Maryland Cattle Operation Shows Conservation Success

Kelly Marshall

Conservation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been on the national radar for years. Now the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Catoctin and Frederick Soil Conservation Districts are showing off successful conservation efforts by local farmers and ranchers. A recent event at Hedgeapple Farm, a Maryland Angus operation, highlighted the volunteer efforts that have lead to improvement of the Bay’s …

Ag Group, Conservation, livestock, Soil, USDA, Water Quality

Three Organizations Partner for Pollinators

Kelly Marshall

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted an announcement between themselves, General Mills, and the largest and oldest pollinator conservation organization, the Xerces Society this morning. The three organizations are joining together to protect the habitats of pollinators on hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland. The project is a five-year, $4 million commitment to provide the technical assistance for planting …

Bees, Company Announcement, pollinators, USDA

USDA Awards $6.7 Million for Healthy Agroecosystems

Kelly Marshall

Eighteen grants with a total sum of $6.7 million dollars are being granted by the USDA‘s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  The grants are to encourage researching the interactions between components of an agroecosystem interact in food production: soil, water and sun to plants, animals and people. “Population growth, along with environmental factors, including the growing threat of climate change, …

Government, Research, sustainability, USDA

No Progress on US-China Biotech Issues

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack were among those who participated in a Thanksgiving week session of the US-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) in Washington last week, the last one for the Obama Administration. The talks resulted in some progress in the areas of intellectual property protection, pharmaceutical and medical devices, and information …

International, trade, USDA

Vilsack Visits with #NAFB16

Kelly Marshall

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made his final appearance at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting convention of his eight years in this office. “First of all, I want to thank the broadcasters here today,” Vilsack started his remarks to a standing room only crowd. “I think all of you have done and continue to do a great service, particularly …


Accepting Applications for USDA Conservation Grants

Kelly Marshall

The USDA is accepting proposals for projects designed to provide new conservation opportunities.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is investing up to $25 million for applications that encourage the development and adoption of conservation technologies in areas like conservation finance, data analytics and precision conservation. “Conservation Innovation Grants have played a critical role in developing and implementing creative new …

Conservation, USDA

Enroll Now for ARC or PLC in 2017

Kelly Marshall

If your farm is covered by the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) or Price Loss Coverage (PLC), now is the time to visit you local FSA office to sign contracts and enroll for 2017.  Starting this month, the enrollment period will continue until August 1, 2017, says FSA Administrator, Val Dolcini. “FSA issued more than $7 billion in payments in October …

Crop Insurance, USDA

USDA Invests $1.7 Billion in Sensitive Ag Lands

Kelly Marshall

More than half a million Americans will receive payments for lands enrolled in the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  The USDA will issue nearly $1.7 billion through the program to protect almost 24 million acres of wetlands, grasslands and wildlife habitat for 2016. “We have seen record demand to participate in this important program,” said Vilsack. “Despite the current enrollment …


USDA Finalizes Conservation Easement Program Rule

Cindy Zimmerman

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has published a final rule on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which was created in the 2014 Farm Bill to consolidate provisions in three previous conservation easement programs. The rule changes are designed to “make the program more flexible and responsive to the unique needs of farmers and ranchers in each region of …

Conservation, Government, USDA