USDA Launches ReConnect Program

cindy zimmerman

USDA is offering up to $600 million in loans and grants to help build broadband infrastructure in rural America. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through USDA’s new ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that currently have insufficient broadband service. “High-speed internet e-Connectivity is a necessity, not an amenity, vital …

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Former Agriculture Secretaries Meet

cindy zimmerman

Just days after the passing of former Secretary of Agriculture Bob Bergland, four former secretaries met with current Secretary Sonny Perdue to discuss the latest agricultural issues. Those in attendance included former Secretaries John Block (1981-1986), Dan Glickman (1995-2001), Ann Veneman (2001-2005), and Mike Johanns (2005-2008). The Secretaries discussed several issues including trade, wildfires, agriculture research, infrastructure, cell-based meat, and …

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USDA Under Secretary Ibach at #ASTACSS

cindy zimmerman

USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach spoke to attendees at the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) CSS 2018 and Seed Expo during a Plant Breeding Innovation session, toured the trade show, and met with media on Thursday in Chicago. Ibach discussed the importance of innovation in plant breeding, as well as coming regulations for GMO labeling, …

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USDA Under Secretary Northey at #ARA2018

cindy zimmerman

Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Bill Northey discussed trade and a 2018 farm bill, among other topics, during a visit to the 2018 Agricultural Retailers Association convention this week in Boca Raton, Florida. “I’m very hopeful,” said Northey about getting a farm bill by the end of the year, especially after word Thursday from House and Senate …

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Secretary Perdue Comments on Current Issues

cindy zimmerman

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visited the Farm Progress Show this week, making an appearance for everyone at the show to enjoy with Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson in the VIP tent, followed by a press gaggle where trade was the number one topic, along with WOTUS and the Renewable Fuel Standard. Asked about Canada and its dairy policy – …

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USDA Announces Trade Disruption Relief for Farmers

cindy zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will take several actions to assist farmers negatively impacted by recent trade actions. President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a short-term relief strategy to protect agricultural producers while the Administration works on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals to open more markets in the long run to help American farmers compete globally. Specifically, …

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Planted Acreage Report Surprises

cindy zimmerman

USDA’s planted acreage report out Friday contained some surprising numbers for the trade. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) estimates 89.6 million acres of soybeans planted in the United States for 2018, down 1 percent from last year, and corn area planted is estimated at 89.1 million acres, also down 1 percent from last year. All cotton planted area for …

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USDA’s Northey Kicks Off Alltech ONE18

cindy zimmerman

After the opening entertainment, USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey was first to take the stage Monday morning at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference 2018 in Lexington, Kentucky. He was just discussing the issue of agricultural trade with China when President Trump tweeted “China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best …

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Perdue Celebrates Anniversary With Senate Ag Committee

cindy zimmerman

Tuesday was the first anniversary for Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture and he spent it briefing the Senate Agriculture Committee on The State of Rural America. “It’s a fascinating job,” said Perdue. “Even more broad and vast and deep and wide and impactful than I could have ever imagined.” Most of the questioning for the secretary revolved around trade …

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Northey Takes Oath of USDA Office

cindy zimmerman

It was a long time coming, but finally Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue administered the oath of office to Bill Northey to serve as the Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service (FFAS) at USDA. Northey has served as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, and is a former president of the National Corn Growers Association. “After months of waiting, I’m …

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