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  • USDA Makes It Easier for American Farmers to Grow Food, Ease Burdens for American Families

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Makes It Easier for American Farmers to Grow Food, Ease Burdens for American Families | site |



    Expands Insurance Coverage for Double Cropping for 2023 to Support Food Production, Lower Costs for American Families


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: July 12, 2022 Washington, July 12, 2022 - - Today, the Biden Administration announced additional steps it’s taking to support U.S. farmers in their work to stabilize food prices and feed Americans and the world amidst continuing challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reducing the economic risk of raising two crops on the same land in one year, making it easier for U.S. farmers to grow food in America, increase food supply, and lower food costs for American families. This action is part of ...
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  • U.S. General Services Administration Announces New Pollinator Initiative

    U.S. General Services Administration Announces New Pollinator Initiative | site |


    Information contained in U.S. General Services Administration press release dated: June 22, 2022 Washington - - Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced its new Pollinator Initiative that supports the federal government's commitment to protect pollinators. Saving bees and other pollinators from the risks they face is an important part of a sustainable future because pollinators are critical to agriculture and food production – contributing to the national economy by more than $20 billion each year. This is just the latest step in GSA's agency-wide commitment to advancing sustainability and confronting climate change. GSA has established policies and practices to support pollinator habitat through the design, construction, and maintenance of federal properties nationwide. In support of these efforts, GSA has installed honeybee hives at 11 GSA facilities acros...
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  • USDA Announces Framework for Shoring Up the Food Supply Chain and Transforming the Food System to Be Fairer, More Competitive, More Resilient

    USDA Announces Framework for Shoring Up the Food Supply Chain and Transforming the Food System to Be Fairer, More Competitive, More Resilient


    USDA efforts to create more and better markets will benefit both producers and American consumers through fairer prices, as well as address longstanding issues intensified by pandemic


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: June 1, 2022

    Washington, June 1, 2022 - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing details of a framework to transform the food system to benefit consumers, producers and rural communities by providing more options, increasing access, and creating new, more, and better markets for small and mid-size producers. Today’s announcement builds on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine. This announcement also provides additional details on the June...
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  • Statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Ongoing Violence in America

    Statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Ongoing Violence in America | site |




    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: May 25, 2022 Washington, May 25, 2022 - - “Another massacre in America. A statement that is all too common and one we all wish to never speak again. Last week it was a church in California and a grocery store in Buffalo. Yesterday, it was an elementary school in Texas. It’s enough. We cannot and should not be willing to live with this carnage. “I know the pain that a family feels when a child is lost. My heart aches again at the news of so many young lives needlessly cut short. Time and time again parents and loved ones grapple with the heartbreaking, the unbearable, and the unthinkable in this country. One time is far too many. “I know the contribution that a teacher can make and how tragic it is so many young lives will never be inspired to lea...
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  • USDA Invests 770 Million Dollars to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses and People in 36 States and Puerto Rico

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Invests $770 Million to Expand Market Opportunities for Rural Businesses and People in 36 States and Puerto Rico | site |




    122 Projects Will Help People in Socially Vulnerable Communities


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: May 24, 2022

    Washington, May 24, 2022 - - U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the Department is investing $770 million to help create new and better market opportunities for rural businesses and people in 36 states and Puerto Rico. The investments include $640 million for 122 projects to help people living in socially vulnerable communities. “The economic success of rural America has long been the bedrock of our Nation’s economy as a whole,” Vilsack said. “Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, USDA is prioritizing investment in jobs, businesses, and entrepr
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  • USDA Announces Additional Farm Service Agency and Rural Development State Directors

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Additional Farm Service Agency and Rural Development State Directors | site |



    Washington, May 19, 2022 - - Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to appoint two U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional positions, including one Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director and one Rural Development (RD) State Director. “I am thrilled we continue to add state directors to be the face of USDA programs in rural and farm communities,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to building a better America, and these state directors are critical to accomplishing that.” FSA State Executive Directors oversee Farm Service Agency operations and agricultural policy implementation in the state. Each State Executive Director works with the State Committee to administer FSA programs and County office operations, develops and maintains stakeholder relationships with cust...
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  • Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on President Biden's Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage

    Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on President Biden's Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage | site |




    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: May 18, 2022


    Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on President Biden's Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage

    Washington, May 18, 2022 - - “We know that this situation is causing stress and anxiety for many families across the country and President Biden has said that this administration will do everything in its power to ensure babies and families have access to the formula that they need. As the President directed, the Department of Agriculture will immediately begin coordinating with the Department of Defense and expand its coordination with our Health and Human Services counterparts to get safe formula on store shelves as quickly as possible. "At USDA, we take seriously our role in saf...
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  • USDA to Provide Approximately $6 Billion to Commodity and Specialty Crop Producers Impacted by 2020 and 2021 Natural Disasters

    U.S. Department of Agriculture to Provide Approximately $6 Billion to Commodity and Specialty Crop Producers Impacted by 2020 and 2021 Natural Disasters | site |



    First Wave of Payments Based on Crop Insurance Data


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: May 16, 2022

    Washington, May 16, 2022 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that commodity and specialty crop producers impacted by natural disaster events in 2020 and 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments totaling approximately $6 billion through the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Relief Program (ERP) to offset crop yield and value losses. “For over two years, farmers and ranchers across the country have been hard hit by an ongoing pandemic coupled with more frequent and catastrophic natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As the agricul
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Continues Urgent Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Continues Urgent Actions to Address Infant Formula Shortage | site |



    Urges states to adopt flexibilities to support families amid recall


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: May 13, 2022

    Washington, May 13, 2022 - - As part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s coordinated drive to end the infant formula shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging states to take advantage of flexibilities the department is offering in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, commonly known as WIC, to help families get the safe formula they need. “We’re acutely aware that the ongoing recall has left many parents and caregivers concerned about access to formula and how they will feed their babies,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our team is committed to the health and safety
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  • First Round of Proposals for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Shows Strong Interest

    First Round of Proposals for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Shows Strong Interest | site |



    Deadline for Second Funding Pool Closes Friday, June 10


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: May 10, 2022

    Washington, May 10, 2022 - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the first round of funding through the new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities received over 450 proposals ranging from $5 million to $100 million each. The deadline for these large-scale proposals closed on Friday, May 6, 2022. The applications USDA received came from over 350 groups, including nonprofit, for-profit and government entities; farmer cooperatives; conservation, energy and environmental groups; state, tribal and local governments; universities (including minority serving institutions); small businesses and large corporations. The applications covered every
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Renews People’s Garden Initiative

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Renews People’s Garden Initiative

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Renews People’s Garden Initiative | site |




    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: May 3, 2022 Washington, May 3, 2022 - - Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack planted a tree to announce the reopening of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) People’s Garden Initiative. People’s Gardens across the country will grow fresh, healthy food and support resilient, local food systems; teach people how to garden using conservation practices; nurture habitat for pollinators and wildlife and create greenspace for neighbors. The garden at USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be joined by 17 flagship gardens located in urban communities nationwide. “The simple act of planting a garden can have big impacts – from building a more diversified and resilient local food system to empowering communities to come together around healthy food access, cl...
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  • USDA Farmers Market Reopens for 25th Market Season

    USDA Farmers Market Reopens for 25th Market Season

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers Market Reopens for 25th Market Season | site |



    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: April 18, 2022 Washington, Apr. 18, 2022 - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the reopening of the USDA Farmers Market for its 25th market season. The annual Friday market will reopen on Friday, May 6, 2022, and run through Friday, Oct. 28, 2022. The market will be open from 9 a.m. EDT to 2 p.m. EDT on Fridays. “The reopening of the USDA’s Farmer’s market for its 25th market season is an opportunity to celebrate the important role that farmers markets continue to play in meeting the growing demand for local fresh and healthy food produced by local farmers, ranchers and processors,” said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Jewel Bronaugh. “The USDA Farmers Market provides an opportunity to highlight the agricultural diversity of the C...
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  • U.S Department of Agriculture Announces Intent to Establish Subcommittee on Rural Community Economic Development for its Equity Commission

    U.S Department of Agriculture Announces Intent to Establish Subcommittee on Rural Community Economic Development for its Equity Commission | site |


    USDA also seeks nominations for subcommittee


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: April 7, 2022

    Washington, April 7, 2022 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will establish a Rural Community Economic Development (RCED) Subcommittee as part of the recently launched Equity Commission. Nominations and applications for membership to the RCED Subcommittee are due on May 6.

