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USDA Announces Winners of the 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 30 university students to attend USDA’s 2015 Agricultural Outlook Forum titled “Smart Agriculture in the 21st Century” to be held Feb. 19-20, 2015, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. Twenty university juniors and seniors were chosen based on an essay sharing their thoughts on “Agriculture as a Career.”
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Nationwide USDA Organic Survey Underway

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) just kicked off the Organic Survey to gather detailed data on U.S. organic agriculture production. The survey is a complete inventory of all known organic producers that are certified, exempt from certification, and transitioning to certified organic production.
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USDA Partnering to Conduct Grant Workshops to Support Local Foods

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced a partnership through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program.
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U.S. Forest Service Issues Final Policy for Over-snow Vehicles on National Forests, Grasslands

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service today released the final policy for managing snowmobile and other "over-snow" vehicle use on national forests and grasslands. As directed by court order, the policy requires that roads, trails and areas where over-snow vehicle use can occur be specifically designated by local Forest Service mangers.
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Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Efforts by Agricultural Producers to Urge the Renewal of Trade Promotion Authority

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, January 26, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement regarding efforts by the National Pork Producers Council, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to urge the renewal of Trade Promotion Authority:
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Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Expanded Market Access for U.S. Grown Apples to China

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 - This weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reached agreement with Chinese officials to allow all U.S. grown apples to gain access to the Chinese market. This will allow a greater share of U.S. apple exports to China in the coming months and has the potential to increase U.S. fresh apple exports, which were valued at more than $1 billion in 2013, by approximately 10 percent.
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USDA Seeks Applications for Conservation Innovation Grants

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that applications are being accepted for up to $20 million in grants to facilitate the creation of new, innovative markets for carbon credits, providing additional revenue sources for producers to use to address natural resource conservation challenges. These grants are part of the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program, authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill.
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USDA Awards Loans to Help Create Jobs, Spur Rural Economic Development

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 1:00am
WINONA, Miss., Jan. 23, 2015 – Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah today announced five awards to expand access to credit for rural businesses, particularly small businesses in poor and underserved areas.
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USDA Proposes New Measures to Reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry Products

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2015 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today proposed new federal standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products as well as raw chicken breasts, legs and wings.
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Agriculture Deputy Secretary Announces Funding for Conservation Projects in Great Lakes Region

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 1:00am
TOLEDO, Jan. 16, 2015 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced $17.5 million in Federal funding for a tri-state project to help protect water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown joined local NRCS staff and project partners for the announcement.
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US Forest Service Announces Payments to States to Support Local Schools and Roads

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, January 15, 2015 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $50 million will be paid to 41 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to support local schools and roads under the Twenty-Five Percent Fund Act of 1908. The 1908 Act requiring 25-percent payments is permanent law and will guide 2014 distribution of payments, as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act authority expired on September 30, 2014.
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First USDA Forecast Shows Normal Water Supply Forecast for Much of the West

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, January 15, 2015 – A normal water supply is predicted for much of the West, while the Southwest, Sierra Nevada region and Pacific Northwest are beginning the year drier than normal, according to data from the first 2015 forecast by USDA’s National Water and Climate Center (NWCC).
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Agriculture Secretary Announces Funding for 115 Conservation Projects in 50 States--Farm Bill Initiative Marks New Era for Conservation efforts

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 1:00am
PHOENIX, Ariz., Jan. 14, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that 115 high-impact projects across all 50 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico will receive more than $370 million in Federal funding as part of the new USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
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USDA Announces More Than $18 Million to Support Training and Development for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON – Jan. 12, 2105 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced the availability of more than $18 million in funding to help educate, mentor and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. This support is available through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), administered by USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
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US Forest Service Reminds Recreationists of First Fee-Free Day for 2015

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service will waive fees at most of its day-use recreation sites five times in 2015, beginning with Jan.19, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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More than Half of Nation's Dairy Producers Enroll in New Margin Protection Program

Mon, 01/12/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2015 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that more than 23,000 of the nation’s dairy operations – over half of all dairy farms in America – have enrolled in the new safety-net program created by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Margin Protection Program.
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Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Retirement of Dr. Janey Thornton

Fri, 01/09/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, January 9, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement on the retirement of Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Dr. Janey Thornton:
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USDA Observes Kick Off of the International Year of Soils

Tue, 01/06/2015 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Jan. 6, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today begins its celebration of the International Year of Soils to highlight the importance of healthy soils for food security, ecosystem functions and resilient farms and ranches.
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Statement on Avian Influenza and Trade

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 1:00am
During the week of December 14, 2014, USDA confirmed two findings of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in Washington State and in a small backyard poultry flock in Oregon.
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Secretary Vilsack Appoints New Members to National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:00am
WASHINGTON, Dec. 22, 2014 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of members to the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI) for the 2014-2016 term.
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