WASHINGTON - March 26, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA awarded $9 million in grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers, consistent with requirements Congress mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill. The proposed rule limits farm payments to individuals who may be designated as farm managers but are not actively engaged in farm management.
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA has funded three rural telecommunications infrastructure projects that will improve broadband service in portions of rural Arkansas, Iowa and New Mexico.
ATLANTA, March 20, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, joined by Labor Secretary Tom Perez, today announced the recipients of $200 million in competitive awards to fund and evaluate pilot projects in 10 states to help Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) participants find jobs and work toward self-sufficiency.
Lexington, KY, March 19, 2015 - USDA Secretary Vilsack today announced an expansion of the USDA StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to address chronic rural poverty in 32 identified counties in Oklahoma and the entire island of Puerto Rico. Today's announcement brings StrikeForce assistance to 880 counties, parishes, colonias, boroughs and tribal reservations across 21 states and Puerto Rico.
USDA Partners with University of Kentucky to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, March 19, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and University of Kentucky-Lexington officials today to announce the establishment of the USDA Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. The Center will use cutting-edge solutions in child nutrition to reduce child food insecurity in states with the highest number of persistently poor rural counties.
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement:
WASHINGTON, March 17, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that family-owned farms remain the backbone of the agriculture industry. The latest data come from the Census of Agriculture farm typology report and help shine light on the question, “What is a family farm?”
Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Proposals for USDA Action Following USDA Summit on Agricultural Coexistence
WASHINGTON, March 16, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement after the successful conclusion of the Stakeholder Workshop on Coexistence hosted by North Carolina State University March 12 and 13, and the proposed USDA actions created by conference participants:
WICHITA, Kan., March 16, 2015 - In a speech at the National Farmers Union Convention today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $96.8 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to support specialty crop producers, local food entrepreneurs, and farm to school efforts, which in turn will increase access to healthy, nutritious food for American families and children.
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2015 – Warm temperatures in February contributed to further snowpack decline in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, according to data from the third 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Snowpack in Nevada, Utah and Idaho also fell further behind normal.
USDA Announces Funding Available for Specialty Crop and Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Programs
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of more than $66.5 million in funding for research and extension activities to address the needs of America's specialty crop industry and solve critical organic agricultural production issues.
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement:
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced additional support for schools working to serve school children healthy meals with the nationwide expansion of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative.
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be awarding over $30 million in grants to help schools prepare healthy meals for their children. Twenty-five million dollars in grants will help schools purchase needed equipment to make preparing and serving healthier meals easier and more efficient, and up to $5.5 million will provide additional training for school food service professionals.
WASHINGTON, March 6, 2015 – As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to making government information more readily available and useful, and in an effort to help more people discover public lands and waterways near their own communities, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced today they will host a developer summit to expand the use of federal information about America's lands and waters.
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Departure of Director of Communications Matt Paul
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Vilsack today made the following statement on the departure of Director of Communications Matt Paul:
Good News for Parents: New Study Shows Kids Eating More Healthy Food at School, Throwing Less Food Away
WASHINGTON, March 4, 2015 – A new study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut shows that children are eating healthier food at school and discarding less food since updated healthy school meal standards took effect in 2012.
WASHINGTON, March 4, 2015 – Leaders from six state agriculture departments and 21 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations will accompany U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Michael Scuse on a trade mission to Southeast Asia from March 9 to March 13 to expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2015 – In a speech at the 2015 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference today about the extent of childhood hunger in America and the impact of USDA programs on reducing food insecurity, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced more than $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed help end childhood hunger. The announcement was part of USDA efforts during National Nutrition Month to focus on poverty and food insecurity among children, especially in rural areas. These projects will be tested in Kentucky, Nevada, and Virginia, as well as the Chickasaw and Navajo tribal nations.