Skip to main content

March 2020

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Helen Chipman, PhD, RDN

In celebration of Women’s History Month, USDA is featuring Dr. Helen Chipman of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Dr. Chipman serves as Acting Division Director for Nutrition and Food Safety, and National Program Leader, Food and Nutrition Education.

G20 Meeting of Agriculture Chief Scientists Reflects Trends in 2020 and the Value of Core Research Principles

As the new decade unfolds, a remarkable trend is evident in the world. In 2020, the global community and the media have been focused on the surge of a novel virus, the spread of African swine fever, wildfires, outbreak of desert locust, and debates on the safe use of agricultural technology. These challenges have similar characteristics – they span borders, have significant economic outcomes, and require global scientific collaboration to effectively address them. Public policy makers look to researchers to advance critical knowledge and offer solutions, and this research requires international collaboration. For success, however, efforts must be grounded in foundational principles and values that support international science.

Paying it Forward When it Really Counts

Connie Baker is the epitome of the strong sense of community and support in Colorado’s rural areas, so it was no surprise to me when she recently stepped forward to help folks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Dominique Carter

In this blog, we feature Dr. Dominique Carter, Agricultural Science Fellow with USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Carter’s work touches various research portfolios to measure the performance and impact of USDA science initiatives. In addition to her work, she is also interested in emerging technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Peace as Quiet Victory

Among frontline troops serving in Southeast Asia fifty years ago, peace was a distant thought. They were too busy fighting while diplomats assembled in Paris. U.S. forces were pushing hard against the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army in provinces along the A Shau Valley, into Cambodia and Laos. The number killed in action reached beyond 6,000 in 1970. War haunts this generation of aging veterans.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Jodi Williams

In this blog, we feature Dr. Jodi Williams, Senior Advisor for Food Safety, Nutrition, and Human Health with USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. Dr. Williams’ work focuses on policy development and operational planning pertaining to food safety and nutrition, and human health programs and activities. She reviews, evaluates, and critiques a broad range of policy and program management issues related to USDA’s coordinated food safety and nutrition science programs.

Find Where Your Food is Grown Using NASS Cropland Data Layer

Whether you are interested in seeing what’s grown in your area or you are a researcher with more in depth informational needs, NASS’s CropScape is a valuable tool for you. CropScape is the public user interface for the national land cover geospatial data product called Cropland Data Layer (CDL). The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the latest annual CDL at 30 meters resolution on Feb. 5, 2020. The entire archive of historical CDL products are available on CropScape for you to browse, interact, visualize, download, and query the CDL dataset without needing specialized software tools.

A Story of Plant Protection: Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day Gift to President Trump

Plants can serve as a profound symbol of friendship, especially when they cross an ocean to help two nations strengthen their bonds. I witnessed this firsthand on March 9, when I visited the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C., joining Irish Ambassador to the United States Daniel Mulhall as he received a shipment of Ireland’s iconic shamrock plants. Embassy staff later arranged those shamrocks in an elegant, engraved crystal bowl for Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to present to President Trump as a St. Patrick’s Day gift. That token of goodwill continued an annual tradition spanning 50 years.