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U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)

None Has Entered U.S., 100 Percent Re-Inspection Instituted

meat
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced additional steps to keep the food supply safe for American families in light of the recent investigations of Brazil’s meat industry.

While none of the slaughter or processing facilities implicated in the Brazilian scandal have shipped meat products to the United States, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil upon hearing reports of the Brazilian investigation.  FSIS has also increased its examination of all these products at ports-of-entry across the country. The agency will indefinitely maintain its 100% re-inspection and pathogen testing of all lots of FSIS-regulated products imported from Brazil. Continue reading

census of agriculture farmers ranchersAmerica’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. Continue reading

support science workforce
The talent pipeline for the agricultural workforce begins well before college, and today the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture announced the availability of $858,500 in funding to strengthen K-14 education in the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences. Continue reading

local Rusty Truck
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announced the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses.

“These grants will continue USDA’s support for the local food sector as an important strategy for keeping wealth in rural communities,” said AMS Administrator Elanor Starmer. Continue reading

bridges
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the expansion of a unique service for farmers and ranchers. FSA’s Bridges to Opportunity program provides a one-stop-shop that connects producers with resources, programs and educational services offered across the department, as well as from other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity, which currently provides enhanced customer support to more than 150,000 customers in 20 states, will expand to serve customers across the country before the end of the month using fiscal year 2016 funds. Continue reading

MyPlate, MyWins Helps Americans Turn Resolutions into Real Solutions for Healthy Eating in the New Year

myplate
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) launched a New Year’s campaign to help Americans turn their resolutions into real solutions for healthy eating in 2017. This campaign is supported by new and existing MyPlate, MyWins resources available on ChooseMyPlate.gov which are designed such that Americans can decide where to start on the journey to healthy eating. Continue reading

lemons
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule to allow the importation of fresh lemon fruit from northwest Argentina into the continental United States.

Over the last 10 years, APHIS has thoroughly reviewed Argentina’s citrus production and packing practices and fully evaluated pest risks to U.S. agriculture. The review included a comprehensive pest risk assessment that was amended several times to account for new scientific information and address public comments. It also included site visits in 2007, 2015, and most recently in September 2016 to observe production areas, packing practices, and trace back abilities. As a result, APHIS has determined lemons produced in northwest Argentina can be safely imported into the continental United States utilizing a systems approach. Continue reading

Encourages Industry to use “Best if Used By” on Product Labels

COOL labeling
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued updated information on food product labeling, including new guidance aimed at reducing food waste through encouraging food manufacturers and retailers that apply product dating to use a “Best if Used By” date label. Continue reading

pest diseases
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is allocating $57,762,405 from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill to support 513 projects provided to partners in 53 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Continue reading

organic products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of up to $3.8 million in funding to support research, education and extension to support organic farmers and ranchers as well as those adopting organic practices for the first time. The grants are funded through the Organic Transitions Program (ORG), administered by NIFA and authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Continue reading

cotton storage
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announced that there is not a cotton storage deficit.

The determination was made based on Oct. 1, 2016, production estimates and carry-in stock reports. Since there is no deficit, the CCC has determined that extra storage is not needed for the 2016 cotton crop. Continue reading

NIFA robotic research
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced $3 million in available funding for robotic research, application, and education for agricultural systems that benefit consumers and rural communities. This funding is made available through the National Robotics Initiative (NRI), a federal research partnership that includes NIFA, the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Defense, and Department of Energy. Continue reading

USDA Sacs containing Large onion (Allium cepa) stacked for export
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is awarding $200 million to more than 70 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand export markets for U.S. farm and food products through the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) Program. Continue reading

Back of a helicopter in a steep bank while turning to make another pesticide spraying run on the cornfield.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published the 2015 Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Summary.  The 2015 PDP Annual Summary shows more than 99 percent of the samples tested had pesticide residues well below the residue levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and 15 percent had no detectable residue.  Residues exceeding the tolerance were detected in 0.53 percent of the samples tested. EPA uses PDP data to conduct dietary risk assessments and to ensure that any pesticide residues in foods remain at safe levels and adverse health effects are unlikely. Continue reading

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