I am excited to report that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead the U.S. delegation for an important conference at the end of April at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture in Washington. I will join the Secretary at the conference to launch the G8 countries’ collaborative effort to make our agriculturally-relevant research and statistical data accessible to users in Africa and around the world. Read more »
Consumers and industry look for the USDA grade shields as trusted symbols of wholesome, high-quality American beef. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the agency responsible for grading, continues to explore ways to more efficiently conduct business. Most recently, we used beef instrumentation grading technology to initiate an audit-based Beef Grading Pilot Program at a facility in Toppenish, Washington in August 2012.
Although beef instrumentation grading technology has been in use for several years, it has not reduced the number of graders required at each grading facility until now. By working with the Meat Graders’ Union, we were able to come to an agreement to pilot a program that would have beef industry employees trained to interpret and apply the Official USDA Standards for Grades of Carcass Beef under the oversight of a USDA meat grader. Read more »
Marbled murrelets are not the background singers in a ‘60s band. Rather, they are a native sea bird species whose population south of Canada is declining.
Like the Pacific Northwest’s iconic northern spotted owl, this small seabird’s nesting habitat may be threatened by the loss of coastal old-growth forests in that region, according to a report co-authored by scientists from the U.S. Forest Service and published in The Condor. Read more »
Kentucky is well-known for its “bluegrass” lands, horses, bountiful agriculture and mountainous hills in the Appalachian region of America. A region historically challenged economically. But today, it is a region on the cusp of new economic opportunity. I recently saw first-hand how the region’s collaborative approach to economic development is unleashing a blazoned entrepreneurial spirit that serves as a model for re-establishing the relevance of rural America to our global economy. Read more »
Many people like to add trees to their landscaping to enhance the design of a well-planned yard.
But, it can mean so much more.
Planting trees on your property can lower energy costs and increase carbon storage, reducing your carbon footprint while making your home the show-stopper of the neighborhood. Read more »
High tunnels are hitting the mark for farmers who sell their produce at the Athens Farmers Market. In the past, the market operated once a week on Saturday mornings between April and October. But now, because some northeast Georgia growers are using the tunnels to extend their growing seasons, the market is open twice a week, from April until mid-December—a full eight months! Read more »