provide additional resources for combatting the spread of the zika virus, but the Senate is deadlocked over a path forward. Congress may also consider legislation to reauthorize child nutrition programs.

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 09/07/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Leaders from seven state departments of agriculture and 23 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations will accompany Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services Alexis Taylor on a trade mission to Hong Kong and Shanghai Sept. 7 to Sept. 15 to extend USDA's Women in Agriculture initiative abroad and expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products.

    "USDA is committed to building opportunities for women to grow, learn from one another and lead within their industries," said Taylor. "Women in agriculture have a powerful story to tell – one of leadership, stewardship and resilience – from the combine, to the classroom, to the boardroom. This trade mission provides us an opportunity to discuss the impacts women in the United States and China are having on agriculture and to share our visions for the next generation. In addition, I look forward to joining U.S. agricultural leaders as we seek to enhance our trading ...

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  • Charlie Ingram Posted on 09/07/2016 by Charlie Ingram

    U.S. farmers spent $362.8 billion on agricultural production in 2015, down 8.8 percent from 2014, reversing a long-term trend of growing costs, according to the Farm Production Expenditures report, recently published by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

    Feed and farm services, the two largest expenditure categories for U.S. farmers in 2014, both declined 8.2 percent last year. Producers spent $58.5 billion on animal feed, and $41.6 billion on farm services in 2015. One of only two expenditure categories that increased last year was livestock, poultry and related expenses, on which the producers spent $45.4 billion last year, an increase of 0.7 percent from 2014. The other was miscellaneous capital expenditure at 700 million, an increase of 16.7 percent.

    Unlike the previous years, in 2015, the livestock sector accounted for the larger portion of the production expenditures. Livestock producers spent $182.6 billion, down 6.6 percent from 2014. Crop ...

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/31/2016 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending  its regulations for veterinary biologics labeling and packaging to make the requirements more consistent with current science and veterinary practice.

    The final rule is available for public inspection and was published on August 30. The rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, but there will be a 4-year phase-in of the packaging and labeling requirements in this rule, with additional extensions of up to 2 years allowed under certain conditions.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/31/2016 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The 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 a wild mallard duck from a state wildlife refuge near Fairbanks, Alaska. CDC considers the risk to the general public from these HPAI H5 infections to be low.  No human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI.

    H5N2 HPAI has NOT been found in the U.S. – in either wild or commercial birds – since June 2015. However, anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. To facilitate such a review, a biosecurity self-assessment and educational materials can be found at ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/31/2016 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    Wholesome Wave, No More Empty Pots and the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF) invite Annual Meeting attendees to spend the morning of September 21 with them as they head to Omaha to experience the efforts underway here to grow the regional food system and increase affordability and access to it. Tour attendees will depart after breakfast and return to the hotel for lunch.

    The first stop will be No More Empty Pots (NMEP), which supports communities in becoming self-sufficient and food secure. Attendees will tour their new food hub/kitchen incubator and learn about their food access and other projects including urban agriculture. From here attendees will head to Tomāto Tomäto, a west Omaha business that sells directly to customers and operates a year-round Farmer's Market. A 100% local food market representing over 100 different vendors, they operate a multi-farm CSA with some 1700 members, including an innovative program for affordable CSA shares in ...

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  • Megan  McDonald Posted on 08/31/2016 by Megan McDonald
    NASDA Annual Meeting Hotel Sold Out, Overflow Rooms Available

    NASDA's room block at the Embassy Suites is now sold out. NASDA has reserved a small block of rooms at the Hyatt Place Lincoln Downtown at a group rate of $139/night + tax. The last day to book a room in NASDA’s block at the Hyatt Place Lincoln Downtown is Tuesday, September 6.  There is  no guarantee that rooms will be available until September 6. You can make a reservation by calling 1-888-492-8847 or by going to ww.hyatt.com and entering the code G-NARB as the group/corporate number. If you call the hotel directly please be sure to mention NASDA’s block and/or the group code G-NARB.  The Hyatt is a short walk between the Hyatt Place and Embassy Suites.

    Registration is still live for NASDA's 100th Anniversary Meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska at www.nasda.org/2016. 43 states are currently registered to be represented at the conference. We hope to see you in September!

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  • Elizabeth  Rowland Posted on 08/31/2016 by Elizabeth Rowland
    NASDA to Welcome 11 Students to Annual Meeting Through Next Generation Program

    NASDA is excited to welcome the 2016 class of NASDA’s Next Generation (NNG) to our upcoming Annual Meeting in Lincoln next month.  NNG will have 11 participants from Nebraska, Missouri, Wyoming, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado, and South Dakota.  The purpose of the NNG program is to educate college students about NASDA’s mission and have them participate in agricultural policy events at the annual meeting.  This year’s participants will develop an understanding of the state departments of agriculture, learn about agricultural policy development and communication, and explore current issues facing agriculture. This year's program was sponsored by CHS, Inc.

    The students selected for this year's class are:

    • Spencer Hartman, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    • Amanda Clymer, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    • Hannah Borg, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    • Dylan Dam, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
    • Rebecca J. Schleicher, University of Missouri
    • Catherine ...
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