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USDA Provides One-Stop Information Shop for Ag Exporters

With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements.

With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is helping U.S. agricultural exporters navigate the complexities of the global trading system with its new trade facilitation desk. The FAS trade facilitation desk is just one example of how FAS is streamlining and improving its services to exporters as part of the USDA-wide Blueprint for Stronger Service initiative. The Blueprint is helping USDA modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through use of innovative technologies and business solutions, like the trade facilitation desk.

With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements. The trade facilitation desk also provides troubleshooting support if an exporter runs into issues with a shipment being detained or refused at its destination. Read more »

USDA Scientists Offer Solutions to Global Water Issues

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

This week marks the 19th year of World Water Day. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development designated this day as an annual international event focusing on the importance of sustaining and managing fresh water resources.  This year’s theme is water and food security.  This is such a critical issue to not only to our international friends, but also for U.S. farmers, ranchers, growers, consumers, and conservationists. Read more »

Black Bear Populations Swell in Mississippi with the Help NRCS and Its Partners

Farm Bill programs like the Wetlands Reserve Program have helped populations of the Louisiana black bear increase in Mississippi. Biologists estimate the state to be home to 120 black bears. Photos are by Brad Young, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Farm Bill programs like the Wetlands Reserve Program have helped populations of the Louisiana black bear increase in Mississippi. Biologists estimate the state to be home to 120 black bears. Photos are by Brad Young, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Mississippi was once famous for its black bear population. Hunters from across the U.S. traveled to the state to hunt in the forests of the Delta, which teemed with the shy creatures. Read more »

Energy Stakeholders Learn of New Energy Tools, Available Funding, During Meeting in Puerto Rico

Earlier this month, USDA Rural Development Staff in Puerto Rico held an energy stakeholders meeting to present the new online tools available on the revamped Energy Programs website. Also an overview of the projects developed in the island with the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) funds were highlighted throughout the reunion.

The forum moderator was José Otero-García, the State Director for USDA Rural Development in Puerto Rico. The list of attendees include representatives from the banking industry, universities delegates, federal & state government executives, business owners, technical consultants and local ranchers and farmers. Also present at the meeting was the Resident Commissioner in the United States Congress, Honorable Pedro Pierluisi, who offered the greeting remarks and reaffirmed his commitment to support renewable energy initiatives in the island. Read more »

Breakfast in the Classroom Has Dallas Kids Going For the Gold!

Southwest Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig receives a gold medal from Charles Rice Learning Center for being a breakfast champion.

Southwest Regional Administrator Bill Ludwig receives a gold medal from Charles Rice Learning Center for being a breakfast champion.

When I was a kid, my mom used to tell us to eat our breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day. Well here we are decades later and there are studies that prove kids who aren’t hungry perform much better scholastically. In fact, a recent study from the Food Research and Action Center shows that classroom behavior improves, the number of school tardies is reduced and test scores increase when children eat breakfast. Here in Dallas we’ve made great strides to make it easier for kids to eat a healthy breakfast by making school breakfast available in the classroom in over 60 schools. Read more »

Prescribed Grazing System and Watering Facilities Keep Cattle Farm Running through Drought

Mike Whitis, left, Benton County NRCS district conservationist, and Craig Oliphnant discuss the operation of Oliphnant’s new livestock watering tank.

Mike Whitis, left, Benton County NRCS district conservationist, and Craig Oliphnant discuss the operation of Oliphnant’s new livestock watering tank.

The hot, dry Arkansas summer last year affected cattle farmers across Arkansas. But thanks to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Illinois River Sub-Basin and Eucha-Spavinaw Lake Watershed Initiative, Craig and Jay Oliphnant’s operation has been able to effectively weather the drought. Read more »