Agribusiness
USDA Gulf Coast Ecosystem Initiative PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications Office   
Monday, 23 January 2012 08:57

A new TV feature  is available on the USDA FTP site. The new TV feature can also be seen on USDA's YouTube channel and seen and downloaded as a video podcast.

FTP Download instructions:

The host: ftp://ocbmtcmedia.download.akamai.com

User name: usdanews

Password:  Newscontent1

Filename for TV Feature: GOMI feature

The new file is in QuickTime Movie (H.264 ), MPEG 4, MPEG2 and HDV.

YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com/usda/

video podcasthttp://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/usda-down-to-earth-video-podcast/id461819504?uo=4

RSS feed: http://downtoearth.usda.libsynpro.com/rss

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have problems or suggestions.

Also, use this free ftp client if you have problems.

http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type+client

 

FEATURE – FIVE STATE USDA INITIATIVE WILL HELP IMPROVE ECOSYSTEM HEALTH OF GULF COAST

INTRO:  U-S-D-A's Natural Resources Conservation Service is launching a water and wildlife conservation effort along the Gulf Coast of the United States. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:32)

 

A NEW INITIATIVE FROM THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE WILL HELP PRODUCERS PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT BY IMPROVING WATER QUALITY. GOMI (GO-MEE), OR THE GULF OF MEXICO INITIATIVE, WILL HELP PRODUCERS IN FIVE STATES LIMIT NUTRIENT AND PESTICIDE RUNOFF.

 

Will Blackwell, USDA NRCS District Conservationist: The goal of the GOMI is to improve the water quality as it drains off the land before it gets into the rivers, before it gets into the bays and estuaries.

 

TEXAS RANCHER DALLAS FORD PLANS TO USE GOMI ASSISTANCE TO BUILD FENCES TO KEEP HIS CATTLE OUT OF LOCAL STREAM SYSTEMS.

 

Dallas Ford, Refugio Co., TX: The cattle will be on the land, the proper ranch itself and get their water from there and not be in the creek, which they do go into it now and I would like to stop them from doing that.

 

AT THE GOMI ANNOUNCEMENT, AN N-R-C-S OFFICIAL SAID STAFF WILL WORK WITH LANDOWNERS TO DEVELOP PLANS AND GET FINANCIAL AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS TO PUT CONSERVATION PRACTICES IN PLACE.

 

Salvador Salinas, USDA NRCS Texas State Conservationist: In some areas a lot of what is going on is we are having a lot of nutrient and pesticide erosion into those river systems and as a result that impacts the wildlife and fish habitat. We hope that by implementing the conservation programs that over a period of time that we will begin to see some possible affects with regard to water quality.

 

GOMI WILL DELIVER UP TO FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS IN COST-SHARE ASSISTANCE OVER THREE YEARS IN SIXTEEN PRIORITY WATERSHEDS. FOR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE I’M BOB ELLISON.

USDA Down To Earth Video Podcast

 
Center for Rural Affairs applauds Denial of Pipeline Construction PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Elisha Smith   
Monday, 23 January 2012 08:37

Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline route rejected


Lyons, NE - Americans concerned about the proposed route of the Keystone XL Pipeline received welcome news Wednesday when the Obama administration announced the rejection of a special U.S. State Department permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

“We applaud President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton for making a common sense decision that protects both Nebraska and the entire nation,” said Johnathon Hladik, Energy Policy Advocate at the Center for Rural Affairs.

Approving the Keystone XL pipeline without an established route through Nebraska would amount to a failure on the part of our federal government to consider the best interests of the American people," Hladik concluded.

According to a  U.S. State Department news release, the Department has been conducting a transparent, thorough, and rigorous review of TransCanada’s permit application for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project since 2008. As a result of this process, particularly given the concentration of concerns regarding the proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, on November 10, 2011, the Department announced that it could not make a national interest determination regarding the permit application without additional information.

