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Bringing Technology to Specialty Crops

Each day we use technologies to solve problems and accomplish tasks that once would have taken much longer. Whether facial recognition software, a smart thermostat, or a robotic vacuum, technology has changed the way we live and work. Farmers are also using technology to make production of specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts, more efficient. These crops make up one third of U.S. crop production sales and one sixth of U.S. agricultural sales.

Emergency Telehealth Network Working Together Amid COVID-19

I was excited to see Augusta University Research Institute featured on the local news for the phenomenal work they are accomplishing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Augusta University is using telemedicine equipment that they purchased with a grant from USDA Rural Development to run an emergency telehealth hub in rural Georgia. The hub connected five hospitals to diagnostic and educational experts at Augusta University. The goal is to help Emergency Room doctors access highly trained healthcare professionals by telemedicine and to shorten travel for rural patients to reach care and, ultimately, to improve health-related quality of life.

NIFA Impact: Research on Regulatory Policy Impacting Low-Moisture Food Safety

Nut products. Spices. Pet food. Breakfast cereals. Although most consumers would not expect these foods to contain harmful bacteria, all have been linked to nationwide outbreaks and recalls due to the presence of salmonella, which is the most frequently reported cause of food-related illness in the U.S. To better regulate the way foods are grown, harvested, and processed, the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act focuses on preventing food contamination rather than responding to foodborne-illness events.

Wrapping up Picnic Month

Summer is in full swing and, for many, that means it's time for a picnic. Whether you stay in your backyard or head to your favorite lookout spot, a picnic is always a good idea. If you didn’t feast outdoors in July during National Picnic Month, there’s still time to enjoy a great meal with nice weather and peaceful scenery.

USDA Ensures Food, Funding during Pandemic

This is a challenging time for many Americans when access to food is more essential than ever. Thankfully, USDA’s vital partners are helping feed those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. And for that, we couldn’t be more grateful. To support these important efforts, USDA is stepping up to provide over $6 billion worth of food and administrative resources in response to the crisis.