USDA - Latest Blogs USDA - Latest Blog Posts en Agriculture in America: Deeply Rooted in Black Culture <p>The story of agriculture in America cannot be told without acknowledging the contributions of Black people. Black people have been and are an integral driver in the success of U.S. agriculture. From farming and cultivation to scientific research, the agriculture narrative is fortified by the many roles played by black leaders. USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the premier food research agency in the world, and it wouldn’t be nearly as successful or impactful if not for its rich, diverse history of scientists.</p> Thu, 25 Feb 2021 11:56:32 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42622 at Estimating Ecosystem Benefits from Rangeland Conservation Practices <p>Nature provides numerous benefits that people value. In the conservation world, we call these benefits ecosystem services. On rangelands, some ecosystem services can be bought and sold in traditional market systems – like forages, meat, and other animal products from livestock. Other ecosystem services are not typically bought or sold, but nevertheless have value – like cleaner water, better air quality, and reduced risk from drought or flood. Conservation practices can increase the value of both types of ecosystem services. But, how do we put a dollar value on non-marketable services on rangeland? And how do we tie those dollar values to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation practices?</p> Wed, 24 Feb 2021 09:41:16 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42604 at Preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture <p>Preparation for a large survey does not happen overnight, in a few weeks, or even a year. When it comes to USDA’s flagship data collection effort, the <a href="">Census of Agriculture</a>, this is especially true. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) started preparing for the 2022 Census of Agriculture in 2018, when NASS was collecting data for the 2017 Ag Census. NASS’s census, research, and methodology divisions immediately began evaluating content, design, and delivery of the census questionnaire and associated materials for possible improvement. This is the regular cycle of the vital, once-every-five-year Census of Agriculture.</p> Wed, 24 Feb 2021 09:21:31 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42603 at Celebrating the Agricultural Impacts of 1890 Land-Grant Universities <p>USDA has a long history of investing in and supporting our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The <a href="">19 HBCUs established under the Second Morrill Act of 1890</a>, along with the two HBCU land-grant universities established in the original 1862 legislation – University of the District of Columbia and University of the Virgin Islands – are a critical link in ensuring public access to agricultural education, research, and outreach programs are equitably distributed to all Americans. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports research at these institutions with both capacity and competitive funding.</p> Tue, 23 Feb 2021 10:45:10 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42593 at Black History Month 2021: Agriculture, Family and the Land <p>Every February, the APHIS community celebrates Black History Month and honors the many and varied contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. This year’s Black History Month theme is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” This feature, a personal narrative by APHIS employee Langston Hull, is the first in a two-part series recognizing Black employees at APHIS and their connection to agriculture, family, and the land.</p> Tue, 23 Feb 2021 09:20:57 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42592 at Spread the Word, Not the Weeds <p>Deceptively delicate and fragile in appearance, the Eurasian watermilfoil forms thick mats in shallow areas of a lake, quickly growing and spreading to block sunlight, killing off native aquatic plants that fish and other underwater species rely on for food and shelter.</p> Mon, 22 Feb 2021 16:37:13 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42567 at Jumpstart Your Heart with a “Daly” Dose of Healthy Foods <p>Every 36 seconds, a person dies from heart disease in the United States. Heart disease is the leading cause of the death in America, and in 2017, <a href=";lvlID=19">Black Americans were 20 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites</a>. Several medical conditions and lifestyle choices contribute to a higher risk of heart disease such as being overweight or obese and having unhealthy diets. As we recognize American Heart Month and celebrate Black History Month, we’re spotlighting Dr. Marie M. Daly’s contribution to improving American health outcomes through nutrition research.</p> Tue, 16 Feb 2021 11:18:58 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42501 at Black History Month - Celebrating Black American Achievements Past and Present <p>February is Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the hard-fought achievements, sacrifices, and contributions made by Black Americans to every aspect of our country’s diverse cultural heritage, and particularly to the agricultural industry. It’s also a time for us to honor the Black farmers and ranchers of today, who are providing food, fiber, and fuel for the nation.</p> Fri, 12 Feb 2021 15:39:52 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42478 at Black History: Our Living History <p>On the cold January night following her swearing in earlier in the day as the first woman vice president of the United States, Kamala D. Harris and First Gentleman Doug Emhoff stood before the Lincoln Memorial. The stoic face of Lincoln looked eastward, past some of the signposts of our history in the form of war memorials and monuments, all the way to the U.S. Capitol. The monuments before both Lincoln and Harris are symbols of American history; but this January, history was unfolding at Lincoln’s feet.</p> Fri, 12 Feb 2021 15:24:19 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42477 at USDA Invests in Data for Agricultural Irrigation Improvements <p>Every farmer needs adequate water for their crops. In some U.S. regions, farmers must rely on irrigation to have enough water for their crops. The 2017 <a href=",_Chapter_1_US/">Census of Agriculture</a> reports <a href=",_Chapter_1_US/st99_1_0011_0012.pdf">farms with some form of irrigation accounted for 54% of the total value of crop sales</a> (PDF, 121 KB). With water being such a vital resource for the U.S. agricultural sector, understanding water management and supply organizations is key to helping policymakers make decisions to support irrigated crop production.</p> Thu, 11 Feb 2021 10:27:35 -0500 USDA Latest Blogs 42466 at