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Posts By USDA

White House Rural Council Announces Support to Help Communities Boost Local Food Economies

June 9, 2014 |

post_usdalogoWashington, D.C., June 9, 2014 — Today, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Local Food, Local Places, a federal initiative that will provide direct technical support to rural communities to help them build strong local food systems as part of their community’s economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, and regional economic experts will work directly with local communities to develop comprehensive strategies that use local food systems to meet a variety of needs.

The announcement, made during the White House Rural Council’s first live-streamed meeting, included Vilsack, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chairman Earl Gohl; and Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill. Read More

USDA Announces Historic $78 Million Investment to Support Local Food Enterprises

May 8, 2014 |

post_usdalogoNews Release – WASHINGTON, May 8, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is making a historic $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services, and other local food business enterprises.

“The 2014 Farm Bill has given USDA new tools, resources and authority to support the rural economy,” Vilsack said. “Consumer demand for locally-produced food is strong and growing, and farmers and ranchers are positioning their businesses to meet that demand. As this sector continues to mature, we see aggregation, processing, and distribution enterprises across the local food supply chain growing rapidly. These historic USDA investments in support of local food give farmers and ranchers more market opportunities, provide consumers with more choices, and create jobs in both rural and urban communities.” Read More

US Secretary of Ag Outlines Vision for Agricultural Solutions to Environmental Challenges

June 5, 2013 |

Regional Climate Hubs, New Research Tools, Uniform Policy Guidelines Will Help Producers Mitigate Threats, Adapt for the Future

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleWASHINGTON, June 5, 2013-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today said that the Federal government must increase collaboration with producers, researchers and industry to develop the next generation of solutions that will help agriculture mitigate and adapt to modern climate challenges.

“Our farmers, ranchers and forest landowners are the most innovative on earth, and they’re up to the task of meeting environmental challenges that lay ahead,” Vilsack said. “We know what we’re seeing on the ground – more intense weather events, and a greater number of them. USDA will be there to support the efforts of our farmers and ranchers to adapt to these new challenges, just as we have been for decades.” Read More

USDA Releases Report on the Growing Importance of Food Hubs in Rural America

February 26, 2013 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – NEW ORLEANS, La., February 26, 2013 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced the release of a report which provides a comprehensive look at the economic role, challenges and opportunities for food hubs in the nation’s growing local food movement. The announcement was made during a visit to Hollygrove Market and Farm, a produce market, local distributor and farm in downtown New Orleans. In operation since 2009, Hollygrove Farm and Market sources from twenty local growers across southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Hollygrove’s mission includes increasing access to fresh produce for underserved New Orleans neighborhoods. The organization first began operations as part of the city’s post-Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts. Read More

USDA Reports Synthesize Literature on Climate Change Effects and Adaptation Strategies for U.S. Agriculture and Forests

February 11, 2013 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released two comprehensive reports today that synthesize the scientific literature on climate change effects and adaptation strategies for U.S. agriculture and forests. The reports, entitled Climate Change and Agriculture: Effects and Adaptation and the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the U.S. Forest Sector, were created as inputs to the National Climate Assessment. Scientists from the federal service, universities, non-governmental organizations, industry, tribal lands and the private sector contributed to the peer-reviewed studies. Read More

USDA Microloans up to $35,000 Aim to Assist Small Farmers, Veterans, and Disadvantaged Producers

January 15, 2013 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – MEMPHIS, Jan. 15, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a new microloan program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. The new microloan program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations. The microloan program will also provide a less burdensome, more simplified application process in comparison to traditional farm loans. Read More

National Farmers Market Directory Sees 52 Percent Spike in Winter Listings

December 7, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that the number of winter markets listed in USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory has increased 52 percent, from 1,225 in 2011 to 1,864 in 2012. Winter markets now account for roughly 24 percent of the 7,865 farmers markets listed in the USDA national directory. Markets operating at least once between November and March are considered winter farmers markets. Read More

Farmers and Ranchers Urged to Record Losses from Hurricane Sandy

November 1, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release — WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2012 — Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today urged farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Sandy to keep thorough records of all losses, including livestock death losses, as well as expenses for such things as feed purchases and extraordinary costs because of lost supplies and or increased transportation costs. Read More