Specifically, the Department called for an assessment of alternative pipeline routes that avoided the uniquely sensitive terrain of the Sand Hills in Nebraska. The Department estimated, in consultation with the State of Nebraska and TransCanada and based on prior projects of similar length and scope, that it could complete the necessary review to make a decision by the first quarter of 2013.

Congress passed the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 on December 23, 2011. The Act provides 60 days for the President to determine whether the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest – which, according to the State Department release, the Administration considers insufficient for such a determination. The denial of the permit does not, however, preclude any subsequent permit application or applications for similar projects.

The Center for Rural Affairs rallied along with thousands of other Nebraskans during the past year building opposition to the proposed line, attending hearings across the state and expressing concern about the proposed route of the pipeline.  Many Center supporters and staff members testified in opposition to the pipeline’s projected route, which would travel through 300 miles of Nebraska, including 92 miles across the Sandhills, bringing oil from tar sands in northern Canada to refineries in the southern United States. A determined set of individuals and organizations representing varied interests and communities throughout Nebraska played a pivotal role in the final decision.

“This decision is a win for the innumerable citizens, activists and advocates who made their voice heard,” said Hladik. “While there is still work to be done, we can now be proud that we did our part to protect our air, land and water for this generation and the next.”

 
More than 1,500 Farmer Votes Counted Early in FFA Chapter Challenge PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Geoffrey Miller   
Thursday, 19 January 2012 08:44

Chapters in 12 states can still register to compete for $300,000 in FFA incentives provided by Monsanto

INDIANAPOLIS (January 19, 2012/National FFA Organization) – FFA members in 12 states, eager to win terrific prizes for their local chapter, are off to a very strong start in a program to designed to teach them about today’s agriculture by meeting with farmers in their communities.

The 2012 FFA Chapter Challenge, a second-year program now available to more than 3,300 FFA chapters and over 236,000 FFA members, started collecting votes on Monday, January 16. As of Wednesday afternoon, FFA members had already reached 1,541 farmers who voted for their local chapters. Missouri, with 460 votes, led Indiana (309) and Tennessee (308) in the early running. A complete state-by-state leaderboard is available at www.FFAchapterchallenge.com/leaderboard

Sponsored by Monsanto, the premise of the program is simple: chapter FFA members visit and build relationships with local farmers in a bid to learn about a farmer’s way of life and to build local support for their chapter’s agriculture education endeavors. Afterward, the FFA members ask the farmer to vote for their chapter.

The top 200 FFA chapters that make the most connections and receive the most farmer votes by February 29 will be awarded a line of credit ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 from the National FFA Organization. As a sponsor of the program, Monsanto will provide more than $300,000 in incentives.

But before FFA chapters are eligible for the program, they must register at www.FFAChapterChallenge.com. FFA members in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas are eligible in 2012 – up from just seven states last year. Votes from local farmers and producers will not count until the FFA chapter has completed the registration process.

“Monsanto is very excited to support this program for a second year,” said Linda Arnold, customer advocacy lead for Monsanto. “As a company whose only business is agriculture, we are committed to educational programs like FFA Chapter Challenge that generate excitement in learning about farming. We encourage FFA members to reach out to farmers in their communities and learn more about their livelihood.”

Chapters can earn monetary credit which can be used throughout the year to buy FFA jackets and merchandise, obtain banquet supplies and send members to events like the Washington Leadership Conference or the national FFA convention, and more. Awards will go to the top 10 chapters in each of the 12 eligible states, plus 80 at-large winning chapters.

The chapter that makes the most connections and receives the most farmer votes of any participating FFA chapter will win the grand prize – an all-expense paid trip for six students and an advisor to attend the 85th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis in October 2012, plus a $2,500 FFA certificate of credit.

“Relationships are central to growing a career in any field, let alone agriculture. We love how this program emphasizes that while also supporting FFA chapters who work the hardest,” said Rob Cooper, executive director of the National FFA Foundation. “We're very grateful of Monsanto's support of this program and truly believe it will be a great tool to grow tomorrow's agriculture leaders."

Winners will be announced March 9. For more information – including videos, news releases and more – visit www.FFAChapterChallenge.com.

