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 Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Finalization of the Renewable Fuel Standard
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2015—Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s finalization of the Renewable Fuel Standard volume requirements:
 Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Rural America at a Glance, 2015 Edition
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2015—Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement on Rural America At A Glance, 2015 Edition, an annual report by USDA’s Economic Research Service:
 Statement from Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden on the Passing of Dr. D.D. Hardee
WASHINGTON, Nov. 25, 2015—Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today released the following statement on the passing of Dr. D.D. “Dick” Hardee, the research entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service who led the team that developed the boll weevil pheromone trap that helped eradicate the pest from the U.S. Cotton Belt:
 Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Updated 2015 U.S. Farm Income Forecast
WASHINGTON, Nov. 24, 2015 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today made the following statement:
 USDA Awards $2 Million for Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Research
WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today awarded $2 million in grants to support research on nutrition education and obesity prevention for disadvantaged children and families at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Utah State University. The funding will help create two additional Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE), established through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
 Fact Sheet: USDA Invests in New Market Opportunities in Local and Regional Food Systems
Over the course of the Administration, USDA has created new economic opportunities in the growing market for local and regional foods for new and established farmers, ranchers and small food business entrepreneurs. Through investments at the farm level in the form of production research, credit and conservation assistance; infrastructure investments that connect farmers and consumers; and strategies to increase access to healthy foods in rural and urban communities, USDA has helped the market for local food grow to an estimated $11.7 billion in 2014. Between FY 2009 and FY 2014, USDA invested more than $800 million in more than 29,100 local and regional food businesses and infrastructure projects.
 New USDA Data Show Growing Farm to School Efforts Help to Reduce Plate Waste, Increase Student Participation in Healthier School Meals Program
NEW YORK, October 20, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced preliminary Farm to School Census data for school year 2013-2014 that indicate strong farm to school programs can increase the number of students purchasing school breakfast and lunch, improve consumption of healthier foods at school, and reduce plate waste. Census data also indicate that schools purchased nearly $600 million worth of food locally in school year 2013-2014, a 55 percent increase over school year 2011-2012 when the first Farm to School Census was conducted, creating new marketing opportunities for farmers and ranchers in their communities.
 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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