    The Federal Register Notice is another important step towards fully implementing President Biden’s commitment to create an Equity Commission and the American Rescue Plan Act provision that directs USDA to “address historical discrimination and disparities in the agriculture sector… [through] one
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture to Provide Payments to Livestock Producers Impacted by Drought or Wildfire

    U.S. Department of Agriculture to Provide Payments to Livestock Producers Impacted by Drought or Wildfire | site |



    New Emergency Livestock Relief benefits to be delivered through two-phased approach; compensation for 2021 forage losses


    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: March 31, 2022

    Washington - - March 31, 2022 – The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that ranchers who have approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for forage losses due to severe drought or wildfire in 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments for increases in supplemental feed costs in 2021 through the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) new Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP). “Producers of grazing livestock experienced catastrophic losses of available forage as well as higher costs for supplemental feed in 2021. Unfortunately, the conditions
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Publishes Origin of Livestock Final Rule for Organic Dairy

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Publishes Origin of Livestock Final Rule for Organic Dairy | site |



    Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release dated: March 29, 2022 Washington, March 29, 2022 - - Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the highly anticipated Origin of Livestock (OOL) final rule for organic dairy. This change to the USDA organic regulations will promote a fairer and more competitive market for all organic dairy producers, by making sure that certified USDA organic dairy products are produced to the same consistent standard. “This action demonstrates the USDA’s strong commitment to America’s organic dairy farmers,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “The Origin of Livestock final rule provides clear and uniform standards about how and when livestock may be transitioned to organic dairy production, and how transitioned animals are managed within the orga...
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  • Statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Canada’s Suspension of Potatoes from Prince Edward Island, Canada, to the United States

    Statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Canada’s Suspension of Potatoes from Prince Edward Island, Canada, to the United States |site



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: November 22, 2021) Washington, Nov. 22, 2021 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) commends Canada for implementing the necessary plant health (phytosanitary) measures to safeguard against the transmission of potato wart disease from Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, to the United States. “I appreciate Canada’s action to suspend the movement of all potatoes from Prince Edward Island to the United States,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Our risk assessment demonstrated that this action is necessary to protect U.S. potato producers from possible exposure to the Federally designated select agent Synchytrium endobioticum, commonly known as potato wart. We look forward to working with the Can...
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  • USDA Announces Intent to Establish an Equity Commission, Solicits Nominations for Membership

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Intent to Establish an Equity Commission, Solicits Nominations for Membership | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: September 24, 2021)

    Washington, September 24, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will establish an Equity Commission and is requesting nominations for membership on the Equity Commission Advisory Committee and Equity Commission Subcommittee on Agriculture. The Notice represents an important step towards implementing President Biden’s commitment to create an Equity Commission and the American Rescue Plan Act provision that directs USDA to "address historical discrimination and disparities in the agriculture sector… [through] one or more equity commissions to address racial equity issues within USDA and its programs." “USDA is committed to advancing equity throughout our Departm...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: August 10, 2021)

    Washington, August 10, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    John Rapp was named Director of the Office of Budget and Program Analysis. Previously, he held the role in an acting capacity while simultaneously serving as the Budget Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Evaluation Office, and Performance Improvement Officer. Prior to being named in the acting role, Rapp served as the director of Strategic Planning, Budget and Accountability for the Forest Service. He also served as the Assistant Director for Formulation, Performance, and Strategic Planning and, before that, as the Performance Management Branch Chief. Prior to his career with the Forest Service,
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  • Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule

    Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: June 17, 2021) Washington, June 17, 2021 - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released the following statement today in regard to the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule: “We intend to reconsider the prior Administration’s interpretation that the Organic Foods Production Act does not authorize USDA to regulate the practices that were the subject of the 2017 Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) final rule. I have directed the National Organic Program to begin a rulemaking to address this statutory interpretation and to include a proposal to disallow the use of porches as outdoor space in organic production over time and on other topics that were the subject of the OLPP final rule. We anticipate sen...
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  • Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Intent to Nominate Representative Xochitl Torres Small to Serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development

    Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Intent to Nominate Representative Xochitl Torres Small to Serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: June 18, 2021)

    Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Intent to Nominate Representative Xochitl Torres Small to Serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development

    Washington, June 18, 2021 – “Representative Xochitl Torres Small’s nomination to serve as Under Secretary for Rural Development reflects the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advancing rural prosperity. Her nomination is responsive to rural stakeholders and Congress; both have emphasized the importance of having a dedicated advocate for rural communities among the Department’s Subcabinet. As the daughter of migrant farm workers and a native of rural New Mexico, Torres Small represents the heart...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Selects 2021 Class of E. Kika De La Garza Fellows

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Selects 2021 Class of E. Kika De La Garza Fellows | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: June 17, 2021) Washington, June 17, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the selection of 25 faculty and staff from Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) across the nation as 2021 E. Kika De La Garza Fellows. This summer fellowship program offers experiences in policymaking and research through direct interaction with every USDA agency. “These fellowships have multiple benefits for minority-serving higher education institutions,” said Lisa Ramirez, director of USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. “The fellows get valuable professional development, they meet federal staff for long-term collaboration opportunities, and then they share what they learned with students and colleagues at their home institutions.” The f...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program for Meat Processors to 9 States with Addition of South Dakota

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Expands Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program for Meat Processors to 9 States with Addition of South Dakota | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: June 10, 2021) Washington, June 10, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the State of South Dakota have finalized a Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) agreement, which provides an opportunity for selected state-inspected meat and poultry processors to ship their products across state lines. Under the CIS agreement, the State of South Dakota may inspect meat in selected establishments for shipment throughout the United States. The CIS program was launched in 2012 under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack after being authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. Currently, 9 states participate in the program to promote the expansion of business opportunities for state...
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  • USDA to Invest 1 Billion Dollars to Purchase Healthy Food for Food Insecure Americans and Build Food Bank Capacity

    U.S. Department of Agriculture to Invest $1 Billion to Purchase Healthy Food for Food Insecure Americans and Build Food Bank Capacity | site |



    First Investment of the New ‘Build Back Better’ Initiative Will Serve as a Bridge from Pandemic Assistance to Food System Transformation


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: June 4, 2021) Washington, June 4, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced an investment of up to $1 billion, including $500 million in American Rescue Plan funding, in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) to support and expand the emergency food network so states, food banks and local organizations can reliably serve their communities. Building on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA will enter into cooperative agreements with state, Tribal and local entities to more efficiently purchase food from local producers and invest ...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: June 7, 2021)

    Washington, June 7, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    Sanah Baig was named Chief of Staff for Research, Education, and Economics. Baig most recently served as Chief of Staff at the Good Food Institute, a global non-profit, and also served as program director at the National Association of Counties. During the Obama-Biden Administration, she served for nearly six years in a variety of capacities at USDA including serving as an advisor in the Office of the Secretary, special advisor in Rural Development, and confidential assistant in the Marketing and Regulatory Programs (MRP) mission area. Baig is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Launches 2021 Feds Feed Families Nationwide Food Drive

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Launches 2021 Feds Feed Families Nationwide Food Drive | site |



    Website makes it easy to participate, measure donations, and share success stories


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: June 1, 2021) Washington, June 1, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today kicked off the 12th annual government-wide Feds Feed Families (FFF) campaign, which encourages employees from all federal departments and agencies to give in-kind contributions -- food, services, and time -- to food banks and pantries. This year’s campaign highlights a summer of giving in June through August, along with seasonal reminders to donate throughout the year. “Feeding the hungry is perhaps the most critical job we have,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As the lead agency for this federal-wide food drive, I encourage all federal employees across the country to participate ...
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  • USDA Releases 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Releases 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: May 20, 2021)

