Tag Archives: Vilsack

Farm and Food News 1/27/12

Future Faces of Farming

In 2011, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called for 100,000 new farmers a year across the nation. In the foodshed surrounding Washington, D.C., a young generation of farmers—a diverse mix including educators, chefs and budding entrepreneurs—is rising to meet this challenge with the goal of strengthening the local farm and food system.

1,200 Acres of New York Farmland Protected

The Agricultural Stewardship Association of upstate New York recently announced the completion of a 1,200 acre conservation project on three farms in Rensselaer and Washington counties. Included in the project is the Hooskip Farm, which straddles the Vermont border and has protected land in both states.

Hospitals Across the Mid-Atlantic Commit to Buying Local

In Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia, hospitals have been working to support local farmers, the local economy and healthier diets for their patients through the increased purchase of local foods. More than 40 institutions are regularly purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables while nine have stepped up to also source meat and poultry locally. Existing campaigns, such as the “Buy Local Challenge” in Maryland, have helped to spur these new purchasing initiatives.

1,000 Pounds of Butter Warms Pennsylvania Home

Once an agricultural fair or farm show is over, what to do with a decorative butter sculpture? In Pennsylvania, a 1,000-pound sculpture was brought back to the farm and converted into biofuel through a mix digester.

Hawaii Introduces Farm to School Bill

Hawaii State Representative Cynthia Thielen recently introduced a bill that would permit schools throughout the state to purchase more food products grown or raised in the state. Rep. Thielen explained that the bill would support farmers economically while improving the health of students.

Future Farmers Answer Farm Bill Challenge

Officers of the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) answered a challenge from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to develop their own suggestions for the next farm bill. The organization, which focuses on school-based and extracurricular agricultural education, proposed recommendations in four categories: “Getting started in production agriculture; creating vibrant rural communities; who should care about agriculture and why; and planning for the future.”

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Farm and Food News 1/13/12

Funds Available for Farmland Protection in Maine

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that nearly $1 million will be available this year in Maine for successful applicants for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection program. The state deadline is March 23 for 2013 funding. For more information on deadlines in other states, visit the NRCS website.

New York Dairies Benefitting from Yogurt Craze

An increased consumer demand for Greek yogurt is helping boost New York’s dairy economy. Over the last five years, yogurt production in the state has risen 60 percent, including a 40 percent hike in 2010.

Conference On Sustainable Food in Nebraska

The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society will host its annual Healthy Farms Conference on February 10 and 11 in Nebraska City. The agenda includes programs for adults and youth, including sessions on marketing, land transitions and local food.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Shares Outlook for Farm Bill

Kicking off this year’s American Farm Bureau convention was a keynote address from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack who outlined the Obama administration’s priorities for the farm bill. Issues included changes to farm support programs, support for conservation and funding for research.

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