USDA

U.S. Dept of Agriculture

A helicopter will take to the air over farm fields in Massachusetts during the next few weeks as part of a government soil conservation program.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Six Vermont companies will be receiving a total of just over $734,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help add value to the products they produce.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the first New York senator to sit on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, has a comprehensive plan to overhaul the nation's food safety laws by improving inspection, recall response, and public education.

USDAgov's photostream Flickr

The USDA has launched a new school nutrition program that greatly expands the offer of free school meals to students.  The program could reach more than 8.8 million children in high poverty areas.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon about the school meals option called the Community Eligibility Program.

A dozen federal, state, and local agencies and organizations are undertaking a conservation and economic development project in the most densely forested area of Massachusetts. It is also an area of above average poverty and unemployment rates.

Hudson Opera House Receives Funding For Renovations

Nov 6, 2014
Courtesy of Hudson Opera House

Funding is headed to an opera house in the Hudson Valley.

Sean Philpott-Jones: The Boys In The Ban

Aug 28, 2014

For over 30 years now, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has banned blood donations from gay and bisexual men. It is a lifetime ban. Currently, no man who has ever had sex with another man can donate blood in the US.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Audio Pending...

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the creation of a new U.S. Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund that will allow private entities to invest in rural infrastructure projects.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted a NY Rural Roundtable Summit at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. The first of three to be held in Eastern New York, the summit brought together small business owners, farmers, and other community advocates to give participants a chance to learn about government programs and grants, and other opportunities available to help strengthen rural communities.

Lee Telega, NY State Director for USDA, Rural Development, said the roundtables aim to spread information on a variety of programs to those in less accessible areas.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued its preliminary 2012 census of U.S. agriculture. Taken every five years, the census released Thursday indicates that there are more farms in New England.

Orange County Receives Farm-To-School Grant

Nov 22, 2013

A New York congressman and a county executive say federal money will help schools purchase local produce.

Schumer: Feds work to bring Greek yogurt to school

Jan 31, 2013
USDAgov's photostream Flickr

Schumer last summer asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to modify the federal school lunch program to incorporate Greek yogurt as a high-protein meat alternative. USDA officials told Schumer this week that they are starting a pilot program that could lead to more Greek yogurt in schools as early as April.

Robert Benner / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Federal agriculture officials say New York's strawberry crop took a hit last year, but blueberry production was up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says strawberry production dropped to 3.2 million pounds, down 11 percent from 2011. Many farms reported shortened seasons because of a snap of cold weather that generally hit early crops around the state.

Lance Cheung / U.S. Department of Agriculture

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York school district is opting out of the National School Lunch Program as students throw out fruits and vegetables required under new nutritional guidelines.

The Niskayuna Central School District near Albany plans to opt out April 1. Officials in the suburban district say the number of students buying lunch dropped significantly this year and the program is running a $70,000 deficit.

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says rain in late summer and early fall of 2012 helped save crops in most of the state.

The USDA says production of grain corn, soybeans, wheat and oat crops all increased from the previous year. Soybeans were estimated at a record high 14.4 million bushels, 20 percent more than was harvested in 2011.

WAMC

Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is joining his colleagues from Maine, New York and Minnesota in calling for a review of federal dairy price supports.

The USDA is helping fund an effort to get products from local farms into the kitchens of large institutions in the region, such as colleges and hospitals.  Officials say the demand for food from closer to home continues to grow, but the infrastructure to supply it has not kept up.  WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports