Vilsack Addresses Efforts To Promote Equity

Earlier this week, Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack addressed their latest efforts to promoted equality among all of the USDA’s program, which he stressed are open to all producers. “We’ll have an Equity Commission, which will begin the process of investigating all of the programs at the USDA to make sure that we identify and root […]

USDA Working To Stave Off Bird Flu

The United States has not reported a serious avian influenza outbreak among commercial poultry flocks for four years. So what has the industry and USDA been doing in the meantime?  Dr. Barbara Porter-Spalding, with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said they keep practicing and keep running exercises and drills to be ready with […]

Farm Groups Seek Passive of COVID-19 Bill with Relief for Minority Farmers

A coalition of agriculture groups urges lawmakers to support emergency relief for farmers and ranchers of color. In a letter to leadership of the House and Senate, the coalition says they are “committed to improving the financial and rural development interests of this nation’s Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and People of Color farmers and ranchers.” Specifically, […]

Wheat Conditions Struggling Nationwide

Nationally, wheat futures have rallied this week, primarily because of the wheat conditions across the Midwest. USDA Outlook Board Chairman, Mark Jekanowski, said for example in Texas only 28% of its wheat crop is rated good to excellent shape. “But it’s still a little bit too early at this point to make any real assessment […]

Harden Named President/CEO at U.S. Dairy Export Council

Dairy Management Inc. and the U.S. Dairy Export Council announced the promotion of Krysta Harden from chief operating officer to President and CEO. Harden was named COO in May 2020. During that time, she continued her role as executive vice-president of global environmental strategy for DMI, which manages the national dairy checkoff for 34,000 dairy […]

U.S. Dairy Farm Numbers Continue to Decline

Data from the USDA shows the number of licensed dairy operators in the United States continues to decline. USDA’s Milk Production report showed the fourth-largest year-over-year decline in the number of licensed dairy operations in the last 15 years. There were 2,550 fewer licensed dairy operations in 2020 than in 2019, when the number dropped […]

Sandison Hopeful Trade Climate Will Improve

Many in the Ag industry are trying to prepare for life to return to normal once the pandemic is behind us. One of the best ways to do that, according to Washington state Department of Agriculture director Derek Sandison, improve trade. “If we can get back into the mode at looking at expanding markets, whether […]

USDA Invests $42 Million in Distance Learning and Telemedicine

Late last week, the USDA announced a $42.3 million investment to help rural residents access health care and educational opportunities. USDA said rural areas are seeing higher infection and death rates related to COVID-19 due to several factors, including a much higher percentage of underlying conditions, difficulty accessing medical care, and lack of health insurance. […]

Vilsack: Soil Health A Priority

Many in the farm community see soil health as a priority for American Ag to enjoy an edge. Count Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack as one of them. “We lose 4.5 tons of topsoil every single year,” Vilsack noted. “We only replace it naturally with about a half a ton.” “We have to understand and appreciate […]

Bonnie Stresses Importance Of CCC

USDA’s top official for climate, Robert Bonnie, says moving forward, one of the things he would like to focus on is the Forest Service’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which was set up after The Great Depression. He noted the program creates about 10,000 opportunities annually for young folks, for veterans, and others. “We’ve got an opportunity […]