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More than 140 U.S. Exhibitors Participate in SIAL Paris to Showcase U.S. Agricultural Products

Trade visitors sample a variety of cheeses at the Rogue Creamery stand in the USA Pavilion. Rogue Creamery, an artisan cheese company, is dedicated to sustainability and the art and tradition of making the world's finest handmade cheese.

Trade visitors sample a variety of cheeses at the Rogue Creamery stand in the USA Pavilion. Rogue Creamery, an artisan cheese company, is dedicated to sustainability and the art and tradition of making the world's finest handmade cheese.

Earlier this week I traveled to Paris to attend the 24th edition of the Salon International d’Alimentation (SIAL). This 5-day event is one of the largest international food and beverage trade exhibitions in the world, attracting 5,500 exhibitors and over 147,000 trade-only visitors representing 188 countries. I was very impressed by the wide variety of U.S. products on display and by the number of participating countries. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Administrator talks Energy in Ohio

As America dedicates more resources to researching, developing and deploying new energy production technologies to help reduce its dependence on petroleum imported from abroad, positive discussions are occurring among energy industry leaders about the environmental and economic impact adopting these emerging technologies might have nationally. Read more »

Food Safety Across Borders

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza (fourth from left) was among the senior executives from 10 federal agencies who took part in the Interagency Import Safety Conference at Dulles, Va., on October 21, 2010.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Administrator Al Almanza (fourth from left) was among the senior executives from 10 federal agencies who took part in the Interagency Import Safety Conference at Dulles, Va., on October 21, 2010.

Yesterday I visited with FSIS personnel and 9 other federal agencies in Dulles, Virginia to focus on a critical element of food safety: protecting the public from unsafe imports. Read more »

USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone to Bring Food Safety to the USA Science Festival

A Revamped Education Campaign from the Food Safety Inspection Service

Come see the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone on October 23-24 at the Inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival. The Zone program incorporates the Be Food Safe campaign with a 40 foot interactive vehicle where consumers can enter and learn about food safety in fun and engaging way. It will be located on the National Mall near the corner of Pennsylvania and 12th Street in Washington, DC. Read more »

Boosting Advanced Biofuel Production and Creating Jobs

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Renewable Energy Initiatives to Spur Rural Revitalization throughout the country.  Secretary Vilsack spoke of the Obama Administration’s effort to promoter production of fuel from renewable sources, create jobs and mitigate the effects of climate change.   The Secretary made these remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Thursday, October 21, 2010.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Renewable Energy Initiatives to Spur Rural Revitalization throughout the country. Secretary Vilsack spoke of the Obama Administration’s effort to promoter production of fuel from renewable sources, create jobs and mitigate the effects of climate change. The Secretary made these remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, on Thursday, October 21, 2010.

Cross-posted from the White House blog.

Our country needs a strong, vibrant rural economy.  Advanced biofuel production will help create it. Not only will biofuel production from non-food sources create new jobs and new streams of farm income, it will improve environmental quality and reduce our dependence on fossil fuel imported from foreign countries. Read more »

USDA Grant Helps Vermont Dairy Turn Manure into Power

This biodigester, recently installed at a Vermont dairy farm, will generate 1.6 million kilowatts annually of clean renewable energy. USDA has programs to help finance biodigesters across the nation.

This biodigester, recently installed at a Vermont dairy farm, will generate 1.6 million kilowatts annually of clean renewable energy. USDA has programs to help finance biodigesters across the nation.

I went to an exciting open house earlier this month at the Chaput Family Farms in North Troy, Vermont showcasing how dairy farmers can convert manure into operating capital. The event featured the newly installed (August 2010) anaerobic digester, manufactured by a California firm.  Approximately 150 people from the dairy industry, power companies, and the businesses that manufactured and installed the digester system joined Judith Canales the Administrator of Business and Cooperative Programs for USDA Rural Development and other government officials on a blustery, wet day to learn how the digester works and how it can invigorate cash flow for dairy operations. Read more »