    Washington, May 20, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today published the 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry. The report represents an important step toward in President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and shift towards a whole-of-department approach to climate solutions. The Order, signed January 27, states that, “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners have an important role to play in combating the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, by sequestering carbon in soils, grasses, trees, and other vegetation and sourcing sustainable bioproducts and fuels.” “With the right tools and partnerships, American agriculture an
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Leadership in Natural Resources and Conservation Areas

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Leadership in Natural Resources and Conservation Areas | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: May 19, 2021)

    Washington, May 19, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today the appointment of Meryl Harrell as Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) and the appointment of Terry Cosby as Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). They will begin their positions on Monday, May 24. Meryl Harrell most recently served as the Executive Director of the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards. She has also served as a consultant, advising non-profits, foundations, and government agencies working to conserve America's public and private working lands. During the Obama-Biden Administration, Harrell spent eight years in the Office of Natural Resources and Environment at USDA, including serving as Chief of...
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  • USDA says Interior and Agriculture Departments Outline Wildland Fire Preparedness, Climate Resiliency Plans

    USDA says Interior and Agriculture Departments Outline Wildland Fire Preparedness, Climate Resiliency Plans | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: May 13, 2021)

    Washington, May 13, 2021 - - Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack today shared their vision for the Biden-Harris administration’s wildland fire preparedness and response, including supporting science and research into the effects of climate change on wildland fire.

    Secretaries Haaland and Vilsack outlined their goals for wildland fire management in a joint memo to wildland fire leadership. Paramount to this issue is promoting climate resiliency across landscapes and communities, modernizing the firefighter workforce while creating good jobs, and protecting the safety and long-term wellbeing of our wildland firefighters and incident responders. “With so little r
    ...
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  • USDA to Purchase 159.4 Million Dollars in Nutritious Consumer-Ready Seafood and More for Food Assistance Programs

    U.S. Department of Agriculture to Purchase $159.4 Million in Nutritious Consumer-Ready Seafood and More for Food Assistance Programs | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: May 13, 2021) Washington, May 13, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it will purchase up to $159.4 million in domestically produced seafood, fruits, legumes, and nuts for distribution to a variety of domestic food assistance programs, including charitable institutions. These purchases are being made utilizing funds under the authority of Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act (Pub. L. 74-320), as amended (Section 32). This is one of many actions USDA is taking to address the disruptions in the food system supply chain and worsened food insecurity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. “The impacts of COVID-19 reverberated from our farms to our oceans,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “U.S. fisher...
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  • Statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Confirmation of Dr. Jewel Bronaugh as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Statement from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Confirmation of Dr. Jewel Bronaugh as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: May 13, 2021) Washington, May 13, 2021 - - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement on the confirmation of Dr. Jewel Bronaugh as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture: “I am grateful for today's confirmation of Jewel Bronaugh as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Bronaugh’s confirmation is historic, as she will serve as the first Black woman and woman of color to serve as Deputy Secretary. Dr. Bronaugh has a long, distinguished career as an educator and champion for farmers and rural communities. Most recently as the 16th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services she worked to expand opportunities...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: May 11, 2021)

    Washington, May 11, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    Kate Waters was named Press Secretary in the Office of Communications. Recently, Waters served as the Communications Director on the re-election campaign of Senator Mark Warner. She previously served as the traveling Press Secretary for Kamala Harris for the People and as Digital Director and Deputy Press Secretary in the office of Senator Kamala Harris. Additionally, she has held roles with Abby Finkenauer for Congress, Hillary for America, and in the office of Senator Tom Harkin. Waters is a graduate of James Madison University.

