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Deadline for DCP, ACRE Program Looming; Producers Must Enroll by June 1

The deadline for the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election Program (ACRE), is quickly approaching. Producers who have not signed up for either program have until June 1 to do so.

“Producers must be aware of these deadlines and take action,” USDA Farm Service Agency Acting Director Bruce Nelson told me. Read more »

USDA Holds Plant Variety Protection Office Board Meeting

Innovation was the buzz word during the 2011 USDA Science and Technology Plant Variety Protection Office (PVPO) Board Meeting.

The PVPO, part of the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Science and Technology Program, gives legal intellectual property rights, similar to patents, to breeders of new varieties of plants which are produced by seeds such as corn and soybean or by tubers such as potatoes. The program protects intellectual property rights by offering certificates to owners of unique plant varieties so that they can introduce them to the marketplace.  The board, made up of a diverse group of experts in the plant variety development field, met to discuss pressing industry matters and address how the PVPO conducts its business. Read more »

U.S. Agribusinesses Shine at SIAL Canada Trade Show

Last week, I traveled to Canada – the second-largest market for U.S. agricultural products.  Wanting to see our companies promoting U.S. export sales, I attended SIAL Canada, an international trade show in Toronto, which welcomed more than 530 exhibitors and 12,000 food and agricultural business professionals from around the world.

While there, I met with the 28 American companies exhibiting in the USA pavilion, which was endorsed by USDA. Many of the companies were only able to attend the show because of support from the State Trade Regional Groups (STRGs) and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) market development programs. Read more »

A USDA Rural Development Funded Assisted Living Facility for Older Adults Opens in Mars, Pennsylvania

Left to Right, David Fenoglietto, CEO Lutheran SeniorLife; Susan DiGiralomo, Lutheran SeniorLife; and Lambert Rosenbaum, USDA Rural Development.

Left to Right, David Fenoglietto, CEO Lutheran SeniorLife; Susan DiGiralomo, Lutheran SeniorLife; and Lambert Rosenbaum, USDA Rural Development.

USDA and Lutheran SeniorLife recently celebrated the dedication and open house of RoseCrest Assisted Living Facility. USDA Rural Development provided a $3 Million Community Facilities loan for the construction of the new state-of-the-art facility designed specifically for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia requiring memory support. Read more »

Cooking Up a Delicious Meal with a Local Twist

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Located in the one of the most fertile agricultural valleys on Earth is the town of Manteca, Calif.  Surrounded by groves of almonds, cherries, olives and a host of other crops for as far as the eye can see, a group of students sought inspiration for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition  by “going local.” Our judges traveled to the valley recently to visit Joshua Cowell Elementary School in Manteca, to sample the recipe and to watch the students work their magic.

Mary Tolan-Davi (former Director of Manteca Unified School District Nutrition Services) of the recipe team is very proud.  Here is what she had to say about the day the contest judges came to visit on May 10: Read more »

High Wood Product Output Doesn’t Correlate to Higher Carbon Emissions According to US Forest Service Research

A study by researchers at the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory shows that the lowest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions occur in global regions with the highest rates of forest product output.

Counter intuitively global regions with the highest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions rank lowest in forest product output or what is referred to technically as industrial roundwood harvest. Read more »