Agribusiness
Agriculture Secretary to Travel to Iowa to Announce New Effort to Promote Investments for Innovative Rural Businesses PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Monday, 21 April 2014 12:44

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2014 – ON MONDAY, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will travel to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where he will be joined by investors and business owners to announce a new effort to promote investments for innovative rural businesses.

This announcement is part of the Department’s efforts to leverage private sector resources to revitalize and reenergize the rural economy, by supporting the expansion and growth of small businesses in rural America.

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 3 PM/CDT

WHAT: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will be joined by investors and business owners to announce a new effort to promote investments for innovative rural businesses.

WHERE: Central Iowa Power Cooperative, 1400 Iowa 13, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces Additional USDA Actions to Combat Spread of Diseases Among U.S. Pork Producers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Monday, 21 April 2014 09:08
Required Reporting of Cases Latest Measure to Slow Disease Spread

St. Paul, Minn., April 18, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that in an effort to further enhance the biosecurity and health of the US swine herd while maintaining movement of pigs in the US, the USDA will require reporting of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) and Swine Delta Coronavirus in order to slow the spread of this disease across the United States. USDA is taking this latest action due to the devastating effect on swine health since it was first confirmed in the country last year even though PEDv it is not a reportable disease under international standards. PEDv only affects pigs and does not pose a risk to people and is not a food safety concern.

"USDA has been working closely with the pork industry and our state and federal partners to solve this problem. Together, we have established testing protocols, sequenced the virus and are investigating how the virus is transmitted," said Vilsack. "Today's actions will help identify gaps in biosecurity and help us as we work together to stop the spread of these diseases and the damage caused to producers, industry and ultimately consumers."

In addition to requiring reporting of the PED virus, today's announcement will also require tracking movements of pigs, vehicles, and other equipment leaving affected premises; however, movements would still be allowed. USDA is also working with industry partners to increase assistance to producers who have experienced PED virus outbreaks in other critical areas such as disease surveillance, herd monitoring and epidemiological and technical support.

As part of USDA's coordinated response, USDA's Farm Loan Programs is working with producers to provide credit options, including restructuring loans, similar to how the Farm Service Agency successfully worked with livestock producers affected by the blizzard in South Dakota. In the case of guaranteed loans, USDA is encouraging guaranteed lenders to use all the flexibility available under existing guarantees, and to use new guarantees where appropriate to continue financing their regular customers.

USDA is already providing assistance to researchers looking into this disease, with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) working with the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa to make models of the disease transmission and testing feedstuffs. This modeling work is contributing to some experimental vaccines to treat animals with the disease. ARS also has a representative serving as a member of the Swine Health Board. USDA also provides competitive grant funding through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative program and anticipates some applications on PEDv research will be submitted soon. In addition, USDA provides formula funds to states and universities through the Hatch Act and National Animal Health Disease Section 1433 for research activities surrounding this disease.

In conjunction with the pork industry, state and federal partners, the USDA is working to develop appropriate responses to the PEDv and Swine Delta Coronavirus. A question-and-answer sheet on today's reporting requirement is available on the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service website here: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/2014/faq_ped_reporting.pdf (PDF, 31KB). For a summary of USDA actions to date, additional information is available here: http://www.usda.gov/documents/pedv-summary-actions.pdf (PDF, 150KB).

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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Calendar May 2014 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 18 April 2014 09:42

May 2, 2014 Pesticide Applicator Testing, Scott County Extension Office, 10:00 am-2:00 pm

May 27, 2014 Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office, 7:00 pm

Visit our events calendar at our web site: http://dbs.extension.iastate.edu/calendar/

 
Iowa FFA Conference & Meals Packaging Efforts PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Scott D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 10:35

Iowa FFA Holds 86th Annual Conference

ANKENY, Iowa--FFA members across Iowa will be celebrating success when they gather for the 86th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference on April 27-29 at Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference is the 4th largest of its kind in the National FFA Organization.

“Ignite,” the theme for this year’s convention, is geared toward individual leadership, growth, and success. It also seeks to challenge FFA members to think about how they can “ignite today and the future.”

