News

  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/26/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    APHIS recently announced their final assessment stating that the introduction of a wasp, S. galinae, into the United States as a biological control organism would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. Earlier this year, APHIS began assessing the release of this parasitic wasp to highly populated areas to decrease the severity of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

    The wood-boring EAB migrated to the United States in the 1990s causing high mortality rates in ash trees. Since then, the invasive species has been detected in 24 states with the potential to infect 8 billion trees in the future. The species is also able to endure a variety of climates, allowing its presence to scatter across the country.

    Written by Katelyn Probst

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/25/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Welcomes Iowan as Fall Policy Intern

    NASDA is pleased to welcome Katelyn Probst as our agriculture policy intern for the fall semester. Katelyn will join the NASDA team in Hawaii this September so keep an eye out for her!

    Katelyn Probst, a life-long citizen of rural Iowa, is currently a sophomore pursuing an agricultural communications degree at Iowa State University. Katelyn keeps herself busy with extracurricular activities both on and off campus including serving as a philanthropy committee member in the Chi Omega Sorority and volunteering for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Foundation. Hailing from a fifth generation farming family, Katelyn understands the importance of agriculture. Katelyn is passionate about advocating for agriculture and sustainability and is excited to see how she can apply that fervor in her four months interning at NASDA. While Katelyn understands the ins and outs of agriculture from a farmer’s standpoint, she looks forward to learning about the government policy that plays ...

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    Resource Added: 08/25/2015

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 08/25/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    A webinar will be held on Thursday, August 27, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST to present the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army’s (Army) final Clean Water Rule. This webinar will provide a review of the final rule, answer some commonly asked questions, and discuss what to expect as the rule is implemented.

    The final rule is effective this Friday, August 28, 2015. Register for the webinar here.

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    Resource Added: 08/25/2015

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/25/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), issued a federal register notice announcing a jointly sponsored public meeting to be held on September 30, 2015 to obtain public input on possible approaches for collecting additional on-farm antimicrobial drug use and resistance data. Such data are important for assessing the impact of measures being implemented to foster the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals. Written comments on the interagency plan must be submitted by November 30, 2015.

    The public meeting will be held in the USDA Jefferson Auditorium (South Building), 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250. Please arrive between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. to provide time to get through security. Attendees must provide a valid government issued photo ID (Driver's License, Identification Card, or Passport) to enter ...

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    Resource Added: 08/25/2015

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 08/25/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds farmers and ranchers that purchase deadlines for federal risk protection are approaching. Deadlines vary by state and commodity under federal crop insurance and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) but as fall approaches, these deadlines need to be noted. USDA and the University of Michigan created a tool to help producers determine whether they are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP. More information about the programs can be found here, at local USDA Service Centers or through local crop insurance agents.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/25/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    Yesterday marked the official publication and the start of the 90-day public comment period for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes to the Certification of Pesticide Applicators who apply restricted use pesticides (RUPs). Earlier this month, EPA issued a press release announcing the pre-publication notice of the proposed rule changes. EPA also published a Fact Sheet and a side-by-side comparison of the proposed changes and the current rule.

    The goal of this proposed rule is to “reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of toxic pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection among states.” EPA has determined that use of restricted use pesticides would be safer with increased supervision and oversight. EPA is proposing stricter standards for people certified to use restricted use pesticides and to require all people who apply restricted use pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Certifications would be renewed every three ...

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    Resource Added: 08/25/2015

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/18/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Massachusetts: Commissioner's Column Focuses on Boston Public Market Opening, International Marketing Conference

    I hope everyone is having a busy and productive summer. There’s a lot going on.

    The first thing I’d like to call to everyone’s attention are the new Plant Nutrient Regulations that became effective for many on June 5th, and will become effective for agricultural land on December 5, 2015. The new regulations are the result of a law that was enacted in 2012 to provide for applications of plant nutrients by means that minimize negative environmental impact on water resources. Though the regulations were developed by MDAR after public hearing and stakeholder input, I have heard many questions and concerns from the greater Ag community. We have been working on our plan to provide education and outreach to those who apply plant nutrients: farmers, nursery professionals, landscapers, turf care professionals and homeowners. MDAR will partner with UMass Extension to deliver this education and outreach.Once the program is rolled out and applicators begin to gain real world ...

