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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 »

USDA and Alaska Tribal Governments – Teamwork at Its Best

They say nothing beats teamwork and that can certainly be said about a very forward-thinking and ambitious project being led by USDA-Rural Development in Alaska.

USDA-RD Alaska State Director Jim Nordlund is leading the efforts to coordinate several federal agencies in organizing statewide collaboration meetings with Alaska tribal governments.  The collaboration will involve 12-18 meetings held over the next eleven months.  This effort is in response to a memorandum signed by President Obama directing federal agencies to engage in regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials. Read more »

Get the Inside Scoop on our Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Onions and other crops being grown on Zenger Farm. The non-profit that runs the farm, Friends of Zenger Farm, was awarded a grant through the state of Oregon this fall for an initiative that aims to increase the number of community farms accepting SNAP.  Photo by Theo Elliot.

Onions and other crops being grown on Zenger Farm. The non-profit that runs the farm, Friends of Zenger Farm, was awarded a grant through the state of Oregon this fall for an initiative that aims to increase the number of community farms accepting SNAP. Photo by Theo Elliot.

As part of our continuing education efforts, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is pleased to announce the next installment of our webinar series. This episode is designed for people interested in applying for grants offered through local state departments of agriculture for our Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack to Moderate a Panel of Former Secretaries of Agriculture at USDA’s 2012 Outlook Forum

A historic gathering of former Secretaries of Agriculture will occur at the 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum. Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate a plenary panel of former Secretaries of Agriculture invited to speak on “Agriculture: Visions of the Future.”  At least six of the last eight Secretaries will participate on the panel. The Forum will be held February 23-24, 2012, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

Secretary Vilsack will deliver the Forum keynote address at USDA’s annual meeting titled “Moving Agriculture Forward.”  Twenty-five breakout sessions with more than 80 speakers will focus on a broad range of topical issues related to agriculture and global food security; foreign trade, financial markets, and economic development; conservation; energy; climate change; food safety; food hubs; extension programs; and next generation farmers.  The Forum continues to feature USDA’s agricultural economic outlook and the commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks. Read more »

Capitol Christmas Tree Arrives at Capitol After 4,500-Mile Journey

Upon arrival at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 28, the 63-foot white fir from Stanislaus National Forest was lifted and positioned on the west front lawn. It takes approximately one week for the tree to be decorated with thousands of ornaments and lights, and the tree will be lit on Dec. 6.

Upon arrival at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 28, the 63-foot white fir from Stanislaus National Forest was lifted and positioned on the west front lawn. It takes approximately one week for the tree to be decorated with thousands of ornaments and lights, and the tree will be lit on Dec. 6.

A 63-foot Sierra white fir from Stanislaus National Forest arrived Monday morning and is now gracing the west front lawn of the Capitol. Read more »

Second USDA Executive Master Gardener Class Blooms

Class of 2010 graduates sing a sweet tune welcoming our “new-bees” as Executive Master Gardeners

Class of 2010 graduates sing a sweet tune welcoming our “new-bees” as Executive Master Gardeners

A budding new crop of People’s Garden volunteers recently blossomed. Nearly 60 USDA employees received certificates at a ceremony, marking their completion of the department’s 2011 Executive Master Gardener (EMG) training program. Class of 2011 graduates were welcomed as “new-bees” during a sweet serenade sung by EMG alumni at the beginning of the certificate ceremony. Read more »