Agribusiness
Scott County Extension Office Calendar PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:49
February 22, 2012 Seed Treatment CIC, Scott County Extension Office–9:00 a.m.

February 25, 2012 Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening, I Wireless Center, Moline-8:00 a.m.

February 28, 2012 ISU Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office–7:00 p.m.

March 1, 2012 Vermicomposting at Home, Vander Veer Botanical Park-6:30 p.m.

March 8, 2012 Ornamental & Turf Applicators CIC, Scott County Extension Office–1:30 p.m.

March 8, 2012 Cut Flowers, West Davenport Center-6:30 p.m.

March 14, 2012 Certified Handlers CIC, Scott County Extension Office – 9:00 a.m.

March 19, 2012 Insects & Pest Management, Rock Island County Extension Office-7:00 p.m.

March 23, 2012 Women In Agriculture (Overall Women), I Wireless Center, Moline-8:00 a.m.

March 26, 2012 Water Gardens & More, Rock Island County Extension Office-7:00 p.m.

March 27, 2012 ISU Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office-7:00 p.m.

March 30, 2012 Commercial & Private Pesticide Applicator Testing, Scott County Extension Office – 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

 
USDA to Host First U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:42

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2012—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that government and industry leaders from the United States and China will gather in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday, Feb. 16, for the first U.S.-China Agricultural Symposium. Vilsack traveled to China for the second time as Agriculture Secretary in November to continue to strengthen bilateral trade relations and support the American brand of agriculture throughout the Asia Pacific region. During the visit, Vilsack and Chinese officials developed the U.S.-China Agriculture Symposium as a key forum to expand their discussions into 2012 and beyond.

"I'm honored to welcome China's Vice President Xi Jinping and Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu to the United States, where we may continue our in-depth dialogue on issues of mutual concern," said Vilsack. "Thanks to the productivity of American farmers, ranchers and producers, consumers in China recognize the United States as a reliable supplier of high-quality food and agricultural products. Strengthening our partnership with China's growing market is integral to the strength of the U.S. economy in the decades ahead."

In 2011, China moved into the top spot as the number one market for U.S. agricultural goods, purchasing $20 billion in U.S. agricultural exports. The value of U.S. farm exports to China supported more than 160,000 American jobs in 2011, on and off the farm across a variety of sectors.

Chinese officials will also visit Washington, D.C., and California as part of their trip. The symposium will focus on current and future cooperation between the two nations in areas including food safety, food security and sustainable agriculture. The event will take place at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines.

"China and the United States have an opportunity and responsibility to work together to help increase the availability and use of sustainably produced food for a rapidly growing world population," added Vilsack.

The Obama Administration, with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels in 2011 and beyond. U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its best periods in history thanks to the productivity, resiliency, and resourcefulness of our producers. Today, net farm income is at record levels while debt has been cut in half since the 1980s. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 86 percent of the food we consume, while maintaining affordability and choice. Strong agricultural exports contribute to a positive U.S. trade balance, create jobs, boost economic growth and support President Obama's National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014.

###

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).


###

 
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to Discuss President Obama’s Blueprint for Economic Revitalization and Job Creation in Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:30

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8, 2012- This Friday, February 10, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a roundtable with Iowa agriculture and business leaders as well as Des Moines Area Community College faculty and students to discuss President Obama’s efforts to strengthen the Iowa economy. He will also discuss USDA’s efforts to support Iowa’s rural communities and agriculture sector.

 

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012

9:45 a.m. CST

 

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will host a roundtable with Iowa agriculture and business leaders as well as Des Moines Area Community College faculty and students to discuss President Obama’s efforts to strengthen the Iowa economy.

 

WHERE: Des Moines Area Community College– Room 101

Building 3E

2006 South Ankeny Blvd.

Ankeny, Iowa 50023

 
New Plant Zone Hardiness Map Shows Temperature Shifts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Communications   
Thursday, 09 February 2012 14:15

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: PHZM 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 – NEW PLANT HARDINESS ZONE MAP SHOWS TEMPERATURE SHIFTS

INTRO:  U-S-D-A's Agricultural Research Service has released a new plant hardiness zone map; the first one in twenty two years. The USDA’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:55)

 

THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S NEW PLANT HARDINESS ZONE MAP SHOWS CHANGES OF FIVE DEGREES FAHRENHEIT WARMER PER HALF ZONE THROUGH MUCH OF THE NATION SINCE NINETEEN NINETY.

 

Dr. Peter Bretting, USDA ARS: We see a consistent shift. Especially in the eastern U.S. of about a half zone warmer than in the prior map.

 

WHY THE CHANGE? DOCTOR BRETTING SAYS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF FACTORS.

 

Bretting: It’s based on more data from more weather recording stations. And they were processed by a special mathematical formula that takes into account features of the landscape, such as mountains, large bodies of water, urban areas, which cause sometimes heat islands. And it was recorded over a longer period, thirty rather than fifteen years.

