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Posts tagged: GIPSA

USDA Innovation Improves Rice Grading

Broken kernels are indicated above.

Broken kernels are indicated above.

With a little help from USDA, consumer-grade photo scanners could revolutionize rice grading.

Consumers much prefer whole kernels of milled rice over broken pieces.  Whole kernels offer more consistent cooking qualities and are in many cases considered more visually appealing.  As a result, the price paid to a rice producer for a load of rough rice can be impacted by the percentage of broken kernels within a sample of rice after it has been milled.

USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration is developing software for use with consumer-grade photo scanners to measure the percent of broken kernels in milled rice quickly and accurately.   When rough rice is graded in accordance with USDA’s Rice Grading Standards, the percentage of broken kernels within a sample is determined by a trained grader’s visual inspection. Read more »

Join Us at the USDA Harvest Festival

The People's Garden Harvest Festival poster. Click to enlarge for larger version.

The People's Garden Harvest Festival poster. Click to enlarge for larger version.

You’re invited to the USDA Harvest Festival on Friday, November 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come celebrate the end of the growing season in the People’s Garden and at the USDA Farmers Market. Take advantage of the last opportunity of the year to shop the outdoor USDA Farmers Market located along 12th Street, SW in between Jefferson Drive and Independence Avenue in Washington, DC.

The day will be filled with fun activities and educational demonstrations that are free and fun for the whole family. Here’s a list of the planned events: Read more »

GIPSA’s National Grain Center Hosts Secretary Tom Vilsack

Sec. Tom Vilsack visited the grain grading laboratory of GIPSA's Board of Appeals and Review (BAR) and the Grading Service Laboratory (GSL) on October 23, 2013.   BAR staff explain their grading review process while BAR Chairman Jim Whalen looks on.

Sec. Tom Vilsack visited the grain grading laboratory of GIPSA's Board of Appeals and Review (BAR) and the Grading Service Laboratory (GSL) on October 23, 2013. BAR staff explain their grading review process while BAR Chairman Jim Whalen looks on.

The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) National Grain Center (NGC) was proud to host Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday, October 23.  The NGC, located in Kansas City, MO, is home to the Federal Grain Inspection Service’s (FGIS) Technology and Science Division along with staff from FGIS’ Quality Assurance and Compliance Division and Field Management Division.

The grain inspectors, scientists and engineers at the NGC provide a broad spectrum of grain inspection services and support within recently renovated state of the art laboratories.   During the visit, NGC staff demonstrated how they oversee, develop and approve methods and instruments used for grain inspection that ensure the consistent standard of measuring quality essential to grain marketing. Read more »

Federal Grain Inspection Service Adds An Additional Layer of Wheat Quality Assurance

A perfect pie crust is often the measure of a top quality baker.  The “blue ribbon” pie crust is light and flaky.  Even the best baker’s skills, however, depend on the quality of the ingredients.  The quality of flour is based on the quality of the wheat – and measuring the quality of the wheat is a key responsibility of the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS).

FGIS and the Official Service Providers it supervises conduct Falling Number tests as a measure of wheat quality.  Scientists and technicians at FGIS’s National Grain Center will soon begin a quality assurance program to monitor these tests and verify the original results to ensure that any procedural issues that could possibly impact the results of these important tests are quickly

addressed.  FGIS will monitor a percentage of all tests performed throughout the Official testing system.  Last year, over 25,000 Falling Number tests were performed on wheat targeted for sale domestically and abroad. Read more »

Feeding the World With Quality and Nutritious Grain Products

USAID’s Food for Peace program has provided U.S. grown food and nourishment to billions of hungry people in 150 countries during the past 50+ years.  The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) plays an important supporting role in ensuring that the grain and products provided are of high quality and meet nutritional specifications. Read more »

Earth Day in the People’s Garden – Agency Exhibits and Activities

Stop by the USDA’s People’s Garden today from 10 am – 2 pm for Earth Day activities and exhibits:

The People’s Garden – encourages you to get your hands dirty at the People’s Garden worm count activity! Our volunteers with green thumbs will be on hand, helping children create mini greenhouse necklaces and dispensing Earth Day passports that’ll keep you moving from activity to activity.  Visit with Wicked Delicate, a partner of the People’s Garden, at their Truck Farm demonstration in ‘The People’s Garden’ on Earth Day. They’ve launched a mobile farm tour as part of Earth Week to encourage growing, eating healthy food whether in a truck or other unexpected place.

