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Posts tagged tom vilsack

November 24, 2015



USDA’s MIDAS Computer Program Tarnished

So far, USDA has spent $430 million on the system, a project known by the acronym MIDAS for Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems.

August 31, 2015


baby turkeys

Officials, Farmers Prepare For Fall Bird Flu Outbreak

After criticisms of their response to the spring outbreak, USDA officials say they have a plan for this fall that could handle twice as many infections.

January 20, 2015


Kansas rancher David Pfrang with cows

Ranchers Rebel Over Beef Checkoff

The federal “beef checkoff” mandates a $1 payment every time a head of cattle is sold. Opponents have fought the checkoff all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

December 12, 2014


Tom Vilsack

At USDA, Vilsack Focused On Rural Development

Vilsack is widely credited with rallying the support that ultimately made the 2014 farm bill one of the few major bipartisan successes in this Congress.

December 5, 2014


baby food

Author Amy Bentley, Chef/Rancher Partnership, Turkey Soup

Amy Bentley follows trends in baby food, from invention to today. Indiana rancher develops relationship with local restaurants. And, a profile of Tom Vilsack.

August 14, 2014


USDA inspectors examine a chicken

Critics Blast Revamped Poultry-Inspection Regs

The USDA released new rules for poultry plants last month that allow companies to conduct their own inspections and reduce the number of government inspectors.

February 27, 2014

Healthy Schools 

school scoreboard with Coca-Cola

New Guidelines Say No To Unhealthy Marketing In Schools

Unhealthy foods are already being taken out of school lunches. Next up is the removal of unhealthy food marketing in schools.

September 20, 2013

Food (No Farm) Bill 


House Passes Bill With Significant Snips To SNAP

The House narrowly passed a bill Thursday that, if turned into law, would cut $39 billion from SNAP benefits over ten years.

June 27, 2013

Healthy Prospects 

apple and cheese

Healthier Snacks Are Heading To Schools

Healthier changes are finally coming to school snacks -- the first major overhaul in 30 years.

March 21, 2013

sequester relief 

Strips of bacon cooling on a wire rack.

Senate Passes Bill To Avert Meat Inspector Furloughs

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to avert the furlough of USDA meat inspectors and the sporadic closure of meat processing plants. Now it's up to the House.

March 20, 2013

Sustainable Legacy 

Head shot of USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.

USDA’s Kathleen Merrigan Steps Down

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has paid much attention to small, local farming during her tenure at the USDA.

March 8, 2013

Sequester who? Sequester you! 

A hundred-dollar bill cut into many pieces

Sequester Affects All Levels Of Food Supply

Over time, the sequester will lead to meat shortages, fewer FDA inspections of food processors, cuts to food banks and reductions in farmer credit.

January 25, 2012

Nutritious Lunches 

First Lady Michelle Obama with a group of children

First Lady Announces Healthy Changes To School Lunch

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the first major changes to the national school lunch program in 15 years from an elementary school in Virginia.

January 11, 2012

'Cost-Saving Measure' 


USDA To Close 249 Offices, Affect Local Farms

Cutting 249 USDA offices -- half of which are small, local offices -- will only impact their annual spending by one percent.

December 1, 2011

Future Food Policy 

Portrait of Senator Debbie Stabenow, speaking at a microphone.  She is a woman appearing to be in her 50s or 60s, with red hair, wearing a black blazer over a red shirt.  An American flag hangs behind her.

Afterlife Of The Secret Farm Bill

The demise of a Farm Bill drafted in secrecy means the next version will go through standard Congressional channels, which has mixed implications for farmers.

November 10, 2011

Food Futures 

Salem Willard stands between two tall wooden stakes drilled vertically in the ground.  He is leaning against them.  There is a third stake in the foreground.  The ground and trees in the background are bare, reflecting that the picture was taken in early spring.

Young Farmers’ Growing Challenges

The median age of American farmers is currently 57, and rising. Soon, they're going to retire--and young farmers face incredible challenges in taking over.

September 13, 2011

Food Safety 

ground beef

Six New Strains Of E. coli Added To Ground Beef Regulation

In a move applauded by food safety advocates, the USDA has announced ground beef will not be sold if it tests positive for six additional strains of E. coli.

April 22, 2011

Capitol Hill 

Capitol Building

Federal Budget Just Got A Lot Less Tasty

House Republicans have begun to pass a budget that includes serious cuts to some food-related organizations.

October 4, 2010

Vegan Bill Cinton 

Bill Clinton

The New Bill Clinton: Fit, Lean And … Vegan?

This week Bill Clinton discusses his vegan-based diet, the cost of cheap meat is revealed, and food programs are actually receiving some federal grants.

August 4, 2010

Farmers Markets 

Vegetables at a farmers' market

USDA: Farmers Markets Up 16 Percent In 2009, Indiana Up 47 Percent

The USDA's 2010 National Farmers Market Directory lists 6,132 farmers markets nationwide, 16 percent more than in 2009 when the agency reported 5,274.

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