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 USDA Announces $1.4 Billion in Proactive Savings through Blueprint for Stronger Service
WASHINGTON, May 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Blueprint for Stronger Service initiative has created $1.4 billion in savings, efficiencies, and cost avoidances, while the agriculture sector continues to experience its most productive period in history. Secretary Vilsack launched the initiative in 2012, directing USDA agencies to take steps to cut costs and modernize operations in order to become a stronger and more effective department.
 New USDA Portal Enables Farmers, Ranchers to Request Conservation Assistance Online
Washington, D.C. May 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners can now do business with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through a new online portal. With today’s launch of Conservation Client Gateway, producers will have the ability to work with conservation planners online to access Farm Bill programs, request assistance and track payments for their conservation activities.
 Dr. Seth Meyer Appointed World Agricultural Outlook Board Chairman
WASHINGTON, May 27, 2015 – Acting Chief Economist Robert Johansson today announced the appointment of Dr. Seth Meyer as the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) Chairman. Dr. Meyer is currently a Senior Economist with the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) on assignment to WAOB and will assume his new duties May 31, 2015.
 USDA Seeks Applications for Grants to Help Socially-Disadvantaged Rural Residents
WASHINGTON, May 26, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting applications to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas.
 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Statement on Senate Passage of Trade Promotion Authority
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement regarding Senate passage of Trade Promotion Authority legislation:
 USDA Announces Funding Opportunity for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Projects
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting applications for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program, which provides increased access to education, training and health care resources in rural areas.
 United States and OECD Outline Guidance for Rural Economic Development Policies
MEMPHIS, Tenn., May 21, 2015 – Today, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Deputy Secretary-General Mari Kiviniemi released a joint statement outlining three major themes guiding rural economic development policies.
 USDA Reminds Farmers to Certify Conservation Compliance by June 1 Deadline
WASHINGTON, May 21, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds farmers to file a Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation Certification form (AD-1026) with their local USDA Service Center by June 1, 2015. The 2014 Farm Bill requires producers to have the form on file in order to remain eligible, or to become eligible for crop insurance premium support.
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