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At COP-17 in Durban, Agriculture is Playing a Starring Role

Ashley Allen, from USAID, moderated the USDA sponsored agriculture events.

Ashley Allen, from USAID, moderated the USDA sponsored agriculture events.

Each year, high level government officials from the world’s nations gather together under the banner of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to confront the growing challenge of climate change.   This year, the conference COP-17, so named because it is the 17th such conference to take place since the UNFCCC entered into force, is taking place in Durban, South Africa. Read more »

USDA a Leader in Aerial Photography, Mapping for U.S. Agriculture

Roads and Rails dataset layer place on top of NAIP 2006 imagery dataset located in Salt Lake County, UT.  (Photo courtesty of NAIP)

Photo courtesy of the National Agriculture Imagery Program.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) employees from communities across Montana met in the state capitol this month to participate in the first annual Geographic Information System (GIS) Day in Helena. More than 20 FSA employees joined dozens of other GIS professionals from private, state and federal government to learn more about GIS technology and real-world mapping applications that are making a difference in our society. Read more »

NRCS Reduces Waste for Mississippi Chicken Farmer

NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Joe Addy worked with Diem Nguyen, her husband, John Pham, and daughter, Angela, to make their Newton, Miss. chicken farm more environmental friendly.

NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Joe Addy worked with Diem Nguyen, her husband, John Pham, and daughter, Angela, to make their Newton, Miss. chicken farm more environmental friendly.

Diem Nguyen moved to the U.S. in the 1970s to pursue the American dream. She worked first as a restaurateur and then an accountant. But the career she cherishes the most is her current one—operating a chicken farm in rural Mississippi. Read more »

Where Should Local Foods be Served? At a Local Foods Conference of Course!

South Dakota held its first state-wide Local Foods Conference on November 11-12th in Huron, S.D.  In conjunction with the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA), South Dakota USDA Rural Development sponsored the two day event meant to continue the dialogue on local foods among producers, consumers, school nutrition programs, grocers, restaurants and resource providers.

Topics covered at the Local Foods Conference on the first day included high tunnels, community gardening, food safety, Farm-to-School, community-supported agriculture, value-added agriculture products, organics and farmers’ markets.  The South Dakota State University Extension Service hosted a Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training on the second day. Other sponsors included the South Dakota Value Added Ag Development Center, Buy Fresh Buy Local and Dakota Rural Action. Read more »

The Food Safety Discovery Zone Cooks Up Food Safety with Culinary Stars at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show

BAC!®, the Discovery Zone’s “green bacteria” mascot greets Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show attendees as they line up to tour the interactive and educational Food Safety Discovery Zone.

BAC!®, the Discovery Zone’s “green bacteria” mascot greets Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show attendees as they line up to tour the interactive and educational Food Safety Discovery Zone.

Last month, thousands of foodies packed into the Washington Convention Center for the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show to gain culinary wisdom from icons like Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, and… the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone. Read more »

Information is Key for APHIS Veterinarian Dr. David Dargatz

Hello, I’m Dr. David Dargatz.  I work as an epidemiologist and beef cattle specialist for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health in Fort Collins, Colorado.  My work includes coordinating/conducting national studies of health and management practices on beef cattle operations as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS).  I’ve been with APHIS since 1988.  In the past, I’ve also worked on NAHMS dairy and swine studies.

Like many other veterinarians, I became interested in veterinary medicine from exposure to the local practitioners in my home town.  My family had horses and needed the services of a veterinarian from time to time.  The two practitioners in the local clinic encouraged me to ride with them on calls and spend some time in the clinic to see what veterinary practice was like.  By the time I was halfway through high school, I knew this was the profession for me – it allowed me to combine my interests in horses and other livestock, science, and being outdoors. Read more »