    Eddie Shimkus was named Legislative Advisor in the Office of
    ...
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  • USDA Awards 15 Million Dollars in Grants to Expand Wood Products, Wood Energy Markets and Community Forests

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Awards $15 Million in Grants to Expand Wood Products, Wood Energy Markets and Community Forests | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: May 7, 2021) Washington, May 7, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded more than $15 million to fund grant proposals to develop and expand the use of wood products, strengthen emerging wood energy markets and protect community forests. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement in Colorado today while visiting prescribed fire and wildfire recovery areas adjacent to the Roosevelt National Forest Northern Colorado Front Range landscape. The grant funding, delivered through USDA Forest Service programs, will support 60 projects that cover a diverse range of activities from the development of affordable housing to expanding markets for mass timber, biochar, wood energy and other emerging wood products....
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  • USDA Announces Dr. Dewayne Goldmon as Senior Advisor, Racial Equity, and Andy Green as Senior Advisor, Fair and Competitive Markets

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Dr. Dewayne Goldmon as Senior Advisor, Racial Equity, and Andy Green as Senior Advisor, Fair and Competitive Markets | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: March 1, 2021)

    Washington, March 1, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced two senior appointments today.

    USDA announced the appointment of Dr. Dewayne Goldmon as Senior Advisor for Racial Equity to the Secretary of Agriculture. Goldmon has served for the past year as Executive Director of the National Black Growers Council (NBGC), a Washington, D.C. based organization that advocates to improve the efficiency, productivity, and sustainability of Black row crop farmers. He has more than 30 years of experience in the agricultural sector and is also a farmer in southeast Arkansas. Before joining the NGBC, he helped to form the organization and served as its initial advisor.
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press released dated: February 22, 2021)

    Washington, Feb. 22, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    Maribel Duran was named Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the Office of the Secretary. Duran recently served as Managing Director for Equity and Inclusion for the Aspen Institute, as well as Chief of Staff for its Leadership Division. From 2018-2019, she was co-chair of the Institute’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Previously, Duran served eight years in the Obama Administration, first as Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, then as Chief of Staff for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and ultimately as Chief of Staff
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  • Statement on Change to Definition of ‘Agricultural Products’ in Reporting Trade Data

    Statement on Change to Definition of ‘Agricultural Products’ in Reporting Trade Data | site |




    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: February 19, 2021)


    Washington, Feb. 19, 2021 - - USDA and the Department of Commerce decided in December 2020 to change the way they define “agricultural products” when reporting international trade data.

    Beginning with the release of the January 2021 monthly trade data on March 5, USDA will adopt the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) internationally recognized definition of “agricultural products,” which includes ethanol, distilled spirits and manufactured tobacco products, three product groups not included in the current USDA definition.

    The change was first announced by Commerce in the Monthly U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report released on Feb. 5th. The change is meant to harmonize U.S. trade reporting practices with those
    ...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Leadership in Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Leadership in Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: February 19, 2021) Washington, Feb. 19, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced today the appointment of Gloria Montaño Greene as Deputy Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation (FPAC) and the appointment of Zach Ducheneaux as Administrator of the Farm Service Agency (FSA). They will begin their positions on Monday, Feb. 22. Montaño Greene is a former State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency in Arizona from 2014-2017, a position she was appointed to by President Obama. With FSA in Arizona, Montaño Greene led implementation of the 2013 Farm Bill programs across the state. Currently, she serves as Deputy Director for Chispa Arizona, a program of the League of Conservation Voters focused on the empowerment of Latino voices in Ari...
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  • FACT SHEET - - - Update on USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic

    FACT SHEET: Update on USDA Activities to Contain the COVID-19 Pandemic | site |




    USDA Deploys 127 Disaster, Public Health Specialists to Assist with Federal Response


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: February 10, 2021)


    Washington, Feb. 10, 2021 — In January 2021, President Biden released the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. The plan is driven by science, data, and public health to improve the effectiveness of our nation’s fight against COVID-19 and to restore trust, accountability and a sense of common purpose in our response to the pandemic.

