USDA Reports Big Growth in Organic Certification

Kelly Marshall

Certified organic operations continue to increase significantly, according to the latest numbers from the USDA.  Growth is seeing a double-digit trend, with 21,781 certified operations in the U.S. and 31,160 world-wide. “Organic food is one of the fasting growing segments of American agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As consumer demand for organic products continues to grow, the USDA organic …

Agribusiness, Food, Organic, USDA

Vilsack Traveling to Germany and France

Kelly Marshall

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be traveling to Berlin and Paris next week. April 4-5 he will be in Berlin, discussing rural economic development opportunities related to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with German officials and farmers.  Christian Schmidt, the German Mister of Food and Agriculture, as well as other government officials will also meet about the benefits to …

Climate Change, Trade, USDA

Ethanol Trade Mission to Peru

Cindy Zimmerman

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) took part in a recent trade mission to Peru led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack which included discussions about increasing cooperation with that country when it comes to ethanol production and exports. In this edition of the ZimmCast, RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard talks about the March 13-15 trade mission which visited Lima and the …

Audio, Ethanol, International, RFA, Trade, USDA, ZimmCast

USDA Offers $90 Million in Competitive Grants

Kelly Marshall

The USDA will be making $90 million in competitive grants available to strengthen local food systems, develop market opportunities and support growers specialty crops. The grants will be run through the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. “Over the past seven years, USDA …

Government, Local, specialty crops, USDA

Corn Up, Soybeans Down in #USDA Report

Cindy Zimmerman

The 2016 Prospective Plantings report out today from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows farmers expect to plant more corn and less soybeans this year. U.S. corn growers expect to plant 93.6 million acres to corn this year, the first increase in corn planted acreage since 2012 and, if realized, will be the third largest corn acreage since 1944. …

Audio, Corn, Cotton, Markets, MGEX, Soybean, USDA, Wheat

USDA Encourages Small, Healthy Changes in March

Kelly Marshall

The USDA has launched a challenge in honor of National Nutrition Month.  The MyPlate, My Wins Challenge encourages people to make a small, simple change towards a healthier lifestyle.  Teams or groups can join the challenge online and pledge to consume two foods from each of the My Plate food groups a day and be active twice a day for two …

Food, USDA

Former USDA Deputy Joins DuPont

Cindy Zimmerman

The mystery about why Krysta Harden resigned as USDA Deputy Secretary was revealed last week as Commodity Classic was getting underway in New Orleans. Harden has joined DuPont as vice president of Public Policy & Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), succeeding Linda Fisher who elected to retire last month. Harden will have responsibility for leading the company’s public policy and government …

Agribusiness, Dupont, Sustainability, USDA

NFU Convention Includes Address from Vilsack

Kelly Marshall

National Farmers Union (NFU) member, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, addressed the 114th Anniversary Convention this week.  He spoke about the uniqueness of American agriculture, asked Congress to act on the food labeling bill and encouraged increased trade with Cuba. “It is important to focus, not just solely on large-scale production agriculture, but it is important to continue to focus on diversifying opportunities …

Events, NFU, USDA

Vilsack Makes 7th Appearance at #Classic16

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appeared at every Commodity Classic since he was confirmed, making this year the seventh time he has addressed corn, soybean, sorghum and wheat farmers. “Farmers are the linchpin of this country. They are the heart and soul,” said Vilsack, who concentrated much of his remarks on the importance of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) for …

Audio, Commodity Classic, Corn, sorghum, Soybean, USDA, Wheat

Vilsack Makes 7th Appearance at Commodity Classic

Kelly Marshall

The 2016 Commodity Classic will play host to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack.  In his seventh visit to the nation’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade show the secretary will give the keynote address during the General Session on Friday, March 4th. “Secretary Vilsack continues to be a strong voice for farmers and ranchers, and we are jazzed …

Commodity Classic, Events, USDA