 Agricultural Marketing Service – will feature information about how to find a farmer’s market in your community as well as seed testing and identification.  USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service administers programs that facilitate the efficient, fair marketing of U.S. agricultural products, including food, fiber and specialty crops.

 Agricultural Research Servicewill show you how it’s using remote sensing to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.  A special “Frog Fling” contest will help kids learn how to identify healthy ecosystems.

 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Servicewill teach parents and children about aquatic Federal Noxious Weeds.  Dr. Al Tasker, National Noxious Weeds Program Manager, will be on hand to teach participants how to identify weeds and how to report noxious weed findings, as well as answer questions.  

 BioPreferred – will tell you about BioPreferred and biobased products.  You can learn about an up-and-coming Federal program run by USDA that promotes the use and sale of biobased products not only to open up new agricultural markets and increase energy independence but to improve the environment by lowering our carbon footprint.  BioPreferred will have biobased product samples available for visitors to look at across different areas—construction, janitorial, cafeteria and more. Be sure to pick up a brochure with more program information and don’t forget to grab our very popular petroleum-free lip balm!

 Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion & Food and Nutrition Service – will disseminate education materials about the State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as well as information about nutrition education materials, MyPyramid, recipe cards, and healthy eating tips.   

 Departmental Management/Office of Operations – will teach you about green roofs and conserving water at home.  Be sure to stop by for some energy giveaways while supplies last. 

 Farm Service Agency – will focus on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which encourages the replacement of natural wetlands that removes nitrogen from water supplies.  Information about the Source Water Protection Program also will be available along with Biodegradable bags, FSA Coloring Books for the children and other agency promotional items.   

 Food Safety and Inspection Service – will focus on the importance of the four safe food handling behaviors—Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill, and demonstrate how to use these behaviors to reduce the risk of foodborne illness and Be Food Safe.

 Forest Service – will show you easy and effective hands-on demonstrations of the Importance of forests to water resources.  This hands-on educational demonstration using water will encourage kids to think about the sources of clean water and its value to the environment and their health.  The demonstration will show how forests act like sponges, filters, umbrellas, and homes, and how this ties to clean water and healthy aquatic ecosystems. This experiment is geared to encourage kids to get involved in projects to protect our water sources. 

 Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration – will show you how to grind flour for pancakes using a grain mill as well as host a series of activities involving grain and livestock which include a word search and coloring page, sand art in a bottle with grains instead of sand, scales to weigh toy animals with a worksheet visitors can use to calculate what the pay rate would be and determine how much the seller is owed for the livestock, and show a model of a stockyard with toy animals .

 National Agricultural Library – will provide information on topics that include gardening, lawn care, diet, nutrition, food safety, pets, floral images, fun things for kids and much more. 

 National Agricultural Statistics Service – will feature the results of the 2008 Organic Production Survey. Visitors also will be able to find out about the On-Farm Energy Production Survey that will be conducted in May and June. Kids are encouraged to stop by NASS’ booth for some fun activities.

 Natural Resources Conservation Service – will feature a “Restoring the Nation’s Wetlands,” 10-ft X 10-ft Nomadic-type display a water erosion demonstration by two of our soil scientist to show youngsters how important it is to protect the soil.

 Rural Development – will highlight Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Programs.  Rural communities benefit through the provision of cleaner water, and better wastewater treatment systems and reliable, modern plants.   Also on hand will be the Delaware Rural Water Association who will provide their on-site working  water system which allows visitors to see what goes on in-between the well and to your tap at home including, water filtration, chemical injection and water storage tank.  The on-site training trailer allows the public to see the science and processes needed to receive clean drinking water every day. The on-site trailer also demonstrates water testing equipment, hydrant, safety equipment and training information.

 SPECIAL GUESTS will be on hand for photo ops – Stop by and meet Woodsy Owl, Sammy Soil and Power Panther!

 SPECIAL MUSICAL GUESTS Mucho Gusto who are Sam Morgan and Tabby.