Organic Trade Association Petitions for Checkoff

Chuck Zimmerman

The Organic Trade Association, along with the GRO Organic Core Committee, has formally petitioned the USDA to begin steps to conduct a vote on and implement a research and promotion check-off program for the organic industry. You can read an executive summary of the proposal here (pdf). OTA’s action reflects three years of dialogue with the entire organic sector and …

Ag Group, Organic, USDA

Lots of Jobs in Ag for New Grads

John Davis

May is graduation month, and a new survey shows that agriculture is a great place for those new college graduates. This article from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the information from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Purdue University shows there are nearly 60,000 high-skilled agriculture job openings expected each year in the U.S., there …

AgCareers, Agribusiness, University, USDA

First USDA Crop Estimates

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA’s May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report released today includes the first estimates for crop production this year. Overall, the report is projecting wheat production to be higher and corn and soybeans lower this season. All wheat production is projected at 2,087 million bushels, up 3 percent. Corn production is projected at 13.6 billion bushels, down 586 million …

Corn, NCGA, Soybean, USDA, Wheat

U.S., Honduras Trade Deal to Promote Ag Development

John Davis

A new trade deal between the U.S. and Honduras is expected to promote agricultural development. This U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) news release says Deputy Agriculture Secretary Krysta Harden and Honduras Secretary of Agriculture and Livestock Jacobo Paz inked the agreement. Through the Food for Progress Program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service will provide the government …

Agribusiness, Trade, USDA

USDA Presents Climate Change Initiative

Cindy Zimmerman

In a speech Thursday at Michigan State University, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack introduced “Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry”, an initiative that will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors. “American farmers and ranchers are leaders when it …

Audio, Climate Change, Government, USDA

Vilsack Flips Switch on New Solar Farm

Cindy Zimmerman

On Earth Day, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack flipped the switch to symbolically activate USDA’s first solar array project in the National Capital Region. The 1.6 Megawatt (MW) solar farm, located at the George Washington Carver Center (Carver Center) in Beltsville, Maryland, is the largest solar array on federal property in this region. This project, which is part of a larger …

Solar, USDA

USDA: Number of Organic Producers Hits Record

John Davis

The number of organic producers in the U.S. has hit a record. This news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says there are 19,474 certified organic operations in the United States and a total of 27,814 certified organic operations around the world. According to data released by the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) National Organic Program (NOP), the number …

Organic, USDA

USDA Official on the Road for Trade

Cindy Zimmerman

USDA officials have been on the road this year meeting with agricultural stakeholders around the country to talk about the importance of Trade Promotion Authority for the president in expanding international markets for U.S. products. USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Alexis Taylor was in California a few weeks ago and today she was in Florida. …

Audio, Trade, USDA

Ag Conservation Easement Funding Available

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Natural Resources Conservation Service chief Jason Weller have announced the availability of $332 million in financial and technical assistance through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). “Conservation easements are an important tool to help these landowners and partners voluntarily provide long-term protection of our nation’s farmland, ranchland, wetlands and grasslands for future generations,” said Vilsack. …

Audio, Conservation, USDA