« May 2012 |
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hopes to appoint voting members from socially disadvantaged groups to serve on Farm Service Agency county committees in jurisdictions that lack fair representation. An interim rule on the subject is published in the Federal Register and open 60 days for public comment. “Appointing new voting members to committees that lack representation will help ensure that county committees continue to play a vital and relevant role in delivering important federal farm programs to citizens of rural communities across our nation,” said Vilsack. County committees serve as a direct link between the farm community and USDA and help deliver FSA farm programs at the local level. Read more or review the Federal Register notice.
Don Henry, county executive director in Delaware County, Ohio, gives out stickers to kids of the Karamajong tribe during a visit to Africa.
by Don Henry, county executive director, Delaware County, Ohio
Early last summer I was surfing the Web and came across an article about orphans that caught my eye. The article was written by a former orphan who had a heart for the 147 million orphans worldwide and had started a ministry to increase awareness of this tragic reality. They offered the opportunity to go and visit orphans with the scriptural theme of James 1:27 which admonishes us to go and visit orphans and widows. I thought to myself, I could do that, in fact, I should do that. So I filled out the application online at Visiting Orphans (www.visitingorphans.org) and hit the send button.
Continue reading " Ohio CED Trip to Africa: 'I Will Never Be The Same'" »
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan kicked off the start of the USDA Farmers Market
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan rang the copper cow bell this morning at the USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C., signaling the start of the department’s annual farmers market. “From 2010 to 2011 there has been a 17 percent growth in farmers markets. That is in part due to the work of USDA,” said Merrigan during a speech at the opening ceremony.” Redskins safety Reed Doughty joined
the festivities and signed autographs and tossed the football to promote the Fuel Up Play 60 initiative that encourages kids to eat healthy and exercise at least 60 minutes a day. Others included the group Hip Hop Public Health, who performed at the event, and several vendors from areas in and around the District.
The USDA Commodity Credit Corporation, which helps stabilize, support and protect farm income and prices, released interest rates for June 2012. The borrowing rate-based charge is 0.125, which is unchanged from May 2012, while the 1996 and subsequent crop year commodity and marketing assistance loans dispersed during June is 1.125, unchanged from last month. Interest rates for Farm Storage Facility Loans and discount rates for the Tobacco Transition Payment Program also are available. Read more.
USDA has finalized changes to the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), that will help reduce harmful sediments and fertilizers coming from farmland and entering into Pennsylvania rivers and streams. The improvement also will enhance waters downstream in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The changes will add 20,000 acres to CREP and make all Pennsylvania CREP practices eligible for sign-up in Chesapeake Bay watershed counties. “These changes will provide greater flexibility for more Pennsylvania farmers and other land owners to establish conservation cover and increase land stewardship within the Chesapeake Bay watershed,” said Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse. Learn more.
The USDA Climate Change Program Office will host a seminar on “Climate Change Science: What USDA Needs to Know” on Thursday, June 7 from 2-4 p.m. in the USDA South Building Jefferson Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Scientists from within and outside of USDA will discuss the Earth’s warming trend and determine how increasing temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns will affect farmers and ranchers. Experts in the field will provide evidence that the warming trend will create more prevalent weed and insect pests along with plant and animal diseases. Other topics include Climate 101: The Basics, The Sources of Change and Modeling and Projections. For more information email Jan Lewandrowski.