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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By USDA

New USDA Farm to School Program to Improve Student Nutrition and Benefit Local Agricultural Producers

April 17, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – HARWOOD, Md., April 17, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that USDA will be investing in farm to school programs nationwide to help eligible schools improve the health and wellbeing of their students and connect with local agricultural producers. Merrigan joined students at Southern High School to announce the new program that will promote opportunities for nutrition and agriculture education while providing new economic opportunities for food producers of all kinds and communities nationwide. Students at the school displayed and highlighted their farm to school efforts with a tour of the school’s greenhouse.

“School cafeterias are great places to champion U.S. agriculture and to teach students where their food comes from,” said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. Read More

USDA Mobile App Enables Individuals Across the Country to Help Stop the Spread of Citrus Diseases

April 12, 2012 |

News Release – (April 10, Washington D.C.) – Just in time for Earth Day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS ) released [yesterday] a free Save Our Citrus app that makes it easy to identify and report the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab.

Answers are now available for citrus growers who are worried that their tree looks sick or that their citrus fruits are misshapen or discolored. Read More

USDA to Distribute $10 Million in Grants for 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program

April 5, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, April 5, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking grant applicants for the 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program.

Approximately $10 million is available for marketing operations such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture and road-side stands. Read More

New Study Explores Innovation and Opportunities for Diverse Local Food Distributors

March 16, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, March 16, 2012 – Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan released a new report on the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally or regionally-grown food to retail and foodservice customers. The report, entitled Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution, shows how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.

“The Obama Administration is committed to putting Americans back to work and to revitalizing our rural agricultural communities, and one way to do that is through the expanding local foods movement which provides new economic opportunities for farmers and producers across the country,” said Merrigan. Read More

USDA Announces New Online Portal to Provide Assistance for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

February 16, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2012 – Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA’s National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announced Start2farm.gov, a new online portal that helps provide assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance and other support services specifically for beginning farmers and ranchers as well as successful case studies about new and beginning farmers and ranchers. Read More