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« December 2010 | Main | February 2011 »

49 posts from January 2011

Vilsack_PF_ribbon%20cutting_2011_jpg 
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack cuts ribbon at open of 2011 Pheasant Fest in Omaha, Neb. During the event, he makes an important CRP sign-up announcement to fest-goers.

 

 by Brenda Carlson, regional public affairs specialist, USDA-FSA

 

Pheasant and enthusiasts of other upland game bird and waterfowl species received great news last week when Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced another Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-up to begin March 14, 2011.

The announcement, made to a receptive audience at the 2011 Pheasant Fest in Omaha, Neb. comes at a critical time when 4.4 million acres of CRP are set to expire this year.  CRP sign-up 41 as it is referred is intended to provide an enrollment opportunity for 4 million acres.

Continue reading "Vilsack Announces CRP Sign-Up During 2011 Pheasant Fest" »

Some of the nation’s largest farm groups have formed a coalition to improve the image of farmers and counter negative publicity they say has led to bad public policies and stopped producers from adequately supplying food to the American public. Although they are still developing an action plan, spokeswoman Cindy Hackmann an advertising campaign was unlikely. Instead, the coalition will use social media to help consumers better understand how their food is produced. Read more (Associated Press).

Coppess_PF_labpup_2011_JPG 

 FSA Administrator Jonathan Coppess visits with a Labrador retriever breeder at Pheasant Fest. Labs are recognized as excellent upland game bird and waterfowl retrievers.

 

by Brenda Carlson, regional public affairs specialist, USDA-FSA

  

Speaking to a packed house, Farm Service Administrator Jonathan Coppess praised the accomplishments of a lengthy and highly successful partnership between Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Pheasants Forever organization — a partnership that revolves around the success of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

 

How successful is CRP? According to Coppess, since its inception 25 years ago, CRP acres have resulted in an 8 billion ton reduction in soil erosion, restoration of 2 million acres of wetlands and adjacent buffers, vegetative protection of more than 200,000 stream bank buffers, significant increases in upland wildlife numbers which translates to recreational dollars for many rural economies.

Continue reading "FSA Administrator Addresses 9th Annual National Pheasant Fest Luncheon" »

by Brenda Carlson, regional public affairs specialist, USDA-FSA

In an address to students of the Peter Kiewit Institute and members of Nebraska’s agriculture industry, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack cited numerous examples of how USDA is meeting President Obama’s challenge to Americans to “out innovate, out educate and out build the competition.”

The Peter Kiewit Institute offers academic programs from both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Engineering and the University of Nebraska at Omaha's College of Information Science and Technology. Although the correlation between the Institute and the Department of Agriculture may not be immediately evident, Secretary Vilsack’s remarks quickly painted a picture of two entities with a common goal — success through innovation and technology.

Continue reading "Vilsack: USDA Ahead of the Innovation Curve" »

Producers interested in offering land in an effort to protect millions of acres of topsoil from erosion and improve the nation’s natural resources, will be given the opportunity in March. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the next general sign-up for Conservation Reserve Program will open March 14 and continue through April 15. This is the second consecutive year that USDA has offered a general CRP sign-up. Those interested should consult their local Farm Service Agency county office. Learn more, view the fact sheet or locate an FSA county office.

Payments are now being issued for quota holders and producers in the Tobacco Transition Payment Program (TTPP). The program, which began in 2005, ends in 2014 and provides 10 equal annual payments to quota holders and producers. Quota holders also will now have the ability to enter into successor-in-interest contracts that allow the transfer of remaining TTPP payments in exchange for a lump-sum payment. This round of payments totals more than $950 million. In all, approximately $6.25 billion will have been paid by the end of the program. Learn more.

USDA has granted non-regulated status for alfalfa that has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the commercial herbicide Roundup. "After conducting a thorough and transparent examination of alfalfa through a multi-alternative environmental impact statement (EIS) and several public comment opportunities, APHIS has determined that Roundup Ready alfalfa is as safe as traditionally bred alfalfa," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Read more or review the FAQs.

Dairy farmers are protesting a plan by the Food and Drug Administration to test milk from cows that may be tainted with illegal levels of antibiotics. FDA officials are concerned that the level of antibiotics could contaminate the milk consumed by Americans. Farmers, along with dairy industry officials said the testing could force them to dump millions of gallons of milk while waiting for results. The testing, which was slated to start this month, has been postponed. (New York Times) Read more.

At President Obama’s direction, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working hard to unleash the power of America’s innovators and entrepreneurs to build a green energy economy.   By producing renewable energy — especially biofuels — America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities have incredible potential to help ensure our nation’s energy security, environmental security, and economic security.  Here are just some of the ways USDA is involved in helping create green energy jobs for the 21st century. (The White House Blog) Read more.

Vilsack

The U.S. reported the sale of 2.74 million tons of U.S. soybeans to China for 2011-12 marketing year. In a written statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called the sale the “single largest daily soybean sale since USDA began issuing daily sales reports in 1977.”

Continue reading "Vilsack: Soybean Sale to China Largest Since 1977" »


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