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August 13, 2014

News Release Written by the American Farm Bureau Federation My American Farm will reach nearly half a million people this summer and fall through featured events at state fairs in Indiana, South Carolina and Wisconsin. At each venue, the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture worked closely with state fair...

August 6, 2014

Written by Charles W. Parrot, Deputy Administrator, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Program. Originally posted on August 5, 2014. America’s hunger for locally and regionally grown food has become a $7 billion-per-year market.  That means more consumers are savoring farm-fresh food, and more farmers—especially small and mid-size farmers—are profiting from new...

July 11, 2014

Written by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Originally posted on June 27, 2014. Agriculture is one of the brightest spots in our economy, and the American brand of agriculture is surging in popularity worldwide. Trade and market access support good-paying jobs and drives economic growth. A strong rural economy is critical...

June 24, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced $8 million in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) incentives for Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin farmers and ranchers who establish new habitats for declining honey bee populations. More than half of the commercially managed honey bees are in these five states...

June 20, 2014

Written by Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack. Posted on June 13, 2014. Many consumers want to "buy local" and support their local economy with their purchases. When local food marketing opportunities exist for rural producers, they cause ripple effects throughout the rural economy. The 2012 Census of Agriculture results indicate that...

June 13, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of $22.5 million in loans and grants for organizations in nine states to promote rural economic development. The funding is being provided through USDA's Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. Under this program, USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to...

May 29, 2014

Fruit and vegetable growers and producers with diversified farms have a new option for risk management insurance. The policy, called Whole-Farm Revenue Protection, will provide flexible coverage options for specialty crop, organic and diversified crop producers. The program will be implemented in counties across the country and will expand in...

May 22, 2014

  Blog article written by Dr. Michael Boland, University of Minnesota, boland@umn.edu Over the past forty years, the all-food consumer price index has declined. As the oldest of 12 children whose childhood was in 1970s and 1980s, I remember fluid milk prices being variable. My folks bought 28 gallons a...

May 13, 2014

USDA is making a $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services, and other local food business enterprises. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said that $48 million in loan guarantees for local food projects is now available through USDA...

May 6, 2014

Food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—interact to influence food choices and diet quality. Research has been documenting the complexity of these interactions, but more research is needed to identify causal relationships and effective policy interventions. USDA Economic Research Service has...

May 1, 2014

USDA announced the availability of funding to promote long-term economic growth and community vitality in rural areas for applications through three community and economic development programs administered by USDA Rural Development. The announcement includes $30.6 million in zero-interest loans and $9.2 million in grants to establish revolving loan funds that...

April 23, 2014

United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of a new investment fund that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America. The new Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) will allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses. Currently, USDA programs exist...

April 10, 2014

Blog article written by Don Hofstrand, retired ag economist and co-author of the AgMRC Renewable Energy & Climate Change newsletter. dhof@iastate.edu Over the last several years the rapidly expanding market for ethanol has increased the demand for corn resulting in an increase in corn price.  During this same time period...

March 21, 2014

Whole Planet Foundation has committed more than $5 million to fight poverty in the U.S. through its partner, Grameen America, a nonprofit microfinance organization that offers microloans, training and support to help women who live in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families. The money will...

March 12, 2014

In remarks at the National Farmers Union National Convention, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded efforts to connect small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations. Efforts include improved...

February 27, 2014

A new report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture shows that institutional purchases of local food added nearly $9 million to the Iowa economy in 2012. What’s more, the report points out enormous opportunities for local foods in Iowa that could benefit rural communities and farm-based businesses. Investigators measured...

February 12, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of the first ever Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change at seven locations around the country. "Climate Hubs" will address increasing risks such as fires, invasive pests, devastating floods, and crippling droughts on a regional basis, aiming to translate...

January 30, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) recently launched MarketLink, a website that provides farmers’ markets and direct-marketing farmers with a new, streamlined process for becoming authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) vendors and information about obtaining the equipment needed to...

January 27, 2014

Blog article written by Dr. Michael Boland, University of Minnesota, boland@umn.edu As I wait on my group of grants to review for the VAPG program this winter, my graduate student has put the finishing touches on his Master’s degree thesis looking at the VAPG program over time. He updated a...

January 17, 2014

Our Food Link, a new year-round program that county and state Farm Bureaus can use to reach consumers of all ages and backgrounds with information about today's agriculture, was launched during the American Farm Bureau Federation's 95th Annual Convention.   "Consumer outreach is more important than ever because the average...

January 9, 2014

Registration is now open for the joint 16th Annual National Value Added Agricultural Conference and the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development's What Works Conference Series at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Maryland May 13-15, 2014 This conference is open to researchers, extension educators, teachers, students, Small Business...

January 2, 2014

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) each year prepares its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. The NRA surveyed nearly 1,300 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – to find which food and beverage items will be hot trends on restaurant menus...

November 25, 2013

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities designed to give them a competitive business edge.   The funding is being made available through the Value-Added Producer Grant program. Grants are available...

November 5, 2013

The North Central Risk Management Education Center in conjunction with the Northeast, Southern, and Western Regional Centers, administers awards which fund 12-month risk management education projects. The award year runs from July 1 to June 30 annually. The 2014 application period is now open! Read the 2014 RFA. The application...

October 24, 2013

Nationwide Census on Farm to School Activities Identifies Over 38,000 Schools with 21 Million Students Serving Over $350 Million in Local Food       Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted important strides made in offering healthy, local food to millions of school children through USDA's Farm to School program, and emphasized...

 

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