Agribusiness
Iowa State University Extension, Scott County, Calendar PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 25 July 2014 08:32

Aug. 14, 2014 Tree Pests: Emerald Ash Borer and Beyond, Scott County Extension Office, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

Aug. 26, 2014 Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office, 7:00 pm

Sept. 5, 2014 Pesticide Applicator Testing, Scott County Extension Office, 10:00 am-2:00 pm

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

 
USDA Secretary Announces Creation of Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:52

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the appointment of a 15-member board of directors. The new foundation will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America's agricultural economy.

Authorized by Congress as part of the 2014 Farm Bill, the foundation will operate as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress also provided $200 million for the foundation which must be matched by non-federal funds as the Foundation identifies and approves projects.

"Studies have shown that every dollar invested in agricultural research creates $20 in economic activity," said Vilsack. "Investments in innovation made over the past several decades have developed new products and new procedures that have been critical to the continued growth of American agriculture. We must continue to make strategic investments in research and technology if we are to remain leaders in the global economy."

The research funded by the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research will address issues including plant and animal health; food safety, nutrition and health; renewable energy, natural resources, and environment; agricultural and food security; and agriculture systems and technology.

The foundation's board of directors was chosen to represent the diverse sectors of agriculture. Seven of these board members were selected by the unanimous vote of the board's five ex-officio members from lists of candidates provided by industry, while eight representatives were unanimously elected from a list of candidates provided by the National Academy of Sciences. Congress mandated that the ex-officio members choose the initial 15 board members from among the lists provided by these two groups. However, new board members now have the option of adding additional members if they so choose. Secretary Vilsack said today he hoped the board would exercise its prerogative to add more members to expand the board's diversity.

In announcing the 15-member FFAR board today, Vilsack remarked, "Public-private partnerships are vital to the agricultural research community, and this is reflected in the membership of the foundation's board of directors."

The 15 voting members are:

  • Dr. Kathryn Boor - the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University
  • Dr. Douglas Buhler - Director of AgBioResearch and Senior Associate Dean for Research for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Michigan State University
  • Dr. Nancy Creamer - Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems, North Carolina State University
  • Dr. Deborah Delmer - Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of California-Davis
  • The Honorable Dan Glickman - former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, current Executive Director of the Aspen Institute's Congressional Program
  • Dr. Robert Horsch - Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Pamela Johnson - Chairwoman, National Corn Growers Association
  • Dr. Mark E. Keenum - President, Mississippi State University
  • Dr. Michael Ladisch - Director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University
  • Dr. Christopher Mallett - Vice President of Research & Development, Cargill, Inc.
  • Dr. Pamela Matson - Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University
  • Dr. Terry McElwain - Associate Director and Professor, Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, and Executive Director, Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Washington State University
  • Dr. Stanley Prusiner - Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurology, University of California-San Francisco and 1997 Nobel laureate in physiology or medicine
  • Dr. Yehia "Mo" Saif - Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University
  • Dr. Barbara Schaal - Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Mary-Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

More detailed biographical information for the FFAR Board of Directors can be found here.

The five ex-officio board members, all of whom were designated by Congress, are Vilsack; Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA's Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist; Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service; Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture; and Dr. France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation.

In a time of federal budgetary restraints, the new foundation is another innovative way to continue and expand investment in agricultural research. FFAR will complement existing Federal and Federally-funded agricultural science research endeavors and accelerate solutions to the challenges American agriculture.

Today's announcement was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Proclaims August 3-9 National Farmers Market Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 08:06

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3 through 9, 2014, "National Farmers Market Week". Throughout the week, USDA will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.

The declaration was made via an official proclamation signed by Secretary Vilsack. This year marks the 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week recognizing the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture began declaring National Farmers Market Week in 2000.

"National Farmers Market Week is a great opportunity for farmers markets across the country to host special events to showcase all the tremendous services they provide," said Secretary Vilsack. "Farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms, and help grow rural economies. They bring communities together, connecting cities with the farms that support them and provide Americans across the country with fresh, healthy food."

