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Posts tagged: Ag Day

Secretary’s Column: Celebrating the Resilience and Productivity of American Agriculture

On March 19, USDA joined millions of Americans in celebrating National Agriculture Day.

National Agriculture Day provides an important opportunity each year to say “Thank You” to America’s farmers, ranchers and growers. It’s a time to recognize their productivity and to celebrate their abilities.

Their work has real impacts for every American. Our abundant food supply means that we spend a lower portion of our income on food than the people of any other developed nation. Meanwhile, America’s agricultural exports support more than one million jobs here at home.

As we celebrate their achievements, it’s important for all of us to understand the uncertainty faced by our farmers, ranchers and growers. In the past year, they have endured the worst drought in generations – putting an extra strain on farmers, and raising input costs for livestock and dairy producers. The drought continues to impact many areas of the nation today. Read more »

Innovative i-Tree Spreads Worldwide

This is the logo for i-Tree, a suite of urban analysis tools utilized by city foresters in the U.S. The U.S. Forest Service is releasing the latest i-Tree version 5.0 allows upgrading to rapidly assess urban trees and forests throughout Canada and Australia, two of the countries leading i-Tree’s international expansion.

This is the logo for i-Tree, a suite of urban analysis tools utilized by city foresters in the U.S. The U.S. Forest Service is releasing the latest i-Tree version 5.0 allows upgrading to rapidly assess urban trees and forests throughout Canada and Australia, two of the countries leading i-Tree’s international expansion.

When Dave Nowak of the U.S. Forest Service and Scott Maco of Davey Tree Expert Company began collaborating on the creation of a suite of urban forest analysis tools called i-Tree, they imagined that users would be mostly city foresters from the United States.

Inspired by users from 105 countries, the latest version, 5.0, is upgraded to rapidly assess urban trees and forests throughout Canada and Australia, two of the countries leading the free software’s international expansion. One of the major updates is the addition of a new web form that allows the use of smartphones and tablets. Read more »

Women Partners Power Innovation in Nutrition Assistance in the Midwest

Bonnie Dotson and her husband Josh sell fresh fruits and vegetables from their farm at Division Street Market in Chicago, IL.

Bonnie Dotson and her husband Josh sell fresh fruits and vegetables from their farm at Division Street Market in Chicago, IL.

Last summer I witnessed an amazing group of partners – the majority women, coincidentally – making a big difference in the lives of those who suffer from hunger. It all started with USDA’s effort to expand the availability of wireless technology at farmers markets not currently accepting SNAP benefits.

It’s sometimes difficult for markets to accept SNAP, because they need Electronic Benefit Transfer equipment and electricity to process benefits from the card. The funding can be used to help markets purchase the processing equipment, and to pay for wireless service so the equipment can be used without a power source. This is really exciting because it means more SNAP participants can access fresh, affordable and local produce and more American farmers can expand their client base. Read more »

Surveying America’s Farmers Online – An Innovation in Collecting Ag Stats

NASS’ Donald Buysse demonstrates the newly updated EDR to complete the Census of Agriculture survey online.

NASS’ Donald Buysse demonstrates the newly updated EDR to complete the Census of Agriculture survey online.

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

2013 is the International Year of Statistics. As part of this global event, every month this year USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will profile careers of individuals who are making significant contributions to improve agricultural statistics in the United States.

Although the first Census of Agriculture dates back to 1840, the way the data is collected is most assuredly not stuck in the past.  Historically, the main mode of data collection for the ag census has been by mail. There is one reason for this – it has always been cheaper!  With advancements in technology, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has tapped into more cost-efficient ways to collect information. Read more »

You Are What You Eat: Functional Foods’ Role in Improving Health

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

For a lot of people, the food we eat gives us energy to get through the day. However, it’s important to realize that food is more than just calories; there are compounds in food that are essential to strengthening our bodies and improving our health. Food is functional. These compounds may not be essential for normal functioning in humans, but they do have a beneficial effect on disease prevention and general health.

Scientists at Ohio State University (OSU) have conducted research on two foods that could aid in the fight against prostate cancer: tomatoes and soy. With support from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Center for Advanced Functional Foods Research and Entrepreneurship at OSU has developed a cancer-fighting tomato soy juice. Read more »

Tap Into ERS Magazine Anywhere, Anytime

Readers of ERS’s Amber Waves can now access the magazine offline via a mobile app that is free to download on iPads and Android  tablets (left) – without internet or cellular connection. And the Internet edition of Amber Waves configures automatically to fit tablets or other mobile devices.

Readers of ERS’s Amber Waves can now access the magazine offline via a mobile app that is free to download on iPads and Android tablets (left) – without internet or cellular connection. And the Internet edition of Amber Waves configures automatically to fit tablets or other mobile devices.

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

Amber Waves, the flagship magazine of the Economic Research Service has embraced the digital age with its recent launch of a mobile application that readers can download free on iPads and other tablets. It’s among the first government magazines to be available via a mobile app. Readers can now access the magazine on the bus or metro, on a plane, in the classroom – essentially anywhere and anytime – with a touch to their screen. Read more »