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General

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...

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...

May 9, 2013

With the window to respond to the 2012 Census of Agriculture officially closing on May 31, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging farmers and ranchers not to miss this opportunity to be counted and help determine the future of farming in America. USDA has already received more than...

April 11, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's statistical arm said it would restore some agricultural reports it had suspended because of automatic federal budget cuts after farmers and others in the dairy industry said the information was crucial to their business. The National Agricultural Statistics Service keeps tabs on a wide range...

January 18, 2013

As the Drought of 2012 continues into 2013, USDA has updated its Disaster and Drought Assistance website, include the map designating drought disaster areas. The map shows designations due to drought across the country under USDA's amended rule. Any county declared a primary (red) or contiguous (orange) disaster county makes...

January 9, 2013

The 2013 Small Farms Webinar series from the University of Illinois will be held on Thursday afternoons at 1:00 pm, beginning January 10 and concluding March 28. The topics will be varied but designed for small farm application. See below for a list of dates and topics. Sessions are presented...

December 19, 2012

Article is reprinted with permission from The Saratogian. By Paul Post, ppost@saratogian.com SARATOGA SPRINGS — Around one-fourth of all farmers are 65 or older, raising concerns about who is going to provide America’s food supply in years to come. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has set a goal of recruiting...

December 12, 2012

Average Iowa farmland value is estimated to be $8,296 per acre, an increase of 23.7 percent from 2011, according to results of the Iowa Land Value Survey conducted in November. This is the third year in a row where values have increased more than 15 percent. The 2012 values are...

December 4, 2012

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service plans to begin mailing materials for the 2012 Census of Agriculture in late December. Conducted every five years, the Census of Agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. The Census looks at land use and...

November 6, 2012

Almost a third of U.S. farm households generate income by engaging in business ventures independent of commodity production, with distinctly different community and household benefits. In 2007, 686,600 farm households engaged in 791,000 income-generating activities distinct from commodity production, creating $26.7 billion in household income. Onfarm diversification activities like agritourism...

July 17, 2012

Blog article written by Dr. Michael Boland, University of Minnesota, boland@umn.edu Every year we read about a specialty crop in short supply due to weather issues. In recent years, we have seen shortages in canning pumpkins (most of U.S. canned pumpkin are made in west central Illinois), domestic orange juice...

May 31, 2012

Blog article written by Gary W. Brester, professor of Agricultural Economics, Montana State University and AgMRC contributing writer. Overview Barley is a short-season, early maturing crop and is likely the world’s oldest cultivated grain.  It is produced in a variety of climates in both irrigated and dryland production areas.  Barley...

May 22, 2012

Blog article written by Geri Isaacs, freelance writer and farmer from Kentucky and AgMRC contributing writer. According to the Ag Census, the average age of the principal farm operator has increased from 50.3 in 1977 to 57.1 today.  Over the next decade, half the farmers will retire and be replaced...

May 9, 2012

The nation’s 100 largest agriculture cooperatives reported near-record revenue of $118 billion in 2010. This was an increase of 4 percent over 2009 figures.  Net income for the 100 top agriculture co-ops was also up more than 10 percent in 2010, reaching $2.39 billion, up from $2.16 billion in 2009....

April 27, 2012

The 2012 National Value Added Conference will investigate how partnerships between economic development agencies, communities and businesses enhance the quality of life for rural residents by fostering civic infrastructure, strengthening the sustainability of agricultural production, promoting value added products, and improving economic opportunities consistent with the scale and capacity of...

March 22, 2012

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan released a new report on the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally or regionally-grown food to retail and foodservice customers. The report, entitled Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution, shows how these networks tap into...

February 21, 2012

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA's National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, announced Start2farm.gov, a new online portal that helps provide assistance for beginning farmers and ranchers. The portal includes links to training, financing, technical assistance and other support services specifically for beginning farmers and...

April 19, 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is opening the updating process for the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, the official count of the nation's farmers markets. For the first time this year, the directory will also track farmers markets with multiple locations and operating days. All of...

March 10, 2011

Registration is open for the 2011 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference.  The Conference will be held at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis, Missouri on April 12 - April 13, with a Pre-Conference Seminar on April 11, 2011.  The Planning Committee extends a warm invitation...

February 23, 2011

  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the debut of an online mapping tool that captures a broad range of demographic, economic, and agricultural data on rural areas across the United States. The Atlas of Rural and Small-town America, developed by USDA's Economic Research Service, provides county-level mapping of over 60...

January 31, 2011

Blog article written by Dr. Michael Boland, E. Fred Koller endowed chair in agribusiness management and information technology, University of Minnesota. My home county in Minnesota recently received a USDA Rural Development planning grant with matching funds for the development of a rural broadband network. It comes with some controversy...

January 12, 2011

Making the decision to invest in a value-added business requires careful analysis. Should I Invest in Agricultural Start-up Business Ventures will help you think through your investment decision. Attending an equity offering meeting may be the first and/or only exposure you have to the investment opportunity.  So you need to...

December 14, 2010

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the Department has established an online tool that can link retiring farmers who have expiring Conservation Reserve Program contracts with beginning farmers or ranchers who are interested in bringing the land into production. The new online resource, TIP Net, is a website provided by...

December 1, 2010

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the fifth in a series of small business conferences aimed at increasing USDA's Food Commodity Contracting Opportunities for Rural America initiative. The conference will take place on December 7 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The initiative is designed to enable rural economic growth by increasing small...

November 5, 2010

USDA selected recipients in 36 states to receive funds to make loans to boost small business development, create jobs, and strengthen rural communities. The funding is being provided through the Rural Microentreprenuer Assistance Program (RMAP), which was authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).  In...

 

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