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Bob  Ehart Posted on 08/18/2015 by Bob Ehart

    The U.S. FDA is hosting a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) preventive controls rule training entitled Supplier Management Programs – Industry Best Practices. It will be held via webcast on August 27, 2015.

    To register, select either the 9:30am-10:30am EDT session or the 11:00am-12:00pm EDT session.

    Supplier Management Programs – Industry Best Practices

    The food industry has been placing a greater emphasis on supplier management programs for food safety. Food manufacturers have turned increasingly to global sources for their supplies. This globalization of supply forces manufacturers to look for more effective ways to coordinate the flow of products into and out of their facilities. Prevention requires that food safety be built in from the beginning with close interactions with suppliers, growers, and importers.

    Join the FDA on August 27 to learn how supplier management programs are designed, applied, and verified in the food and feed industries.

    Future ...

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comments on a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for mass carcass management. Additionally, APHIS is also publishing an environmental assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

    Livestock carcasses in large numbers can present a potential environmental risk. The agency must effectively manage carcasses in a mass animal health emergency to reduce potential risks to humans, livestock, and the surrounding environment. APHIS began work on the draft EIS in 2013, well before the first cases of HPAI were discovered in the U.S. in December 2014. This process typically takes two to three years. APHIS is continuing work on the EIS to assist with future animal disease outbreaks. Work related to the EIS that was done during the winter and spring outbreak of HPAI was consistent with the draft EIS.

    In the draft EIS, APHIS analyzes the ...

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/18/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Farm Foundation is hosting a workshop this Thursday in Cobleskill, NY as part of a series of workshops across the country from August through October to focus on: “livestock producers, their feed suppliers and veterinarians to gain a comprehensive understanding of two Guidance for Industry (GFIs) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as the FDA’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule. The workshops are also an opportunity for other stakeholders, such as state and federal agencies, colleges of veterinary medicine and university extension personnel, to gain insights into the changes needed to meet the requirements.” The workshops are free of charge and open to all livestock producers, feed company representatives and veterinarians. Registration is requested.

    Many producers and businesses across the entire food and agricultural value chain have ...

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/18/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Defense, Agriculture, Interior Partner for Sentinel Landscapes

    At one time, most of our nation’s military installations were located in rural areas, far from the subdivisions and shopping malls of today. The rapid pace of development in recent years, however, is pushing communities closer to perimeter fences, challenging the military’s access to lands and airspace needed for training.

    Encroachment—development that’s incompatible with military needs—can limit the use of training ranges, present obstacles to low-flying aircraft, cause light pollution that interferes with night training and degrade communication frequencies.
    Meanwhile, working lands and wildlife habitat near bases are threatened, too. Lands used for farming, ranching and forestry are vital to sustaining agricultural productivity and safeguarding natural resources. Despite a variety of state programs, the country annually loses 1 million acres of farmland to development. In addition, the loss of wildlife habitat is transforming military bases into ...

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 08/18/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    Ahead of the August 28 effective date for the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule promulgated by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers, the American Farm Bureau Federation released maps last week detailing the extent of federal jurisdiction under the new rule. The maps illustrate various water features made categorically jurisdictional under the federal Clean Water Act by the new rule, as well as new “zones” created by the rule within which the agencies can exert case-by-case jurisdiction over water features. In the mapping released by the Farm Bureau, ninety-nine percent of the land in Pennsylvania and Montana and 99.8% of the land in Virginia would fall within these “zones.” The maps released by the Farm Bureau include details for Pennsylvania, Montana, and Virginia, and the organization says it expects to release maps for parts of Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Wisconsin in the near future.

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 08/18/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that they are increasing the number of commodities eligible for the Farm Storage Facility Loan program. This program provides low-interest financing to producers who want to build or upgrade their storage facilities. Under the expanded eligibility, dairy, flowers hops, rye, eggs and aquaculture will qualify for these loans. Previously, the program applied to corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans and more. A complete list of commodities covered and program fact sheet is available here.

