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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Ongoing Devastating Wildfire Season

August 26, 2015 |

post_usdalogoWASHINGTON, Aug. 20, 2015 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the following statement:

“This year, we are experiencing yet another devastating wildfire season, particularly in the drought-ravaged West. Climate change, drought, fuel buildup, insects and disease are increasing the severity of unprecedented wildfire in America’s forests and rangelands, which impacts the safety of people, homes and communities. Development close to forests has also increased the threat to property, with more than 46 million homes in the United States, or about 40 percent of our nation’s housing, potentially at risk from wildfire. USDA works closely with the Department of Interior and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, along with other partners, to deploy the workforce, equipment, and interagency coordination necessary to respond safely and effectively to increasingly severe wildfire seasons. We are expending in excess of $150 million per week on fire suppression activities, and that will likely grow in the days and weeks ahead. Well over 26,000 firefighters and support personnel from federal, state and local agencies are deployed, along with 28 next generation and legacy air tankers, and additional aviation assets. We are now working with the U.S. Military and foreign partners, such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, to bring in additional resources. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

August 20, 2015 |

1 Urban farms need financially sound business models to be truly sustainable (MSU Extension)

Excerpt: Michigan State University Extension applies research from MSU to help Michigan residents solve everyday problems in agriculture, community development, nutrition, family finances, youth development … Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

August 14, 2015 |

seedstock1 Farming Goes High-Tech (OnPoint, WBUR)

Excerpt: As populations rise, arable land shrinks and the Earth grows warmer, we look at how technology and big data are coming deep into American farming.                            

2 LocalLocal Wants to Make Sure Your Local Food Is Legit (Houstonia Magazine)

Excerpt: An informative new website aims to connect diners, restaurants, farmers and ranchers.                      Read More

Former USDA Under Secretary, Gus Schumacher, to Discuss Local Food Access at Upcoming Seedstock Conference

August 10, 2015 |

07schumacher1Seedstock today announced that Gus Schumacher, Founding Board Chair and Vice President of Wholesome Wave will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference on November 3 – 4, 2015 at UC San Diego. Schumacher’s address will focus on his and Wholesome Wave’s efforts to make fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables affordable and the innovative initiatives that he is working on to simultaneously improve health outcomes among low-income families and generate additional revenue for small and mid-sized farm businesses.

From 1997 to 2001, Schumacher served as President Clinton’s Under Secretary of Agriculture for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services at USDA. Prior to this, Schumacher served as Administrator of USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, worked as a senior Agri-lender for the World Bank, and served as Commissioner of Food and Agriculture for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

August 7, 2015 |

seedstock1 Large Indoor Farming Operation Coming to Indy’s Near Eastside (WLYL)

Excerpt: An Ohio company is planning a new indoor produce growing operation on Indianapolis’ near eastside.

2 AeroFarms to open ‘world’s largest indoor vertical farm” (Gizmag)

Excerpt: AeroFarms’ new 69,000 sq ft (6,410 sq m) facility in Newark, New Jersey, will be based in a converted steel factory and will incorporate a new corporate HQ for the firm. It’s expected to grow high-quality and healthy produce all year round. Read More

Diversity of Urban and Hydroponic Farms of the Future to Highlight Seedstock Annual Conference Field Trip

August 4, 2015 |

hydroponic field tripSAN DIEGO, CA – Seedstock’s 4th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference: “Innovation and the Rise of Local Food,” scheduled for Nov. 3 – 4, 2015, at UC San Diego, will explore innovations that farmers and entrepreneurs are embracing to grow food sustainably, create new businesses, improve food access, and manage resources efficiently against the dueling backdrop of a lingering Western drought and burgeoning local food marketplace.

The “Future Farm Field Trip” on Day 1 (Nov. 3) of the conference offers an excursion into the diversity of urban and state-of-the-art indoor agriculture operations in Southern California. Tour participants will be treated to lectures and sessions from pioneering farmers who are embracing innovative business models and growing systems to both increase food security and take advantage of the escalating demand for local food.

“With such a wide variety of cutting edge farming ventures in the area – from innovative controlled environment agriculture operations to small farms advancing business models that enable them to sell more produce locally and direct to consumers – Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

July 30, 2015 |

seedstock1 Reclaiming Baltimore’s Wasted Food (WYPR)

Excerpt: One out of four Baltimore residents lives in a ‘food desert’ – a low-income area that lacks access to fresh food from supermarkets. Read More

4th Annual Seedstock Conference to Explore Innovations Driving Growth of Local Food Systems

July 27, 2015 |

The 4th Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference: Innovation and the Rise of Local Food, which will take place this fall at UC San Diego, will explore solutions and methodologies that small farmers and entrepreneurs are embracing to grow more sustainably, improve access to fresh and healthy local food and manage resources more efficiently against the dueling backdrop of a lingering drought and burgeoning local food marketplace.

Slated for Tuesday, November 3 (Urban/Hydroponic Farm Field Trip) and Wednesday (Conference Day at UC San Diego), November 4, 2015, the event will explore, among other topics, how small farmers are embracing technology to grow food more sustainably, new business creation, water management, urban farming, food access and more.

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