The annual conference will provide agricultural education students the opportunity to participate in Career Development Event competitions, be recognized for accomplishments in events during the past year, become inspired by motivational speakers, interact with college and business professionals, and develop leadership skills. Chapter delegates and Iowa FFA Officers will also conduct the annual business session to make decisions for the student run Iowa FFA Association. Students will also be engaged in a service project with Meals from the Heartland with a goal of packaging 250,000 meals.

Several exciting guests will be present at the 2014 Iowa FFA Leadership Conference. These include keynote speakers Ian Tyson, co-founder of Youth Leadership Camps Canada; and Bill Fennelly, Iowa State University Women’s Basketball Coach. National FFA Central Region Vice President and Iowa native, Steven Brockshus; and National FFA Advisor, Dr. Steve Brown will also address the conference.

The Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference is possible with support from the following partners of the Iowa FFA Foundation: Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Farm Credit Services of America, Des Moines Area Community College, and Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

The Iowa FFA Association has 219 local chapters with over 14,200 FFA members. FFA is a national organization of nearly 580,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national programs provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. FFA’s 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.

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Iowa FFA Association to Pack 250,000 Meals at State Leadership Conference

AMES, IA - The Iowa FFA Association and Meals from the Heartland are proud to announce that they will partner together to package 250,000 meals at the 86th Iowa FFA Leadership Conference at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on Sunday, April 27th and Monday, April 28th. 2014 marks the third year these two organizations have engaged in this partnership.

More than 1,500 FFA members from throughout Iowa, in addition to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, are expected to volunteer in this effort to package 250,000 rice-soy meals.

Meals from the Heartland is a non-profit organization composed of volunteers who package meals for delivery to starving people in Iowa, the United States and around the world. Since 2008, Meals from the Heartland has provided more than 39 million meals to the food insecure.

This packaging event is made possible with support from the Iowa FFA Foundation and its partners: the Iowa Food and Family Project, a part of the Iowa Soybean Association and GROWMARK.

The Iowa FFA Association has 219 local chapters with over 14,200 FFA members. FFA is a national organization of nearly 580,000 members preparing for leadership and careers in science, business and technology of agriculture. Local, state and national programs provide opportunities for students to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. FFA’s 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.

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USDA Officially Announces Sign-Up Date for Farmer and Rancher Disaster Assistance Programs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 08:43
Sign-Up Begins April 15 for Livestock, Honeybee, Fruit Grower Programs

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that farmers and ranchers can sign-up for disaster assistance programs, reestablished and strengthened by the 2014 Farm Bill, beginning Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Quick implementation of the programs has been a top priority for USDA.

"These programs will provide long-awaited disaster relief for many livestock producers who have endured significant financial hardship from weather-related disasters while the programs were expired and awaiting Congressional action," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "President Obama and I prioritized the implementation of these disaster assistance programs now that the Farm Bill has restored and strengthened them."

The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) will provide payments to eligible producers for livestock deaths and grazing losses that have occurred since the expiration of the livestock disaster assistance programs in 2011, and including calendar years 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Enrollment also begins on April 15 for producers with losses covered by the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP).

  • LIP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered livestock death losses in excess of normal mortality due to adverse weather. Eligible livestock includes beef cattle, dairy cattle, bison, poultry, sheep, swine, horses, and other livestock as determined by the Secretary.
  • LFP provides compensation to eligible livestock producers that have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire on publicly managed land. An eligible livestock producer must own, cash lease, or be a contract grower of eligible livestock during the 60 calendar days before the beginning date of the qualifying drought or fire in a county that is rated by the U.S. Drought Monitor as D2, D3, or D4.
  • ELAP provides emergency assistance to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees and farm-raised fish that have losses due to disease, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the Secretary of Agriculture.
  • TAP provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters.

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) employees have worked exceptionally hard over the past two months to ensure eligible farmers and ranchers would be able to enroll to receive disaster relief on April 15.

To expedite applications, all producers who experienced losses are encouraged to collect records documenting these losses in preparation for the enrollment in these disaster assistance programs. Information on the types of records necessary can be provided by local FSA county offices. Producers also are encouraged to contact their county office ahead of time to schedule an appointment.

For more information, producers may review the 2014 Farm Bill Fact Sheet, ELAP and TAP fact sheets online, or visit any local FSA office or USDA Service Center.

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