New ATTRA Farm-Safety Resources Help Growers Understand Regulations

Editor’s note: This post isn’t directly related to pest management, but since pest management is part of food safety, I thought the information may be useful to your stakeholders.

Now that food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. Continue reading

“Locally grown,” “natural,” “organic” — what the terms mean at farmers’ markets

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

While the popularity of farmers markets has grown, there is still a lot of misunderstanding about what certain terms mean and what is allowed to be sold there, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist.

“A lot of the terms used to describe foods are subject to misinterpretation and definitions may vary,” said Rebecca Dittmar, AgriLife Extension program specialist for food protection management based in Kerrville. Continue reading

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Foundational Program

The AFRI Foundational Program supports grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Bioenergy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. The program supports single-function and integrated research projects as standard, conference, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) grants to address one of the Program Area Priorities (see AFRI Foundational Program Request for Applications for details). Continue reading

Funding opportunity: Agriculture and Food Research Initiative – Food Safety Challenge Area

This AFRI Challenge Area promotes and enhances the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption. This requires an understanding of the interdependencies of human, animal, and ecosystem health as it pertains to foodborne pathogens. The long-term outcome for this program is to support the development and deployment of science based knowledge to improve the safety and nutritional quality of food without sacrificing flavor, acceptability, and affordability. In order to achieve this outcome, this program will support multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants that address the Program Area Priority, Effective Mitigation Strategies for Antimicrobial Resistance (see Food Safety RFA for details). Continue reading

Seminar on Best practices for National Institute of Food and Agriculture funding success: A 25 year perspective

From the Connection, North Central IPM Center

Although this seminar is targeted for nutritionists, anyone with an interest in pursuing USDA funding will glean information from Dr. Jaykus’s experience.

Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, North Carolina State University, will present “Best practices for National Institute of Food and Agriculture funding success: A twenty year perspective” from 3-4 p.m. Eastern on Feb.23, 2017. The seminar can be viewed via Adobe Connect as well as in Room 3310 of the Waterfront Building, Washington, DC. This seminar has been approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration for 1.0 Continuing Professional Education Unit (CEU).*

This seminar is part of the Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (IFSN) Seminar Series. These monthly seminars aim to disseminate new knowledge; engage with partners and stakeholders; and inspire the next generation of food safety and nutrition experts. For full information on the series, visit the seminar webpage. Continue reading

Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding the Food Safety Outreach Program

A Federal Register Notice entitled “Solicitation of Input From Stakeholders Regarding the Food Safety Outreach Program” was recently published in the Federal Register on December 12, 2016.

As part of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s (NIFA) strategy to successfully expand the Food Safety Outreach Program, NIFA will host a virtual listening session. The focus of the listening session is to gather stakeholder input to develop the priorities for the Request for Applications (RFA) in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. NIFA is particularly interested in reaching the intended audience, achieving the most impact, and identifying suggested priorities in the third year of the Food Safety Outreach Program.

The comment period ends on January 31, 2017.

Why We Should All Support IPM in Schools as a Top Priority for our Nation

By Dr. Thomas Green, IPM Institute

From the Connection, North Central IPM Center

This fall, 50.4 million students and six million staff returned to more than 100,000 schools in 13,500 districts across the US. Unfortunately, only 15-20% of those districts have key indicators of effective IPM programs (Green and Gouge 2015). Continue reading