Jacobs-Young Announces Shanower as Acting NIFA Director

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Research, Education, Economics and Acting Chief Scientist Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young announced today that Thomas Shanower will become Acting Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Shanower will be replacing outgoing NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy.

“Dr. Shanower brings more than 20 years of experience in scientific research and management, and he will maintain a steady hand at the helm of NIFA,” said Dr. Jacobs-Young. “NIFAs’ support of the best and brightest scientists has resulted in groundbreaking discoveries that combat childhood obesity, improve rural economic growth, address water availability issues, increase food production, explore new sources of energy, mitigate climate variability and ensure food safety. We salute Dr. Ramaswamy for his tireless enthusiasm at NIFA in support of agriculture-related research and education.” Continue reading

EPA to Hold Two Webinars to Help Communities Improve Mosquito Management

Mosquito season is almost upon us. The Environmental Protection Agency is hosting two webinars about how integrated pest management technology can assist with mosquito management in your community: Continue reading

Federal inspections report rodents, unsanitary worker practices behind egg recall

A report from the Food and Drug Administration reports rodents and unsanitary conditions at a North Carolina egg distributor linked to a major salmonella contamination. It’s a case where lack of integrated pest management had serious health consequences and created food safety issues.

Inspectors found “unacceptable rodent activity” and dirty equipment at the Rose Acre Farms egg operation in Pantego, N.C., during visits from March 26 to April 11, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report. They also noted employees touching dirty floors, equipment and their bodies without washing their hands. Continue reading

Now Available: 2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health Presentations

Videos and presentations from the 2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health sessions are now available. Held December 7-8, 2017 in Indianapolis, the conference highlighted insights from some of the nation’s most innovative producers, conservation leaders and scientists on using cover crops to improve soil health. Continue reading

USDA responds to China’s new soybean import tariff

In 2016, Chinese officials put in place a new grain import law to keep invasive weeds and other plant pests from entering their country. Last fall, they informed USDA that U.S. grain shipments, particularly soybeans, did not comply with the new law. They specifically cited increased detections of weed seeds.

These weed seeds threaten U.S. access to China’s grain market. If we do nothing, the United States may lose this valuable market. Consider: Approximately 1 of every 3 bushels of U.S. soybean are shipped to China, making it the United States’ largest market for this commodity. In 2017, this export was valued at $12.4 billion, which is approximately 91% by value of all grains shipped to China. Continue reading

The New Our Farms, Our Future Podcast Series: Voices in Sustainable Agriculture

From coast to coast, a diverse community of farmers, ranchers, scientists and educators is working to shape a sustainable future for our food system. Listen to the new Our Farms, Our Future podcast series and join this community for intimate conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here and where we’re headed. Continue reading

Webinar: Balancing objectives and outcomes for wildlife habitat and forest management

This webinar will discuss strategies for multi-use forestry; specifically managing forests for health and productivity while creating deer-friendly habitats.

When: April 25, 2018, at 1:00 ET Continue reading