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 USDA Extends ARC and PLC Deadlines
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today provided farm owners and producers one additional week, until April 7, 2015, to choose between Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), the safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres also will be April 7, 2015.
 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.
 USDA Implements 2014 Farm Bill Provision to Limit Payments to Non-Farmers
WASHINGTON, March 24, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers, consistent with requirements Congress mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill. The proposed rule limits farm payments to individuals who may be designated as farm managers but are not actively engaged in farm management.
 USDA Announces Funding for Broadband Projects in Arkansas, Iowa and New Mexico
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA has funded three rural telecommunications infrastructure projects that will improve broadband service in portions of rural Arkansas, Iowa and New Mexico.
 USDA Awards $200 Million for Skills Training to Help SNAP Recipients Get Good Jobs
ATLANTA, March 20, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, joined by Labor Secretary Tom Perez, today announced the recipients of $200 million in competitive awards to fund and evaluate pilot projects in 10 states to help Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) participants find jobs and work toward self-sufficiency.
 USDA Expands StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Build Rural Economies
Lexington, KY, March 19, 2015 - USDA Secretary Vilsack today announced an expansion of the USDA StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity to address chronic rural poverty in 32 identified counties in Oklahoma and the entire island of Puerto Rico. Today's announcement brings StrikeForce assistance to 880 counties, parishes, colonias, boroughs and tribal reservations across 21 states and Puerto Rico.
 Record Low Snowpack in Cascades, Sierra Nevada
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2015 – Warm temperatures in February contributed to further snowpack decline in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, according to data from the third 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Snowpack in Nevada, Utah and Idaho also fell further behind normal.
 USDA: Slow Snowpack Development for Much of the West
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2015 - An unusually warm, dry January slowed snowpack accumulation in much of the West, according to data from the second 2015 forecast by the United States Department of Agriculture's National Water and Climate Center (NWCC). California, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of Colorado, Utah, Oregon and Nevada, remain in prolonged drought.
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