WASHINGTON, April 3, 2014 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today the allocation of $48.1 million, provided by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), to projects across the country that will help to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten America’s agriculture economy and the environment. The economic stakes for stopping invasive species are high, with scientists estimating the total economic cost of all invasive species to be approximately $120 billion annually.
WASHINGTON, March 28, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement: "Across the country, farmers and ranchers are taking action to protect natural resources, and the Administration's Methane Reduction Strategy provides additional voluntary actions producers can take to cut methane emissions. USDA will help producers implement these strategies, including methane capture technologies like anaerobic digesters and biogas systems, which create jobs and allow producers to tap into a $3 billion market for renewable energy. Since 2009, USDA has provided $62 million in support for 93 methane digester projects across the United States.
Agriculture Secretary Visits Chicago School to Help Increase Access to the Summer Meal Program in Illinois
CHICAGO, March 27, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited a Chicago school today to encourage more Chicago-area schools and community-based organizations to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) summer meal programs to help ensure no child goes hungry during the summer months.
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement:
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Increased Opportunity for Producers as part of New Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced increased opportunity for producers as a result of the 2014 Farm Bill. A fact sheet outlining modifications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan Programs is available here.
WASHINGTON, March 21, 2014 - Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie announced today a renewed and expanded partnership to provide expert habitat advice to farmers and ranchers managing land within lesser prairie-chicken range.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced new funding opportunities for state agencies and Indian tribal organizations to develop innovative strategies to prevent hunger and food insecurity. The demonstration projects under the new initiative are designed to find solutions so that no child goes hungry.
USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, March 20, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new figures today that show the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with over 25,000 certified organic operations in more than 120 different countries around the world.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2014 – The U. S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service today announced the availability of up to $5 million in competitive grants to help fund projects that lead to greater efficiencies and improved outcomes of Employment and Training (E&T) services supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
USDA Announces Support for Innovative, Sustainable Wood Building Materials to Protect Environment and Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, March 18, 2014 - At a meeting hosted by the White House Rural Council today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new partnership to train architects, engineers and builders about the benefits of advanced wood building materials, and plans for a forthcoming prize competition to design and build high-rise wood demonstration projects.
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today issued a report highlighting the impact of more than $33 billion in USDA investments to support rural businesses, infrastructure and housing in 2013.
WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement today:
ARLINGTON, VA - March 12, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will make three grants totaling $5 million to universities to develop childhood obesity prevention programs. Vilsack made the announcement during the keynote address before the 2014 National PTA Legislative Conference in Arlington, VA.
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced $5.5 million in new grants to support schools as they continue to provide school lunches and breakfasts that give children the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Over 90 percent of schools are successfully meeting new meal nutrition standards, serving meals with more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and less sodium and fat. These new grants provide support to schools to help them achieve or continue to meet those standards. The grants focus on implementation of Smarter Lunchrooms strategies, a broad toolkit of easy-to-implement, evidence-based practices designed to increase consumption of healthier foods and decrease plate waste.
SANTE FE, N.M., March 10, 2014 –Today in remarks at the National Farmers Union National Convention, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded efforts to connect small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with USDA resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations.
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2014—The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a series of meetings to share information with stakeholders about the 2014 Farm Bill implementation process, including:
WASHINGTON, March 4, 2014—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement on the proposed FY 2015 budget:
SECRETARY VILSACK: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. It's great to be back at Commodity Classic. And I want to start off this morning with a couple of thank you's to every single person in this audience and to producers around the country.
USDA Finalizes Changes to the WIC Program, Expanding Access to Healthy Fruits and Vegetables, Whole Grains, and Low-Fat Dairy for Women, Infants, and Children
Washington, D.C., Feb. 28, 2014 – The U. S. Department of Agriculture today finalized changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to further improve the nutrition and health of the nation’s low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children. The changes – which increase access to fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy – are based on the latest nutrition science.