A mother and son shop for veggies and flowers—both specialty crops—at a local farmers market. Over half the foods we eat are considered specialty crops. Support for this vital sector of agriculture relies on the stability provided through a comprehensive Farm Bill. Photo by Melinda Shelton.
“Specialty crops”—the label may sound like exotic foods or something reserved for a special occasion, but this area of agriculture represents more than half the foods we eat on a daily basis. Defined as fruits and veggies, tree nuts, herbs, dried fruit, decorative plants and flowers, these crops are not only a key component of a healthy diet—they are also key to sustaining U.S. farms and agriculture. Read more »
I am excited to report that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead the U.S. delegation for an important conference at the end of April at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture in Washington. I will join the Secretary at the conference to launch the G8 countries’ collaborative effort to make our agriculturally-relevant research and statistical data accessible to users in Africa and around the world. Read more »
Fresh broccoli in bins at the Orange County Food Bank. With a Federal-State Marketing Improvement program grant, the California Association of Food Banks was able to dramatically expand its Farm to Family program and bring more nutrient-dense foods to area food banks. Photo courtesy Ron Ploof
Sometimes it can take a while to turn a good idea into a successful venture. At USDA, we understand the value of research, and by providing resources to get things started at the local level, we often see amazing results that have positive impact for farmers, agribusinesses and consumers across the country. Read more »
By Anita Regmi, USDA Research, Education, and Economics
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.
Living and traveling through rural South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, I have seen firsthand the challenges faced by many families as they strive to eke out a livelihood off a small, unyielding patch of land. The difficulties faced by such families will only become more severe as climate change, population growth, and increased use of arable land to produce alternative uses for food such as biofuels erode food availability. Read more »