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Posts tagged: Open Gov

Why Open Data Matters: G-8 and African Nations Increase Open Data for Food Security

From left: The G-8 Heads of Delegation Valery Khromchenkov (Russia), Robert Turnock (Canada), Hideaki Chotoku (Japan), Tim Wheeler (United Kingdom), Guillou Marion (France), Martin Koehler (Germany), and Giulio Menato (European Union) listen to Agriculture Under Secretary Research, Education and Economics (REE) Dr. Catherine Woteki (U.S.) announce the action plans developed at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013. The conference launched a new "virtual community" as part of a suite of actions, including the release of new data that the U.S. is taking to give farmers and ranchers, scientists, policy makers and other members of the public easy access to publicly funded data to help increase food security and nutrition. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

From left: The G-8 Heads of Delegation Valery Khromchenkov (Russia), Robert Turnock (Canada), Hideaki Chotoku (Japan), Tim Wheeler (United Kingdom), Guillou Marion (France), Martin Koehler (Germany), and Giulio Menato (European Union) listen to Agriculture Under Secretary Research, Education and Economics (REE) Dr. Catherine Woteki (U.S.) announce the action plans developed at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

Recently, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack opened the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture here in Washington.  As head of the U.S. Delegation, the Secretary noted that “Data is quickly becoming one of the most important commodities in agriculture,” and encouraged the sharing of data to magnify its power. Hundreds of individuals attended from around the world and thousands more watched the event as it was streamed on the Internet. In this blog, Katherine Townsend, Special Assistant for Engagement at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) gives an example of how open data can improve crop yield and help producers keep more of the income generated by their labor. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Accomplishing More by Democratizing Data

Here in the United States, we enjoy incredible benefits from scientific research – including an amazing amount of useful data.

Data is a very powerful tool, and an important asset for innovation. President Obama made clear on his first day in office that the U.S. is committed to openness in government, and that includes expanded access to scientific data.

We have a history of achieving great things by providing open access to data. For example, the release of weather data has fueled production of new tools that return more than $4 billion every year to the U.S. economy. The release of Global Positioning System technology has led to an industry that returns an estimated $90 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Read more »

Trade Documents at Your Fingertips: Anytime, Anywhere

Over the last three years, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has worked with the peanut and dairy industries to create a government-hosted electronic trade document repository. The eTrade Document Exchange (eTDE) System, funded by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service through the Market Access Program, makes electronic trade documents, including official certificates, available securely through the Internet to facilitate the domestic and international movement of U.S. agricultural products.

This system provides users with the ability to access commodity-related trade documents as PDF files that can be used to verify hard copy documents or to eliminate the use of hard copy documents entirely. It allows authorized product owners, buyers, carriers, brokers, and government port agents access to critical information around the clock and around the world.

USDA collaborates with trade associations to provide this information as an export service to the supply chain. The certificates available in the repository are provided by a variety of document providers. Some certificates are provided by USDA, some by programs under department certification, and some from commercial sources that operate independently. USDA validates the identity of each document provider and has security controls in place to ensure that certificate data obtained from providers remains unaltered once it is posted to the site. Read more »

Creatively Shaping the Future of Federal Nutrition Research

Are you interested in helping shape the future of USDA human nutrition research? What human nutrition-related issues are you interested in? Childhood obesity? The nutrient content of foods? Health promotion and disease prevention? Now’s your chance to let your voice be heard. Be an active participant by visiting our “Idea Space” and sharing your thoughts with us. Your input will help guide us in setting our human nutrition research priorities for the future. Our research helps solves problems that affect Americans’ lives every day. Help us decide which problems should be our priorities.

As USDA’s chief scientific research agency, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is leading America towards a better future through agricultural research and information. Now ARS wants your input in planning its human nutrition research program for the next five years. Read more »

Data Dashboards: Bringing More Market Information to Life

A screenshot of the Boxed Beef Dashboard. The livestock dashboards allow you to see weekly volume and price information presented in graphs and tables that can be customized for viewing and downloaded for use in reports and presentations.

A screenshot of the Boxed Beef Dashboard. The livestock dashboards allow you to see weekly volume and price information presented in graphs and tables that can be customized for viewing and downloaded for use in reports and presentations.

It has been said that the most successful person in life (and in business) is often the one who has the best information.  For almost a century USDA Market News has been providing farmers, ranchers and businesses with the best market and pricing information.  Our real-time commodity reports, produced by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), provide quick and easy access to volume and price information for boxed beef, cattle, hogs, and sheep.

Over the years, our reports have evolved to better meet the changing demands of the farmers and ranchers who rely on our data to remain competitive.  In the summer of 2010, we launched the first of our livestock data dashboards, providing a highly customized experience for our data consumers.

The Boxed Beef Dashboard, the newest addition to the Livestock and Grain Market News dashboards, includes a lot of the same great tools that have made our other dashboards so popular—interactive features for querying and viewing information, like navigation tabs, slide bars, graphs, tables, and daily market tickers.

A unique feature on the new Boxed Beef Dashboard displays a diagram of a steer that dynamically illustrates the area of the animal the cut of meat comes from. It also shows a color photograph and brief description of the wholesale beef cut, providing quick visual cues to help sort and sift the information more quickly.

Like all of our dashboards, it also offers a range of options to download and export custom datasets, giving you only the datapoints that are most meaningful to you.  The users’ guide provides a feature-by-feature overview of the dashboard and is a great place to start if you’re new to the datasets.

USDA Market News has been providing market information on cotton, dairy, livestock and grains, poultry and eggs, and fruits and vegetables for over 90 years. By visiting USDA Market News you can view hundreds of pre-made commodity reports—including the livestock dashboards—or create a custom report to see only the information you need.

Get the same insight as other industry insiders—visit the livestock dashboards.

Data-Lovers Rejoice: More Farmers Market Geocodes Available

A map plotting the updated locations of U.S. Farmers Markets.  Geocode data is now available for over 6,200 markets.

A map plotting the updated locations of U.S. Farmers Markets. Geocode data is now available for over 6,200 markets.

With nearly 2 million page views in 2011 alone, the USDA National Farmers Market Directory is one of the Department of Agriculture’s most popular consumer search engines. Read more »