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 Food and Agriculture Groups Express Optimism and Confidence in Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 – Leaders from across the U.S. agriculture and food sector have continued to express their optimism and confidence in the newly reached Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Yesterday, trade ministers from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam concluded negotiations for the TPP—one of the largest trade deals in recent history. For America’s food and agriculture sector, which has remained a bright spot in the country’s economy for the past seven years, TPP would create more American jobs and drive the nation’s rural economy. U.S. agricultural trade with the 11 TPP countries accounted for 42 percent of U.S. agricultural exports in 2014, contributing $63 billion to the U.S. economy.
 USDA Seeks Applications for $16.8 Million in Grants to Empower SNAP Participants to Make Healthy Eating Choices
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of up to $16.8 million in funding to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables. The funding is available to local, state and national organizations to test incentive strategies to help SNAP participants better afford healthy foods.
 USDA Awards $113 Million to Support Specialty Crop Production, Grow Opportunities for Rural Communities
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $113 million in program grants to support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery crops, also known as “specialty crops,” through research, agricultural extension activities, and programs to increase demand and address the needs of America's specialty crop industry.
 Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Regarding the Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made the following statement following the successful conclusion of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership:
 USDA Awards $34.3 Million to Support Communities' Local Foods Infrastructure, Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables
WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today helped to kick off the nation's harvest season by announcing nearly $35 million in new funding through four grant programs to support local and regional food systems, including farmers markets.
 USDA Announces Partnership with Association of Science-Technology Centers
WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) that will provide more than 500 member museums and science-technology centers with resources to incorporate agricultural science and research in their programs.
 USDA Announces $18.1 Million to Help Rural Businesses Create Jobs
WASHINGTON, July 29, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced loans and grants for 92 projects worth $18.1 to help support the start-up or expansion of rural small businesses. These funds are part of more than 20,000 grants and loans to more than 85,000 rural businesses USDA’s Rural Business-Cooperative Service has awarded since the start of the Obama administration.
 USDA Announces Grants for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs
WASHINGTON - March 26, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA awarded $9 million in grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.

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