USDA Creates Multi-Agency Emergency Response Framework to Combat Devastating Citrus Disease
WASHINGTON, December 12, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the creation of a new, unified emergency response framework to address Huanglongbing (HLB), a serious disease of citrus that affects several U.S. states and territories. This new framework will allow USDA and its many partners to better coordinate HLB resources, share information and develop operational strategies to maximize effectiveness.
Agriculture, Navy Secretaries Promote U.S. Military Energy Independence with 'Farm-to-Fleet'
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus today announced the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Navy’s joint “Farm-to-Fleet” venture will now make biofuel blends part of regular, operational fuel purchase and use by the military. The announcement incorporates the acquisition of biofuel blends into regular Department of Defense (DOD) domestic solicitations for jet engine and marine diesel fuels. The Navy will seek to purchase JP-5 and F-76 advanced drop-in biofuels blended from 10 to 50 percent with conventional fuels. Funds from USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will assist the effort.
USDA Grants Support Organic Agriculture Research
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded five grants to support research, education and Extension programs that will improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers.
USDA Announces Support for Mental Health Facilities in Rural Areas
WASHINGTON, Dec., 9, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has set a goal of investing up to $50 million to increase access to mental health care in rural areas over the next three years. The funding will be used for the construction, expansion, or equipping of rural mental health facilities and will be provided through the Community Facilities direct loan program. USDA’s effort to provide better mental health care in rural areas is part of President Obama’s ongoing commitment to address mental illness.
USDA Overhauls Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2013 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced a series of sweeping changes to a popular loan program for rural homebuyers. The changes are part of an extensive overhaul that will strengthen rural housing markets, increase the availability of rural home loans and spur the construction of new homes in rural areas.
USDA Chief Scientist Catherine Woteki to Visit Eleanor Roosevelt High School
WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2013 – As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's commitment to encourage the next generation of scientists, USDA Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics Catherine Woteki will speak at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt, Md., on December 9.