About National FFA Organization

The National FFA Organization, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is a national youth organization of 540,379 student members as part of 7,489 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The FFA mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. The National FFA Organization operates under a federal charter granted by the 81st United States Congress and it is an integral part of public instruction in agriculture. The U.S. Department of Education provides leadership and helps set direction for FFA as a service to state and local agricultural education programs. For more, visit the National FFA Organization online (http://www.ffa.org), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/nationalffa), on Twitter (http://twitter.com/nationalffa) and FFA Nation (http://ffanation.ffa.org).

 

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Host Media Conference Call to Announce Disaster Assistance to Producers and Communities Affected by Extreme Weather PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications Office   
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 10:11

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2012–TODAY, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a national media conference call to announce disaster assistance to help farmers, land owners, communities and others recover and rebuild after a year in which a wave of natural disasters swept across all regions of the United States. The funding will provide assistance to help rebuild and repair land damaged on account of flooding, drought, tornadoes and other natural disasters in 33 states and Puerto Rico.

A strong farm safety net is important to sustain the success of American agriculture. To help keep American agriculture profitable, USDA immediately responds to disasters across the country, ranging from record floods, droughts and tropical storms, with direct support, disaster assistance, technical assistance, and access to credit.

 

Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012

1:30 p.m. EST

 

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to host a national media conference call to announce disaster assistance.

 

DIAL IN: 800-857-5233

Passcode: SECY (Given Verbally)

Troubleshooting: 202-720-8560

 

All callers using the above pass code will be placed in listen only mode. To join the Q&A portion of the meeting, callers are instructed to press *1 on their touch tone phone.

 

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Soybean Checkoff to Partner with Nine Clean Cities Coalitions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 13:21
Checkoff farmer-leaders select nine Clean Cities coalitions to help promote biodiesel, Bioheat ST. LOUIS (January 17, 2012) – Americans from the mid-Atlantic to the Northwest will soon be hearing a lot more about why they should use soy biodiesel—if they aren’t already.

The United Soybean Board (USB) and soybean checkoff have announced the participants in the 2012 biodiesel and Bioheat® communications program, which helps cities across the United States spread the word about the only commercially available advanced biofuel.

The soybean checkoff will partner with nine U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-affiliated “Clean Cities” coalitions to increase the availability and use of soy biodiesel and heating-oil-alternative Bioheat through promotion and education. The Clean Cities program serves as a government-industry partnership sponsored by DOE and has more than 90 local chapters across the United States. These chapters work in their local areas to reduce petroleum consumption.

“Clean Cities coalitions are really great organizations,” says Mike Beard, USB director and soybean farmer from Frankfort, Ind. “This program helps them, and it helps us to get the word out about clean, efficient soy biodiesel.”

This year, checkoff farmer-leaders committed nearly $200,000 to assist these chapters with various biodiesel and Bioheat projects. USB funding will assist Clean Cities across the United States in communicating the benefits of soy biodiesel and Bioheat through radio public service announcements, outdoor advertising, informational workshops for energy users and distributors, promotional events, and many other activities.  

Clean Cities Coalitions participating in the 2012 reimbursement program include:
•    Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition (partnering with Alabama Soybean Producers)
•    Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (partnering with Maryland Soybean Board)
•    Iowa Clean Cities (partnering with Iowa Soybean Association)
•    Kansas City Regional Clean Cities Coalition (partnering with Kansas Soybean Commission)
•    North Dakota Clean Cities (partnering with North Dakota Soybean Council)
•    Triangle Clean Cities Coalition (partnering with North Carolina Soybean Producers Association)
•    Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition (partnering with Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council)
•    Virginia Clean Cities (partnering with Maryland Soybean Board and Virginia Soybean Board)
•    Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition



USB is made up of 69 farmer-directors who oversee the investments of the soybean checkoff on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers. Checkoff funds are invested in the areas of animal utilization, human utilization, industrial utilization, industry relations, market access and supply. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soybean checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit www.unitedsoybean.org
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/UnitedSoybeanBoard
Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/unitedsoy
View our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/UnitedSoybeanBoard

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