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The Senate Agriculture Committee scheduled a confirmation hearing for Agriculture Secretary nominee Tom Vilsack for February 2nd. Vilsack is expected to experience a smooth confirmation process overall. Kevin Shea is serving as Acting Secretary while Vilsack awaits confirmation. Shea has been administrator of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service since 2013.
Establishment of the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee and Solicitation of Nominations for Membership on the Advisory Committee
USDA Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee
The USDA has announced the establishment of the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee, which will evaluate and review ongoing research and extension activities relating to urban, indoor, and other innovative agricultural practices; identify new and existing barriers to successful urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural production practices; and provide additional assistance and provide advice to the Director of the Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production as appropriate. The USDA is also seeking the nominations for membership on the 12-person Urban Ag Advisory Committee, with nominations due by March 5, 2021.
The Secretary of USDA announces the establishment of the Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production Advisory Committee (Urban Ag Advisory Committee). The Committee will advise the Secretary on the development of policies and outreach relating to urban, indoor, and other emerging agricultural...
USDA increases some CRP incentive payments
USDA is increasing incentive payments to farmers for practices installed on land enrolled in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...Happy Holidays!
Webinar on USDA National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
On Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from 2:00pm-3:00pm ET, the USDA's Food Disclosure and Labeling Division (FDLD) will hold an informational webinar on the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS). The webinar is meant to help regulated entities, including food manufacturers, importers, and certain retailers, comply with the Standard before the mandatory compliance date of January 1, 2022. Registration to attend the webinar is required.
Share this video if you can relate or tag a friend who says these things! Comment below with some more things that farmers say ⬇️
AMS US Consumer Standards Update
The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking public comments on its proposal to terminate the US Consumer Standards for the following foods: Italian Sprouting Broccoli, Fresh Carrots, Celery Stalks, Husked Corn on the Cob, Fresh Kale, Fresh Spinach Leaves, Brussels Sprouts, Fresh Parsnips, Fresh Turnips, and and Beet Greens. This proposed action is part of USDA's work to eliminate regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, ineffective, or impose costs that exceed benefits. Comments will be accepted until December 28, 2020.
USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The USDA announced it has authorized $500 million for a fourth round of purchases for the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. The Department is issuing solicitations for the fourth round to existing Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA) holders and expects to award contracts by October 30th for deliveries of food boxes from November 1st through December 31st.
Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Independence Day!
USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program Update
The USDA has approved up to $1.27 billion in extended contracts and up to $202 million in new contracts to support American producers and communities through the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. In this second round of purchases, the program will purchase $512 million in fresh fruits and vegetables, $288 million in a variety of dairy products, $233 million in meat products and $444 million in a combination box of fresh produce, dairy or meat products through August 31st. As a reminder, this program was established for the Department to purchase and distribute agricultural products to those in need during the pandemic in the form of boxes packaged with fresh foods
Today we honor and remember those we lost serving our country. "We don't know them all, but we owe them all."
The FDA and USDA recently issued a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the potential use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) with regard to FDA-regulated food. Of note, the USDA retains its DPA authority for products subject to FDA jurisdiction. However, the MOU establishes that FDA will be responsible for monitoring the continued functioning of the FDA-regulated food production sector, bringing issues to USDA's attention should FDA believe that USDA may need to exercise its DPA authorities to address a situation. To the extent FDA identifies disruptions to the supply or other issues, both Agencies will work together to discuss appropriate action.
USDA Announces $15 Million for Conservation Innovation Grants
Conservation Innovation Grants program seeks solutions to boost production on farms, ranches, forests, and to improve natural resources.
U.S. farmers expected to get third tranche of trade aid despite Phase 1 deal -Perdue
WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he expected U.S. farmers to receive a third and final tranche of trade-related payments even after a Phase 1 trade deal with China was signed, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Washington and Beijing signed the pact on Wednesd...
Santa's reindeer issued a permit from USDA to enter the United States after passing inspection with flying colors!
Season's Greetings from Agri/Washington!
FSIS Consumer Food Safety Education and Outreach
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing its intention to conduct focus groups with consumers to provide information to inform consumer education outreach efforts related to disseminating information to consumers about recalls and outbreaks and the labeling of products.
USDA AMS National Organic Standards Board
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet from April 29-May 1, 2020 in Crystal City, VA. At the meeting, they will discuss substances petitioned for addition to or deletion from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List), substances due to sunset from the National List in 2022, and recommendations on organic policies. They invite the public to submit written comments and/or provide oral comments at the Spring 2020 meeting for which the comment period will close on April 3, 2020. The NOSB considers and makes recommendations on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of all organic products.
Diary Margin Coverage Program
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has extended the deadline to December 20, 2019 for producers to enroll in the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for the 2020 calendar year. The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.
FDA + USDA Staff Updates
This week, the Senate confirmed Dr. Stephen Hahn to fill the position of FDA Commissioner.
Also this week, President Trump nominated Brandon Lipps to serve as undersecretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services at the USDA, a long-vacant post that oversees a large portion of the Department's budget. This nomination will require a full Senate vote.
10 Things You May Not Know About Farmers
Although I grew up in a rural area with farms and ranches surrounding me, I knew nothing about farmers except their names. However, I began writing about farmers and ranchers in Kansas approximately three years ago and I want to share what I have learned.
Michele Payn, Cause Matters Corp.
Nice to see...
Fees for Rice Inspection
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking public comments on a proposed rule to reduce the fees for the sampling, inspection, weighing, and certification of rice performed under the authority of the Agricultural Marketing Act. Under the proposal, fees would decrease by 20% for fiscal year (FY) 2020 and by another 20% for FY 2021.
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