USDA Latest News
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces New Report on Scientific Breakthroughs from USDA in 2013
WASHINGTON, April 23, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new report on scientific breakthroughs discovered by USDA researchers that led to new patents and inventions with the potential for commercial application and potential economic growth.
Des Moines, Iowa, April 22, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded $6 million to 10 universities to study the effects of climate on agriculture production and develop strategies to provide farmers and ranchers with the solutions they need to supply the nation with quality food. Vilsack made the announcement during remarks at “The Frontier of Climate Change: State and Local Action in the Heartland” conference held at Drake University.
WASHINGTON, April 22, 2014 -- As part of the national observance of Earth Day, the U.S. Forest Service today announced that it is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management. Also today, the Forest Service released a Wood Energy Financial App for use by community and business leaders seeking to replace fossil fuel with wood energy.
USDA Rural Development Celebrates Earth Day by Supporting Water Quality Projects in 40 States and Puerto Rico
WASHINGTON, April 22, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today celebrated Earth Day by announcing record support for 116 projects that will improve water and wastewater services for rural Americans and benefit the environment.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 21, 2014 – As part of the Obama Administration’s new “Made in Rural America” export and investment initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the creation of a new investment fund that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America. The new Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) will now allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses. Currently, USDA programs exist to help provide loans or loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, but many small cutting-edge businesses also need equity support in addition to or instead of borrowed funds.
WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding $25 million in grants to help schools purchase needed kitchen equipment as they continue to provide school lunches and breakfasts that give children the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Over 90 percent of schools report that they are successfully meeting the updated nutrition standards, serving meals with more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and less sodium and fat. These new grants provide additional support to schools to help them prepare meals that meet those standards.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Additional USDA Actions to Combat Spread of Diseases Among U.S. Pork Producers
St. Paul, Minn., April 18, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that in an effort to further enhance the biosecurity and health of the US swine herd while maintaining movement of pigs in the US, the USDA will require reporting of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and Swine Delta Coronavirus in order to slow the spread of this disease across the United States.
USDA Announces Specialty Crop Block Grant Program-Historic Farm Bill Support Available through State Departments of Agriculture
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of approximately $66 million in Specialty Crop Block Grants to state departments of agriculture for projects that help support specialty crop growers, including locally grown fruits and vegetables, through research, programs to increase demand, and more.
WASHINGTON, April 16, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) awarded funding to more than 60 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for American products. The funding was made available through the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA will begin accepting applications for 2015 export development program funding on April 17, 2014.
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 - The U.S. Forest Service finalized policy guidelines that will open opportunities for ski areas to promote year-round recreation activities that are natural resource-based and that will create additional jobs for communities with ski areas on the National Forests.
GREEN BAY, Wis., April 15, 2014 - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded over $700,000 in grants to support nutrition education programs for participants of USDA's Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).
WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that starting today, eligible farmers and ranchers can sign up for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) disaster assistance programs restored by passage of the 2014 Farm Bill.
U.S. Forest Service and White House Council on Environmental Quality Announce New 21CSC Member Organizations
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2014 -- The U.S. Forest Service and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today recognized 24 groups as new 21st Century Conservation Service Corps member organizations, bringing the total number of 21CSC member organizations to 124.
WASHINGTON, April 11, 2014 – Today, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of more than $19 million in grants to help train, educate and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of agricultural producers through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).
Obama Administration Outlines New Strategy to Better Protect Communities, Businesses and Public and Private Lands from the Threat of Wildland Fire Ahead of 2014 Fire Season
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2014—As the 2014 wildfire season approaches, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and Council on Environmental Quality Acting Chairman Mike Boots today released the Administration’s National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy. This strategy, developed by federal, state, tribal and local community partners, and public stakeholders, outlines new approaches to coordinate and integrate efforts to restore and maintain healthy landscapes, prepare communities for fire season, and better address the nation’s wildland fire threats.
NEW YORK, April 9, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $183 million in U.S. agricultural commodities and support to benefit an estimated 2.7 million children in 10 developing countries as part of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Vilsack made the announcement while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
WASHINGTON, April 8, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the appointment of eight individuals to serve on the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics (NAREEE) Advisory Board.
WASHINGTON, April 7, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Quick implementation of the programs has been a top priority for USDA.
WASHINGTON, April 4, 2014--Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that over $300 million will be paid to 41 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in support of local schools and roads as part of the Congressional reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The disbursement incudes $30 million in Title II funding to complete special conservation projects on Federal lands proposed by resource advisory committees. Funding is provided through the U.S. Forest Service.
USDA, EPA Partner to Improve Access to Clean Water, Improved Infrastructure in U.S.- Mexico Border Region
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency today announced a joint initiative to improve access to clean water and wastewater infrastructure for U.S. communities along the Mexico border. This initiative is part of USDA and EPA’s ongoing partnership to increase the sustainability of rural drinking water and wastewater systems.