    The National Strategy provides a roadmap to guide America out of the worst public health crisis in a century. It is organized around seven goals:
    1. Restore trust with the American people.
    2. Mount a safe, effective, and comprehensive vaccination campaign.
    3. Mitigate spread through
    ...
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  • Statement by Katharine Ferguson, USDA Chief of Staff, on the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act

    Statement by Katharine Ferguson, USDA Chief of Staff, on the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act | site | (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: February 9, 2021) Washington, Feb. 9, 2021 — “We are pleased to see the introduction of the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act yesterday in the Senate, a bill that will bring much-needed economic assistance during the pandemic and begin to advance equity for farmers of color. The bill is the culmination of hard work and collaboration among members of the Senate and House and new leadership at USDA who share a common purpose to end inequity in our food and agricultural systems. It’s a bill crafted to address the immediate need for debt relief among those who have been marginalized and are hurting while also advancing long-term issues such as Heirs’ Property, tackling the root causes of discrimination via an Equity Commission, and investing in building back a new ge...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture extends General Signup for Conservation Reserve Program

    U.S. Department of Agriculture extends General Signup for Conservation Reserve Program | site |



    Biden Administration Considers Changes to Bolster Effectiveness of Program and Recommits to Making CRP a Cornerstone of Conservation Programming


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: February 5, 2021)

    Washington, Feb. 5, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup period, which had previously been announced as ending on Feb. 12, 2021. USDA will continue to accept offers as it takes this opportunity for the incoming Administration to evaluate ways to increase enrollment. Under the previous Administration, incentives and rental payment rates were reduced resulting in an enrollment shortfall of over 4 million acres. The program, administered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides annual rental payments...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: February 4, 2021)

    Washington, Feb. 4, 2021 - - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    Anne Knapke was named Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations. Most recently, Knapke was a Senior Program Officer focusing on nutrition at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to working at the Gates Foundation, Knapke served as Legislative Director for Senator Amy Klobuchar. Knapke holds a bachelor’s degree from the Ohio State University and master’s degrees in public policy and social service administration from the University of Chicago.

    Liz Archuleta was named Director in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Archuleta served as a County Supervisor for
    ...
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  • Biden Administration Halts Residential Evictions in USDA Multifamily Housing Communities in Accordance with CDC Guidance

    Biden Administration Halts Residential Evictions in USDA Multifamily Housing Communities in Accordance with CDC Guidance | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: February 1, 2021)


    Washington, Feb. 1, 2021 - - In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend the eviction and foreclosure moratorium for millions of Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the eviction and foreclosure moratorium to affected multifamily housing residents through March 31, 2021. This halt in residential evictions allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend relief to the tens-of-thousands of Americans who rely on USDA-supported multifamily housing communities. “USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an almost unprecedented housing affordability crisis in t...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 27, 2021)

    Washington, Jan. 27, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold key staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    Rebecca Piazza was named Senior Advisor for Delivery in the Office of the Under Secretary for the Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Program Delivery at Nava Public Benefit Corporation. Previously, Piazza was the Acting Executive Director of 18F, a digital services agency within the General Services Administration (GSA), and was a technology consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Piazza holds a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in Louisiana.

    Steffanie Bezruki was named Chief of Staff in Rural Business Services. During nearly seven
    ...
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  • USDA Temporarily Suspends Debt Collections, Foreclosures and Other Activities on Farm Loans for Several Thousand

    USDA Temporarily Suspends Debt Collections, Foreclosures and Other Activities on Farm Loans for Several Thousand Distressed Borrowers Due to Coronavirus | site |




    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 27, 2021)

    Washington, Jan. 27, 2021 - - Due to the national public health emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). USDA will temporarily suspend non-judicial foreclosures, debt offsets or wage garnishments, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice; and USDA will work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to stop judicial foreclosures and evictions on accounts that were previously referred...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Heather Dawn Thompson as Director, Office of Tribal Relations

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Heather Dawn Thompson as Director, Office of Tribal Relations | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 25, 2021) Washington, Jan. 25, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of Heather Dawn Thompson as Director of the Office of Tribal Relations (OTR) reporting to the Secretary of Agriculture. Thompson is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, a Harvard Law School graduate, and an expert in American Indian law, tribal sovereignty, and rural tribal economic development. With Thompson in place, USDA will return OTR directly under the Secretary, restoring the office’s important government-to-government role. Most recently, Thompson served a member of the American Indian Law Practice Group at Greenberg Traurig, where she worked on federal Indian law and Tribal agriculture. Thompson has a long record of public...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Three Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development and Marketing and Regulatory Programs

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Three Deputy Under Secretaries in the Areas of Nutrition, Rural Development and Marketing and Regulatory Programs | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 21, 2021)

    Washington, Jan. 21, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced three senior appointments today.

