Farmer Doug Goyings examines the drought-damaged corn on his farm in Paulding County, OH on Tuesday, July 17, 2012. USDA photo by Christina Reed.
The 2012 drought dried up more than just crops. For many U.S. farmers, it also dried up savings, material resources, and perhaps saddest of all, hope.
“The drought of course impacted our crop yields tremendously,” said veteran Ohio dairy farmer Leon Weaver. “Corn yields were about 50 percent of normal. Dairymen are exiting this business in droves.”
But for Weaver and nearly one hundred other Ohio, Michigan and Indiana farmers who gathered recently in rural Henry County, Ohio, hope was a commodity worth trading as they shared, in roundtable fashion, their ideas on how to access resources and rise from the dust. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks at the opening session of a Federal Drought Workshop in Omaha, NE on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. This was the first of four regional workshops to outline resources available to assist with drought recovery effort.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack participated in the kickoff of four regional workshops on drought recovery, the first of which was held Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska. More than 200 people gathered in Omaha to discuss ways to access existing resources and to offer ideas on new efforts to assist those impacted by drought. Read more »
A Chinese delegation observes methods used to prepare noodles with dry bean flour during a reverse trade mission site visit to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Beijing recently partnered with the U.S. dry edible bean industry to launch a program that aims to pack more protein into Chinese diets. (Courtesy University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
The Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Beijing recently partnered with the U.S. dry edible bean industry to launch a program that aims to pack more protein into Chinese diets.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), along with the Nebraska Dry Bean Commission (NDBC), joined the FAS Beijing ATO to begin a program to promote the use of U.S. dry beans within China. NDA and NDBC funded research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to show how dry beans can be used in various ways. For example, dry beans may be ground into flour and added to pastry flour to increase the nutritional value of noodles, which are a staple in the Chinese diet. Traditionally, China has used dry beans for bean paste or soup but little else. Read more »
The USDA mural displayed at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.
The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture (NCTA) has a new mural added to its collection at its new Nebraska Agriculture Industry Education Center. The USDA mural depicts the various projects that can be accomplished through the programs and funding offered through the USDA Mission Areas.
USDA Rural Development State Director Maxine Moul was in Curtis last week with the Dean of NCTA, Dr. Weldon Sleight, who gave her a tour of the mural and the Education Center. Moul serves as the chair of the Nebraska Food and Agriculture Council, whose membership includes the USDA agencies located in Nebraska. Coordinating the creation and installation of the mural were the USDA Agencies of Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Rural Development. Read more »
Late last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack went to Omaha, Nebraska to discuss the President’s “All of the above” energy strategy, and meet with wind energy and rural development officials. Speaking to members of the American Coalition for Ethanol, he said that while the drought is severe and the Obama Administration is moving to help affected farmers and ranchers, we won’t know the impact of this drought until harvest time – but we do know that working together, we will get through this challenge.
The Secretary noted that Nebraska has been hit hard by drought. Today, USDA declared an additional 172 additional counties across the United States as primary natural disaster areas due to drought – and as of today, all of the State of Nebraska is covered by primary or contiguous disaster designations for drought.
Read more »
When you woke up this morning, chances are you turned on a light, took a shower in your bathroom, brushed your teeth with running water and checked the Internet. For too many people in Indian Country, this simple daily process is currently unattainable. Services most Americans take for granted are not always available in Indian Country.
Last week, I joined other USDA officials in attending the National Congress of American Indians Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. I discussed all of the remarkable progress that USDA and Secretary Vilsack have made when it comes to supporting Native Americans, especially those who live on reservations or trust areas. Read more »