This week, I joined my colleagues from all over the world for the 37th Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome. This bi-annual conference brings together world leaders in food and agriculture to discuss important issues related to agriculture, forestry, and global food security. This year’s conference is of particular significance as delegates elected a new Director-General, Jose Graziano da Silva of Brazil, to replace Jacques Diouf of Senegal, who has served in the position since 1993. The United States thanks Dr. Diouf for his hard work and dedication during his time as the Director General. We are confident that Dr. Graziano da Silva will continue the ongoing reform effort to ensure that FAO is a strong, vibrant organization capable of tackling the challenges before us. Read more »
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.
Earlier this month, representatives of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) spent two weeks contacting farmers and ranchers around the nation to find out how much U.S. farmland is planted to specific crops and to determine the number of livestock on U.S. farms and ranches in 2011. In all, more than 35,000 interviews were conducted, with Texas accounting for about 5,000 of them. Read more »
Chris Olson learned firsthand that there is much more to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) than he thought. Now he wants to share his story with others.
Olson used USDA Rural Development’s direct home loan program to purchase a home in Cambridge, Minn. He learned about Rural Development’s home loan programs online.
“They really make sure you understand everything there is to know about owning a home,” Olson said. “Payments, budgets, expenses, home maintenance – the homeownership course covers all of that so you are fully prepared before buying the house.” Read more »
Food Safe Families: First-Ever National Multimedia Food Safety Campaign Launches to Reduce Food Poisoning in the U.S.Posted by
Today, USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services launched a true first for our departments and our nation’s public health system. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service partnered with the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ad Council to debut a joint, national, multimedia public service campaign called Food Safe Families to help Americans prevent food-related illnesses in their homes. With this campaign, we’re trying to shift the way people think about food handling so they can take a more proactive, preventive approach at home to help reduce food-related illnesses. Read more »
Two weeks ago, I received a call from my brother and sister-in-law. They had just found out that their home might be impacted by the Missouri River flooding. Read more »
No matter where you live in the United States, you’ve probably noticed that the weather just hasn’t been “normal” in recent months. Our nation has experienced widespread flooding, relentless drought, expansive wildfires, and devastating tornadoes – sometimes all at once.
Some of the blame has to be directed at La Niña, a cooling of the waters of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. La Niña developed during the summer of 2010, leading to a profound influence on North American weather from the autumn of 2010 through the spring of 2011. In typical fashion, La Niña forced the subtropical jet stream northward, resulting in drought development, expansion, and intensification in the South. At the same, time jet stream disruptions induced by La Niña led to persistently cool, wet conditions across roughly the northern half of the U.S. Read more »