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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »