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Posts tagged: OpenGov

An Open Look at How FSIS Enforces the Humane Handling of Livestock

Last week, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service posted on the agency’s web site copies of recent letters that were sent to plants facing enforcement actions for inhumanely treating animals. Posting these humane handling enforcement letters on the web enhances the transparency component of this process and provides the public a clearer understanding of the types of behavior and conditions that warrant enforcement action by FSIS.  This effort is part of a commitment made last year by FSIS to implement new measures to ensure the humane treatment of animals at establishments we regulate.

These letters can be accessed in the agency’s online FOIA reading room and are categorized according to each plant’s designated establishment number, which can be found inside the USDA mark of inspection on food packages at the grocery store. When inhumane handling conditions are encountered, FSIS personnel continue to take action until plant management resolves the problem, often through employee training and facility improvements. Any follow-up correspondence sent to plants also can be accessed in the online FOIA reading room. Read more »

USDA Celebrates the United States’ Entry into the Open Government Partnership

President Obama has made openness a high priority, committing his Administration to an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” on his first full day in office.

Since then, the Administration has disclosed more and more information requested under the Freedom of Information Act. We have made voluminous information available on USDA.gov and other government websites and we have used technology in innovative ways that harness government information to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. Read more »

Farmers’ Input Helps Make USDA Better

Here at USDA, we work every day to help American farmers. It is important to us to hear how we are doing and how we can improve, and that is why I was happy to have the chance to speak with a group of local producers in Louisiana recently.

These Rural Roundtable sessions are being held across the country by senior Administration officials on behalf of the White House Rural Council to explore ways federal, state and local officials can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs, and to increase awareness of USDA programs and services. Read more »

Interactive Web Tool Maps Food Deserts, Provides Key Data

Map in the ERS Food Desert Locator showing the location of food deserts in downtown St. Louis, with  popup window displaying detailed information for a specific tract

Map in the ERS Food Desert Locator showing the location of food deserts in downtown St. Louis, with popup window displaying detailed information for a specific tract

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Ensuring that Americans eat well and lead healthy lives is among our greatest goals at USDA.  First Lady Michelle Obama, of course, has taken an important role on this front – leading a national conversation and administration-wide effort.  As part of the Lets Move! initiative USDA is taking on the challenge of food deserts.  These nutritional wastelands exist across America in both urban and rural communities where parents and children simply do not have access to a supermarket. Read more »

Putting Rural Development on the Map

Home page of online mapping tool, the Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America

Home page of online mapping tool, the Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America

Today, the Economic Research Service (ERS) posted a new and innovative interactive mapping tool that makes it easy to visualize and compare rural economic and social conditions among counties, states, and regions. By creating county-level maps of the United States,  users can see how socioeconomic conditions vary across the United States, or within a state. Read more »

AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs Continues Outreach Efforts

The Fruit and Vegetable Programs of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is intensifying its educational outreach campaign to the industry and consumers.

Customers regularly refer to the Fruit and Vegetable Programs as the “best-kept secret in the produce business” because valuable resources are often underutilized.  The program maintains a lot of beneficial information for the industry, but we had to find different ways to present it.  To improve transparency, we embarked on a communication campaign that now offers an industry newsletter, a series of webinars, and enhancements to our website. Read more »