    USDA announced that nutrition policy expert Stacy Dean has been named Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Prior to joining USDA, Dean served as Vice President for Food Assistance Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. She directed the Center’s food assistance team, which publishes frequent reports on how federal nutrition programs affect families and communities and develops policies to improve them. She joined the Center in 1997 and has deep experience understanding the delivery of health
    ...
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  • Biden Administration Announces Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension

    Biden Administration Announces Foreclosure Moratorium and Mortgage Forbearance Deadline Extension That Will Bring Relief to Rural Residents | site |



    USDA Extends Evictions and Foreclosure Moratorium to March 31, 2021 and Provides Additional Guidance for Servicing Loans Impacted by COVID-19


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 20, 2021) Washington, Jan. 20, 2021 — In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden requested federal agencies to extend eviction and foreclosure moratoriums for millions of Americans. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans (SFHDLP and SFHGLP) through March 31, 2021. The actions announced today will bring relief to residents in rural America who have housing loans through USDA. USDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pande...
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  • Biden Administration Expands P-EBT to Benefit Millions of Low-Income and Food Insecure Children During Pandemic

    Biden Administration Expands P-EBT to Benefit Millions of Low-Income and Food Insecure Children During Pandemic | site |


    USDA Says SNAP Benefits Are Inadequate for Most Participants and Begins Process to Extend Emergency Allotments to States and Update Thrifty Food Plan Formula


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 22, 2021) Washington, Jan. 22, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced several efforts today to expand nutrition assistance to hard-hit families across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic. In support of President Biden’s call to action on hunger and with authorities provided by Congress, USDA is increasing the Pandemic-EBT benefit by approximately 15%, providing more money for low-income families and millions of children missing meals due to school closures. Separately, in response to this national emergency, USDA is looking at ways to increase...
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  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments

    U.S. Department of Agriculture Announces Key Staff Appointments | site |



    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 20, 2021)

    Washington, Jan. 20, 2021 - - The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the names of individuals who will hold senior staff positions in Washington, D.C.

    Katharine Ferguson was named Chief of Staff in the Office of the Secretary. Most recently, Ferguson served as Associate Director of the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Ferguson served in the Obama Administration as Chief of Staff for the White House Domestic Policy Council and as Chief of Staff for Rural Development at USDA. Ferguson also worked on the Senate Agriculture Committee and as staff to several U.S. Senators. Other work experience has focused on topics ranging from racial equity, community economic development, conservation, food and agriculture,
    ...
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  • USDA Offers Additional Assistance for Certain Producers Through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

    USDA Offers Additional Assistance for Certain Producers Through Coronavirus Food Assistance Program | site |


    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture press release dated: January 15, 2021) (Washington, D.C., January 15, 2021) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide additional assistance through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), expanding eligibility for some agricultural producers and commodities as well as updating payments to accurately compensate some producers who already applied for the program. Producers who are now eligible and those who need to modify existing applications due to these updates can contact USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) between Jan. 19 and Feb. 26. Some of these changes are being made to align with the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 while others are discretionary changes being made in response...
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  • Secretary Perdue Statement on the Establishment of Wildland Fire Subcabinet

    Secretary Perdue Statement on the Establishment of Wildland Fire Subcabinet | site |




    (Information contained in U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] press release dated: January 14, 2021)


    (Washington, D.C., January 14, 2021) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today issued a statement celebrating the establishment of the Interagency Wildland Fire Subcabinet. Executive Order on Establishing The Wildland Fire Management Policy Committee will open up more communication channels to ensure better forest management effectiveness between the Departments and Agencies within the Federal government. “While I am proud of our progress to promote active management, reduce hazardous fuels, work across boundaries and increase the resiliency of our nation’s forests and grasslands, I believe more can be done,” said Secretary Perdue. “With the establishment of a subcabinet dedicated exclusively to wildland fire manage...
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