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 USDA Seeks Applications for Conservation Innovation Grants
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that applications are being accepted for up to $20 million in grants to facilitate the creation of new, innovative markets for carbon credits, providing additional revenue sources for producers to use to address natural resource conservation challenges. These grants are part of the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) program, authorized through the 2014 Farm Bill.
 Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Expanded Market Access for U.S. Grown Apples to China
WASHINGTON, Jan. 26, 2015 - This weekend, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reached agreement with Chinese officials to allow all U.S. grown apples to gain access to the Chinese market. This will allow a greater share of U.S. apple exports to China in the coming months and has the potential to increase U.S. fresh apple exports, which were valued at more than $1 billion in 2013, by approximately 10 percent.
 USDA Awards Loans to Help Create Jobs, Spur Rural Economic Development
WINONA, Miss., Jan. 23, 2015 – Agriculture Under Secretary Lisa Mensah today announced five awards to expand access to credit for rural businesses, particularly small businesses in poor and underserved areas.
 USDA Proposes New Measures to Reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry Products
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2015 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today proposed new federal standards to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter in ground chicken and turkey products as well as raw chicken breasts, legs and wings.
 Agriculture Deputy Secretary Announces Funding for Conservation Projects in Great Lakes Region
TOLEDO, Jan. 16, 2015 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced $17.5 million in Federal funding for a tri-state project to help protect water quality in the western basin of Lake Erie. Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown joined local NRCS staff and project partners for the announcement.
 First USDA Forecast Shows Normal Water Supply Forecast for Much of the West
WASHINGTON, January 15, 2015 – A normal water supply is predicted for much of the West, while the Southwest, Sierra Nevada region and Pacific Northwest are beginning the year drier than normal, according to data from the first 2015 forecast by USDA’s National Water and Climate Center (NWCC).
 US Forest Service Announces Payments to States to Support Local Schools and Roads
WASHINGTON, January 15, 2015 -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that more than $50 million will be paid to 41 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to support local schools and roads under the Twenty-Five Percent Fund Act of 1908. The 1908 Act requiring 25-percent payments is permanent law and will guide 2014 distribution of payments, as the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act authority expired on September 30, 2014.
 USDA Awards First Grants to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools 68 Projects Support Nearly 2 Million Students
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced more than $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects, spanning 37 states and the District of Columbia, to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers.
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