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Bush Nominates New Interior Secretary

        President Bush announced March 16 that he is nominating Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne as secretary of the interior. Kempthorne would replace Gale Norton who announced her resignation on March 10 and plans to step down by end of the month.         Previously, Kempthorne served one term in the U.S. Senate before he was elected governor of Idaho in 1998 and reelected…

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NAFTA Free Trade Commission Meets in Mexico

        Last week, the NAFTA Free Trade Commission, including Sergio Garc¡a de Alba, Mexico's secretary of economy; the Honorable David L. Emerson, Canada's minister of international trade, and Ambassador Rob Portman, United States trade representative, met in Acapulco, Mexico. In a statement, the commission members noted that they had laid important groundwork for the Security…

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HHS Launches New Pandemic Flu Website

        The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has developed a new website to provide one-stop access to U.S. government avian and pandemic flu information. This website provides advice on how to prepare in the event of an outbreak and can be accessed at: http://www.pandemicflu.gov. Visitors to the site can stay up-to-date on plans for responding to an outbreak, learn…

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NIAA Special Symposium Announced

        NIAA (National Institute of Animal Agriculture) meets in Louisville, Kentucky, April 3 to 6, 2006. The theme of "Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery" will run throughout the entire meeting including a special final symposium which will center on a hypothetical outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the U.S.        The daylong symposium will be held on April 6…

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Israelis Ask Georgia Agriculture Department to Participate in Anti-Terrorism Conference

        Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin has assigned one of his senior staff to speak at an antiterrorism conference in Israel later this month.        Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Lee Myers will brief Israeli officials on steps taken by Georgia to prevent, and to respond to, terrorism involving agriculture.         "This is our first such international…

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TDA Forestry Division Deploys New Tool in Wildfire Protection

        The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry last week unveiled a new tool in fighting wildland fires in Tennessee. Fifty-one "pumper units" are being deployed in 49 counties across the state to improve fire protection in areas where development interfaces with the landscape.         The new equipment was funded through an appropriation of more than…

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BSE Update From Alabama

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks and Alabama State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) and USDA have provided an update on their ongoing joint investigation of the cow that died from bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Alabama.Since the investigation began, the ADAI and the USDA have followed multiple leads in the…

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Senators Introduce Agriculture Disaster Relief Bill

        Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) this week introduced an agriculture assistance package to help farmers and ranchers who are suffering from weather-related disasters and high energy prices. The legislation is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of eighteen lawmakers.         The legislation would provide emergency production loss and economic…

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International Buyers Will Find New Services Available at the USFES

        Whether you are a mid-size food manufacturer looking for new opportunities or a food store operator looking for exciting all-American products, the U.S. Food Export Showcase (USFES) is the annual marketplace where you can accomplish your goals. It's packed with potential for buyers and sellers and it all takes place this year between May 7 and May 9 in Chicago's McCormick…