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You Spoke . . . We Listened – USDA holds Spanish-Language Webinars on Agricultural Resources

Fruit in crates.  A webinar next Thursday will show Spanish-language producers how to get pricing, shipping, volume and other detailed information for hundreds of commodities. Photo courtesy Marty Ringlein

Fruit in crates. A webinar next Thursday will show Spanish-language producers how to get pricing, shipping, volume and other detailed information for hundreds of commodities. Photo courtesy Marty Ringlein

This month, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is holding a webinar about agency services and programs in Spanish.  The webinar, entitled, An Introduction to USDA’s Fruit and Vegetable Market News, will be Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time.  The webinar will provide insight and information on using the Market News portal.  Through the portal, users can generate free, customized reports on pricing, shipping, volume and other detailed information for hundreds of agricultural commodities at domestic and international wholesale markets, production areas and ports of entry.  Dr. Luis Fernando Palmer, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Market News international reports branch chief, will explain how the portal works and how your business can benefit from the information.

This is the second in-language AMS webinar since October.  The first, entitled, An introduction to the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA), provided information to help fruit and vegetable growers, packers, shippers, processors, wholesalers and retailers better understand how PACA establishes and enforces fair business practices across the industry.  Patrick Romero, PACA’s Western regional office director, hosted the webinar and shared insights into how PACA helps companies resolve business disputes while protecting the industry and, ultimately, your business.

This particular set of webinars is timely, given that the U.S. recently celebrated National Hispanic Heritage month.  According to the most recent National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Census of Agriculture, more than 66,600 farms covering over 24.6 million acres of U.S. farmland are operated by individuals of Hispanic, Latino and Spanish origin.  The fact is, more and more farmers, producers and others in the industry have asked for Spanish-language resources and AMS is making every effort to meet their needs.  It’s not the first time we’ve held in-language webinars and I’m pleased to say that it won’t be the last.  As the produce industry continues to diversify, USDA will look for more ways to engage these growing audiences.

The webinars, part of a series of free, interactive information tutorials about AMS programs and services, will also include an interactive question and answer section. Registration is required and space is limited.  To register for the in-language sessions, or to learn about other webinars in the series, visit:  http://bit.ly/R4eBrm. If you miss a webinar, just visit our webinar archive to view it online.

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