In honor of National Farmers Market Week, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne Alonzo will be at the Dane County Farmers Market located on the grounds of the State Capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 2. The Madison farmers market is the largest producer-only farmers market in the U.S. On August 8, the USDA Farmers Market, located at USDA headquarters in Washington, DC, will host a Healthy Back-To-School Challenge to show kids and their families how to cook simple, healthy, and delicious snacks with seasonal ingredients. Other USDA officials will be at other farmers market locations across the country throughout the week.

Thousands of farmers markets across the country offer consumers fresh, affordable, convenient, and healthful products sold directly from the farm. They also offer additional market opportunities for local producers, especially smaller or newer operations. Farmers markets increasingly offer electronic benefits transfer technology that can be used by recipients of USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - as well as low-income women, infants, and children and seniors participating in the WIC and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs - to get fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Farmers market development is a cornerstone of the USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, which coordinates the Department's policy, resources, and outreach efforts related to local and regional food systems. Secretary Vilsack has identified strengthening local food systems as one of the four pillars of USDA's commitment to rural economic development, along with production agriculture (including expanding export markets and improving research), promoting conservation and outdoor recreation opportunities, and growing the biobased economy.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users)


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Research Projects to Improve Plant Feedstocks for Bioenergy Production PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Jennifer Martin   
Friday, 18 July 2014 12:43
Departments of Agriculture and Energy Announce Projects in 10 States

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the selection of 10 projects that are being awarded funding aimed at accelerating genetic breeding programs to improve plant feedstocks for the production of biofuels, biopower, and biobased products. The investment is part of the Obama Administration's broader effort to diversify the nation's energy portfolio and accelerate development of new clean energy technologies designed to decrease dependence on foreign oil, providing a more secure future for America's energy needs and enhancing rural economies.

"Innovative research is a critical link to stimulating rural economies and creating jobs across America," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "These awards are part of the Obama Administration's 'all of the above' energy policy. These projects will not only support our efforts to provide a sustainable and domestic energy source for the nation, but also improve the lives of rural residents."

"Biofuels and bio-based products offer the potential of homegrown American resources that can reduce our dependence on imported oil and also cut carbon emissions," said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. "This advanced research is helping us to lay the groundwork for biomass as an important part of the low-carbon future."

The $12.6 million in research grants are awarded under a joint DOE-USDA program that began in 2006 focused on fundamental investigations of biomass genomics, with the aim of harnessing nonfood plant biomass for the production of fuels such as ethanol or renewable chemical feedstocks. Dedicated feedstock crops tend to require less intensive production practices and can grow on poorer quality land than food crops, making this a critical element in a strategy of sustainable biofuels production that avoids competition with crops grown for food.

The projects are located in California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Texas, and Virginia. DOE's Office of Science will provide $10.6 million in funding for eight projects, while USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will award $2 million to fund two projects. Initial funding will support research projects for up to three years. The full list of awardees and project descriptions can be found online at: http://genomicscience.energy.gov/research/DOEUSDA/index.shtml.

New projects to be funded this year will build upon gains in genetic and genomic resources for bioenergy and biofuels. The projects will accelerate the breeding of optimized dedicated bioenergy feedstocks through a better understanding of complex interactions between bioenergy feedstock plants and their environment, allowing the development of new regionally-adapted bioenergy feedstock cultivars with maximal biomass or seed oil yield and traits leading to more sustainable production systems, such as minimal water usage and nutrient input requirements.

For more information on the joint DOE-USDA Plant Feedstocks Genomics for Bioenergy research program, visit: http://genomicscience.energy.gov/research/DOEUSDA/index.shtml

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay)


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ISU Scott County Extension August 2014 Calendar PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Friday, 11 July 2014 09:46
Aug. 1, 2014 Pesticide Applicator Testing, Scott County Extension Office, 10:00 am-2:00 pm

Aug. 14, 2014 Tree Pests: Emerald Ash Borer and Beyond, Scott County Extension Office, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

Aug. 26, 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/

 
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