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USDA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Launch Ecosystem-Wide Effort to Aid Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and Other Riparian Species

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today unveiled an ecosystem-wide model to aid the Southwestern willow flycatcher and help western landowners. The model will enhance or restore habitat for at-risk, threatened and endangered species while supporting working lands in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.
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USDA Awards Loans and Grants to Support Rural Economic Development

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON, March 30, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of $31 million in loans and grants for organizations in 12 states to promote rural economic development.
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Secretary Jewell, Governor Brown, Deputy Under Secretary Mills Celebrate Landmark Agreements to Conserve up to 2.3 Million Acres of Sagebrush Habitat in Oregon

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:00am
BEND, Ore., March 27, 2015 – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today joined Oregon Governor Kate Brown and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary Ann Mills to celebrate landmark agreements that will allow landowners in all eight Eastern and Central Oregon counties with greater sage-grouse habitat to enroll their property in a voluntary conservation program – that could protect up to approximately 2.3 million acres.
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USDA Extends ARC and PLC Deadlines

Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today provided farm owners and producers one additional week, until April 7, 2015, to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres also will be April 7, 2015.
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USDA Announces Grants for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Implements 2014 Farm Bill Provision to Limit Payments to Non-Farmers

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Announces Funding for Broadband Projects in Arkansas, Iowa and New Mexico

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Awards $200 Million for Skills Training to Help SNAP Recipients Get Good Jobs

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Expands StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Build Rural Economies

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Partners with University of Kentucky to Establish National Rural Child Poverty Nutrition Center

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on National Agriculture Day

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement:
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Family Farms are the Focus of New Agriculture Census Data

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:00am
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?”
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Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Proposals for USDA Action Following USDA Summit on Agricultural Coexistence

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:00am
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:
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USDA Announces $97 Million Available to Expand Access to Healthy Food, Support Rural Economies

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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Record Low Snowpack in Cascades, Sierra Nevada

Wed, 03/11/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Announces Funding Available for Specialty Crop and Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Programs

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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Statement from Secretary Vilsack on the Passing of Larry Scanlon

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 12:00am
WASHINGTON, March 9, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued the following statement:
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USDA Announces Nationwide Expansion of Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative

Mon, 03/09/2015 - 12:00am
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.
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USDA Awards Grants to Support Schools Serving Healthier Meals and Snacks

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 1:00am
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.
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Interagency Public Land Groups Partner to Make Recreation Data More Accessible, User Friendly

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 1:00am
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.
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