USDA’s 110 Value-Added Grants Include Biomass

John DavisGeneral, Government, USDA

The USDA has named the recipients of 110 Value-Added grants for agricultural producers and rural businesses. This agency news release says the grants include biomass-based products and is hoped to spur the rural economy: “This support will benefit rural businesses and the communities where the recipients are located,” Vilsack said. “These awards also will advance USDA’s goals to develop a … Read More

G-8 Open Data for Ag Take Aways

Chuck ZimmermanAudio, Data Collection, Government, Raven

Data, data, data. I wonder how many times that word was used at this week’s G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture? A lot I’m sure. Well, I was not there but Paul Welbig, Raven Industries was. Here’s a photo of Paul on the left with Dr. Aboubacar Diaby, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. They are holding … Read More

Opening up Global Ag Data Sharing

Cindy ZimmermanData Collection, General, Government, technology, USDA

At the kickoff of the G8 Open Data for Agriculture conference this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new virtual community to give increased public access to food, agriculture, and rural data. “This new online community is a big step toward opening information for agriculture, making it public in useable formats,” said Vilsack. “This will increase the value of … Read More

Preview of Open Data for Agriculture Conference

Chuck ZimmermanAudio, Data Collection, Government, USDA

USDA just held a preview press conference for next week’s G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture. On the phone with the press were USDA Chief Scientist Dr. Catherine Woteki and Dr. Simon Liu, Director of the National Agricultural Library. There are plans to do live streaming during the conference and people are encouraged to tweet about the conference … Read More

EPA Advisor Aims to Build Trust with Ag

Talia GoesAgribusiness, Audio, Government, USDA

The new senior Agricultural Counselor to the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator held a conference call Tuesday to discuss her background and her role as an advisor at EPA on ways environmental policy may impact growers and the greater agriculture community. Sarah Bittleman accepted the new position with EPA in February after serving Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as USDA Senior Advisor … Read More

Ignore Agriculture at Your Peril

Cindy ZimmermanAg Day, Audio, Government

The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee spoke to farmer and rancher representatives in Washington DC at National Ag Day activities on Tuesday, praising those who work in the agriculture industry. “The fact of the matter is we’re a critical part of the national economy and the food safety net for the country and the planet,” Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK) … Read More

G-8 to Talk Open Data for Agriculture

Cindy ZimmermanGovernment, USDA

Next month the G-8 International Conference will be holding an important event in Washington on Open Data for Agriculture. The purpose, according to USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Catherine Woteki, is “to make our agriculturally-relevant research and statistical data accessible to users in Africa and around the world.” Woteki explained in a USDA blog … Read More

The Sequester is Coming

Cindy ZimmermanGovernment, Growmark

Sequester is scheduled to take effect on March 1 and so far Congress has made no effort to prevent the across the board spending cuts from taking place. I talked with GROWMARK government affairs director Chuck Spencer to find out more about this monster called Sequester. Spencer explains that sequestration traces back to the Budget Control Act of 2011 requiring … Read More

Bill to Eliminate EPA Permit Requirements

Talia GoesAgribusiness, environment, Government

Senators Pat Roberts and Mike Johanns have introduced legislation to eliminate a burdensome, costly and redundant Environmental Protection Agency permit requirement for applications of pesticides. At issue is the January 2009, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in National Cotton Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that requires pesticide applications to be permitted under the Clean Water Act. This National … Read More