Skip to main content

May 2019

“Agriculture and Commerce:” Tennessee Remains Strong in the Changing Face of Agriculture

Since 1801, Tennessee’s motto has been “Agriculture and Commerce.” As we see in the latest Census of Agriculture results, our farmers do their part keep our motto alive, with agriculture remaining the number one industry in the state. In 2017, our state’s farmers and ranchers sold more than $3.8 billion in agricultural products.

Highlighting Agriculture in the Grand Canyon State

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) recently released the results from the 2017 Census of Agriculture (COA). Unlike the annual estimating program, which estimates acreage, yield, production, price and value on major commodities, the COA takes a look at the people who are our farmers and ranchers and accounts for minor commodities produced across the Grand Canyon State.

USDA Continues to Implement Program Changes to Benefit Farmers

Earlier this week, I was honored to meet with members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters here at USDA headquarters. These women and men, many with decades of broadcasting and farm experience, are among the familiar voices, faces and bylines we hear and see each day through radio, television, newsletters, and social media across America.

Abundant Supplies are Forecast for the Coming Crop Year in the U.S. and Around the World

It’s a new year at USDA, at least for those of us forecasting agricultural commodity markets. Every May, the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) in the Office of the Chief Economist releases USDA’s initial projections of the markets for the crops and livestock that will be produced and harvested in the new crop year. WAOB develops USDA’s official forecasts by coordinating Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees (ICECs) to compile the latest and most comprehensive information and intelligence available from across USDA agencies. On May 10, USDA released its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report with these estimates for the 2019/20 crop year. The report also includes updated information on the 2018/19 and previous marketing years, but the early assessment of the “new crop” is a focal point of the May report.

FNS Acts to Remove Fraudulent Retailers from SNAP

You want to ensure your tax dollars are used properly. So does FNS. That is why we are continually working to improve federal administration and oversight of our programs. We undertake these efforts in order to ensure that resources are spent properly, effectively, efficiently, and as intended. When we learn of potential problems, we move quickly to act on what we learn. We did just that for some delivery route vendors whose behaviors raised suspicion.

‘Unsung Heroes’ Help Find Infant Left Deep in the Woods

Forest Service law enforcement officers Nicholas Scholz and Patrick Legg helped find the needle in a 2 million-acre haystack.

The needle was a 5-month-old infant, and the haystack is the Lolo National Forest in Montana. Last week, the officers were each honored as an Unsung Hero for their work in helping to find the infant who many feared might be dead after a man reported he had wrecked his car with his girlfriend’s son inside. At one point, the man even said he had killed, then buried the baby.

Where Do Americans’ Food Dollars Go?

In 2017, consumers in the United States spent $1.2 trillion on U.S.-produced food. Nearly all food starts out on a farm, but did you ever wonder how the value added from processing, packaging, transporting, and marketing agricultural food products factors into the costs?