USDA’s 2012 Sustainability Scorecard showcases the Department’s ongoing commitment to meeting goals that reduce indirect greenhouse gas emissions, decrease energy use per square foot, increase renewable energy use, decrease potable water use per square foot, and incorporate sustainable building practices in new and existing buildings.
In 2012, USDA made significant progress in reducing indirect GHG emissions, largely associated with employee travel and commuting, resulting in an 18 percent reduction in indirect GHG emissions. In 2012, USDA consumed nearly 39,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy, which translates to enough green energy to meet more than seven percent of the Department’s electricity use. Read more »
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.
Are you an organic grain farmer or thinking of becoming one? Or maybe you’re wondering about strategies for improving soil quality or using less pesticide? If so, then you could benefit from research and outreach conducted by staff at the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory (SASL) at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Beltsville, MD.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture has funded two projects through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI) that are helping ARS-SASL reach organic producers. Both projects are setting a high standard for extension activities. Read more »
For the seventh year in a row, thinkers and leaders from the U.S. Forest Service will team up with partners across the country to discuss sustainable operations affecting the agency.
The 7th Annual Forest Service Sustainable Operations Summit will take place in Sacramento Feb. 14 – 16. Hosted by the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest region (California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands) and the agency’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, the summit will be attended virtually by 90 percent of the participants from around the country. Read more »
Dan Forgey has always had an abiding respect for the land that he’s farmed for more than 40 years, which is why, as manager of the 8,500-acre Cronin Farms in Gettysburg, South Dakota, he strives to build soil health—and yields—sustainably. First, he shifted the farm to 100 percent no-till in 1993. Then in 2006, after spending years developing diverse crop rotations, he received a grant from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, a USDA-funded grants and outreach program, to test the introduction of cover crops into his system. This move has given him higher yields with fewer inputs, and therefore better profits. Read more »
Another impeccable line-up of speakers, led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, has been announced for the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum. Titled “Today’s Strategies & Tomorrow’s Opportunities,” the Forum will be held February 24-25, 2011, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va. The Plenary Panel speakers include:
Moderator—Christine Cochran, President, Commodity Markets Council; Nariman Behravesh, Chief Economist, IHS Global Insight on Critical Issues Shaping the Global Economic Outlook; Charles Whitman, Founder and CEO, Infinium Capital Management on Electronic Trading and the Globalization of Grain Markets; Pete Nessler, President, FCStone, LLC on A Brokerage Firm’s Approach to Risk Management; Michael Copps, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission on Opening the Internet to the Rural Community. Read more »
Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, addresses the symposium on sustainability.
USDA science agencies recently joined the National Research Council, Farm Foundation, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and Organic Farming Research Foundation in a symposium to discuss implementing the recommendations of the National Research Council report, “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century.” Read more »