 

THE MAP ALSO SHOWS WHERE PLANTS WOULD BE EXPOSED TO SEVERE WINTER CONDITIONS AND TEMPERATURES AND IS AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR GARDENERS, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND SCIENTISTS.

 

Bretting: There are more than eighty million gardeners in the United States and many of them will use this as a reference as will landscape architects, plant breeders. The USDA Risk Management Agency will use these data for certain crop insurance parameters. One application is being able to forecast the spread of weeds or insects that might endanger agriculture.

 

AND THIS NEW MAP IS MUCH MORE ACCURATE THAN OLDER ONES.

 

Bretting: The precision is about a half mile square, which is because of the new computerized technology is more precise than the prior maps, which were e based on sometimes artistic renditions of where zones began or ended.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO ONLINE TO PLANT HARDINESS DOT A-R-S DOT U-S-D-A DOT GOV. FOR THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE I’M BOB ELLISON

 
USDA Announces Latest Actions to Combat Fraud and Enhance SNAP Program Integrity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Browne   
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 13:19

Strengthened Measures Help Fight Fraud in Nation’s Most Critical Nutrition Assistance Program

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2012 – USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today announced first quarter results for fiscal year 2012 in the effort to identify and eliminate fraudulent retailers from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). From October 1 through December 31, 2011, USDA staff took final actions to:

  • Sanction, through fines or temporary disqualifications, more than 225 stores found violating program rules; and
  • Permanently disqualify over 350 stores for trafficking in SNAP benefits (i.e. exchanging SNAP benefits for cash).

These enforcement actions are part of the Obama Administration's ongoing Campaign to Cut Waste and root out fraud and abuse in federal programs, including SNAP. While fraud is a relatively limited problem in SNAP – the violating stores represent less than ½ of one percent of more than 230,000 food stores authorized to redeem benefits – no level of fraud is tolerated. USDA's Food and Nutrition Service conducts ongoing surveillance and investigation, to find bad actors and remove them from the program. In fiscal year 2011, FNS reviewed over 15,000 stores, and permanently disqualified over 1,200 for program violations.

"I'm pleased to report today to American taxpayers the first quarter results of our anti-fraud efforts in 2012," said Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon. "Americans expect and deserve a government that ensures their hard-earned tax dollars are managed with accountability and integrity. We are committed to ensuring these dollars are spent as intended - helping millions of people in need through tough economic times until they can get back on their feet."

USDA is building upon strategies recently announced to further strengthen anti-fraud efforts in the retailer application process. To help reduce the number of disqualified stores that return to the program by falsifying information in their applications, USDA is announcing new measures to strengthen the program:

  • Increasing documentation required for high-risk stores applying to redeem SNAP benefits to better verify their identity and assure their business integrity. High-risk stores are those located at the site of a previous disqualification.
  • Verifying high-risk stores to confirm application information. High-risk stores are those located at the site of a previous disqualification. Store owners found to have falsified information with the intent to hide ownership or past violations will be charged, disqualified and may be liable for a $10,000 fine or imprisonment for as long as 5 years or both.
  • Continuing to notify state departments and federal agency partners about violators to better protect our public programs. This includes information on program recipients with suspicious transactions at stores known to be trafficking for further investigation by States.

In addition, USDA will soon publish a proposed rule strengthening sanctions and penalties for retailers who commit fraud in SNAP. USDA's new Fighting SNAP Fraud website (www.fns.usda.gov/fightingsnapfraud) will also help raise awareness of the issues and provide a direct portal to report suspicious activities.

"Fraud is not a static concept – we know that where there is a will to commit malfeasance, bad actors will try to find a way," said Concannon. "That's why USDA is constantly striving to stay ahead of the curve. The comparison I frequently make is in the area of cyber security. The need for continuously updating information security measures is frequently noted in the private sector, because hackers and other bad actors are always looking for ways to exploit systems."

"However, it is important not to demonize SNAP participants and retailers when referencing fraud because the vast majority of people participating in the program, both retailers and SNAP participants, abide by the rules. Our goal is to eliminate fraud and we will continue to crack down on individuals who violate the program and misuse taxpayer dollars," Concannon noted.

Concannon announced new anti-fraud activities in December. Today's announcement continues the USDA's commitment to promote integrity in SNAP, in order to assure the public's confidence in this critical nutrition assistance program that serves over 46 million low-income and working Americans.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that in addition to SNAP include the National School Lunch Programs, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, and the Summer Food Service Program. Taken together, these programs serve as America's nutrition safety net.

Program fraud complaints of any kind may be filed with the USDA Office of Inspector General; contact information is found at: http://www.usda.gov/oig/hotline.htm. Fraud may also be reported to the appropriate States. Phone numbers are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/contact_info/fraud.pdf.

#

 
<< Start < Prev 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 Next > End >>

Page 134 of 173