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Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

Cross-Posted from the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Blog

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems.  As a representative to the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), I have been working, along with representatives from other USDA agencies, on identifying where slaughter service availability might be lacking and then determining the best ways to help. Read more »

Motivating Schools To Make a Change – HealthierUS School Challenge Additions

Logan Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, is pretty special, in my estimation. It’s is a great example of what a growing number of schools across the country are doing to tackle the obesity crisis gripping our kids and help their students develop healthy lifestyles. Read more »

Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

This FSIS map shows the density of small livestock and poultry producers in relation to the locations of Federally- and State-inspected slaughter establishments. USDA uses the map to identify gaps in slaughter availability.

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems. Read more »

At the Indiana State Fair: Farmers, The First Entrepreneurs

Ed. Note: Building on the President’s commitment to address issues important to rural Americans, Administration officials are visiting state fairs all summer. See a map of where we’ve been so far, and hear from SBA Deputy Administrator Johns about her recent visit to the Indian State Fair:

Having grown up in Indiana, I know firsthand that there is much debate over what a “Hoosier” is, but I can tell you for certain that there were many at the Indiana State Fair. From the young 4-H and FFA participants that I met at a pancake breakfast, to the small businesses selling their products, and the family farmers displaying their livestock, Hoosiers represent the diversity and growth of the small business community. Read more »

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen Sworn In as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen is sworn in to her new position as Under Secretary for Food Safety. Pearlie S. Reed, Assistant Secretary for Administration, swears her in as her husband, Dr. Daniel Gabbay, holds the Bible.

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen is sworn in to her new position as Under Secretary for Food Safety. Pearlie S. Reed, Assistant Secretary for Administration, swears her in as her husband, Dr. Daniel Gabbay, holds the Bible.

Secretary Tom Vilsack’s sunny office overlooking the National Mall set the perfect background this morning for Elisabeth Hagen’s first moments as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety.

While her husband, Dr. Daniel Gabbay, proudly held the Bible on which she was sworn in, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen was excitedly welcomed to her new position. Because Secretary Vilsack was traveling, Assistant Secretary Pearlie Reed administered the oath before an excited group of USDA staff. Read more »

USDA Agencies Collect Food, Hold Contest, to Benefit DC Area Families

The winning USDA canned food sculpture.

The winning USDA canned food sculpture.

The final USDA Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families event, a food sculpture contest, was held August 19, at the Whitten Patio, in the USDA National Office in Washington, D.C. There were five USDA Agency teams competing. USDA Rural Development took first place!  We had a great team that planned and worked well together and had a lot of fun in bringing home the win. The judges commented that our entry best tied together rural America, farms, and food and was the most original. The food drive is nationwide and continues through August 31st.  For more information, click here. Read more »