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 Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces the Selection of Warren Preston as USDA Deputy Chief Economist
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of Dr. Warren Preston as U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Chief Economist, effective February 21. He has served as senior economist for agricultural policy in the Office of the Chief Economist (OCE) since August 2015, after serving as USDA's acting Deputy Chief Economist beginning in February 2015. He joined USDA in 1992.
 USDA Secretary Vilsack Announces $58.25 Million to Protect Agriculture and Plants from Pests and Diseases Through 2014 Farm Bill Section 10007
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 — U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has allocated $58.25 million from Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill. This money will support 434 projects that prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment and ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock in the United States.
 USDA Sees Strong Demand for Conservation Reserve Program
WASHINGTON, Feb. 11, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reminding farmers and ranchers that the competitive sign-up deadline for its most popular voluntary conservation program, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), is Feb. 26, 2016.
 Fact Sheet: USDA Assistance to Residents Affected by the Water Emergency in Flint, Michigan
USDA is committed to assisting residents affected by the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. While the water emergency in Flint remains primarily a public health crisis addressed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USDA is committed to using all resources available to assist in the response and to provide relief to those affected by the water contamination. To date, USDA has provided the following assistance:
 USDA to Temporarily Allow WIC Funds to be Used for Lead Testing for Flint-Area WIC Recipients, Announces Other Measures to Expand Access to Healthy Foods
FLINT, Mich., Feb. 10, 2016 – As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ongoing efforts to support residents in Flint, Mich., Dr. Kathryn Wilson, Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services today announced that USDA will temporarily allow Michigan to use WIC funds to conduct lead testing for WIC participants. An estimated 3,800 WIC participants could potentially be tested as a result of this action. The announcement came as Wilson visited a WIC clinic and elementary school in Michigan to discuss how residents can access USDA programs to help mitigate the ill effects of the city’s water crisis on their health and wellbeing. On this trip, USDA is supporting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the state and local government in providing relief to those affected by the water contamination.
 Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Farm Income Forecasts for 2016
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement today on the Farm Income and Financial Forecasts for 2015 and 2016, released by USDA’s Economic Research Service.
 USDA, NFL, Fuel Up to Play 60 Partner to Award $35 Million to Help Schools Serve Healthier Meals, Strengthen Childhood Nutrition
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 5, 2016 – Amid pre-Super Bowl 50 celebrations today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, and Paul Rovey, dairy farmer and leader of the National Dairy Council (NDC), announced the availability of $35 million in grants to help schools upgrade their kitchen equipment and infrastructure in order to offer students better access to nutritious foods.
 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.
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