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    Resource Added: 08/18/2015

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/11/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    NASDA Annual Meeting Deadlines Quickly Approaching

    Aloha! The last day to reserve a room in NASDA’s block is one week from today, Tuesday, August 18, 2015. Making reservations by this deadline does not guarantee that a room will be available, so it is recommended that you book your room as soon as possible. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly at 808-930-4900 or by making your reservations online. If you choose to make your reservation by phone please be sure to mention the NASDA Annual Meeting so that you are given the block rate. Early registration also ends Tuesday, August 18.

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  • Nathan  Bowen Posted on 08/11/2015 by Nathan Bowen

    A group of thirteen states challenging the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers Waters of the US (WOTUS) rule asked a federal judge in North Dakota Monday to issue an injunction blocking the rule from being implemented on August 28. Nearly 30 states and a host of industry organizations have filed suit challenging the rule. EPA and the Corps have requested the multiple suits be consolidated, an action the states filing Monday’s request for an injunction are seeking to block.

    North Dakota, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming filed the request in North Dakota Monday.

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 08/11/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will potentially propose a rule for the Gunnison sage grouse in the near future. Little is known about the rule, as reported by Politico Morning Agriculture. The Office of Management and Budget will now review the proposal which “would provide flexibility some development as well as routine agricultural practices within the range of the Gunnison sage-grouse.” The grouse is typically found in Utah and Colorado, and its Fish and Wildlife species profile can be found here. This news comes as the agriculture and conservation communities continue to converse and work on proposals surrounding the Greater Sage Grouse.

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  • Britt  Aasmundstad Posted on 08/11/2015 by Britt Aasmundstad

    On Friday, USDA announced $63 million for agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase, install or improve renewable energy systems. The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), created in the 2008 Farm Bill, issues loans or grants to individuals and companies looking to enhance their operations with renewable energy. USDA estimates this round of REAP projects will generate or save “207.8 million kilowatt hours (KWh) of energy – enough to power more than 13,600 homes for a year.” This round of grants and loans provides funding to projects in 19 different states for projects like installing solar panels on poultry houses, expanding a biodiesel plant and for large scale solar projects. The deadline for the next application cycle is November 2nd, with details coming soon from USDA.

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  • Dudley W Hoskins Posted on 08/11/2015 by Dudley W Hoskins

    The Farm Foundation is hosting a number of upcoming workshops across the country from August through October to focus on: “livestock producers, their feed suppliers and veterinarians to gain a comprehensive understanding of two Guidance for Industry (GFIs) issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of medically-important antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals, as well as the FDA’s revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) rule. The workshops are also an opportunity for other stakeholders, such as state and federal agencies, colleges of veterinary medicine and university extension personnel, to gain insights into the changes needed to meet the requirements.”

    The workshops are free of charge and open to all livestock producers, feed company representatives and veterinarians. Registration is requested. The one-day workshops will include presentations by producer leaders, the local veterinary community, and representatives from the ...

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/11/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp
    Maine: Seeking Director of Animal & Plant Health Division

    The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is recruiting for the position of Director Division Animal & Plant Health.

    BRIEF JOB DESCRIPTION: This position provides managerial, financial, and administrative direction for a statewide program designed to protect the animal and plant resources of the State from disease and pests and to improve the quality of agricultural crops and livestock, to promote good agricultural practices while ensuring humane treatment of animals. This position is responsible for the operation of the Division by directing and overseeing assigned programs including, animal welfare, horticulture, seed potato inspection and the nutrient management program. As part of the Senior Management Team the incumbent will draft, revise and interpret laws, write testimony and testify before the legislative committees, prepare and submit budget requests and work programs for the Division and establish policy for the programs. Other functions of this ...

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    Resource Added: 08/11/2015

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  • Amanda Bryant Culp Posted on 08/04/2015 by Amanda Bryant Culp

    "Legal Rulings in Animal Agriculture" is the subject of an upcoming free webinar to be presented by Dr. Shannon Ferrell, an Oklahoma State University associate professor of agricultural economics, who will discuss the implications of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Air Act (CAA) on animal agriculture, recent litigation, and other legal issues.

    August 6
    12:00 PM Eastern
    Register to participate by clicking here.
    Questions should be directed to Jill Heemstra@unl.edu.

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