USDA: Virtual USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair Available On-Demand

USDA: Virtual USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair Available On-Demand. “In the United States, more than one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste and when landfilled it contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted our first ever USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair. This free, virtual fair highlighted businesses that are creating or implementing state-of-the-art technical solutions to reduce food loss and waste throughout the food system – from farm to table – and highlighted USDA activities in this space.”

USDA: New, Easy-to-Use Conservation Data in RCA Data Viewer

USDA: New, Easy-to-Use Conservation Data in RCA Data Viewer. “Looking for [Natural Resources Conservation Service] conservation program data? Whether you need program financial information or number of conservation contracts, civil rights data or which practices are applied on how many acres – this and much more is available in the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (RCA) Data Viewer. The Viewer was recently updated with data for fiscal year 2020, and for those who want to use the numbers to create their own analysis, graphs or charts, conservation program data are now available in easier-to-use Microsoft Excel file format.”

AGDAILY: USDA launches new website for science-minded students

AGDAILY: USDA launches new website for science-minded students. “Geared toward K-12 students with an interest in food and science, AgLab offers a variety of content to promote a greater understanding of how agricultural research is helping meet the food, fiber, feed and fuel needs of a growing world population while also safeguarding our environment and natural resources.”

WDBJ: USDA extends free meals for kids through summer

WDBJ: USDA extends free meals for kids through summer. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday it would extend several waivers that allow all children throughout the country to continue to receive meals while school is out during the summer. The waivers were previously extended through June 30, 2021, but will now be available until September 30, to make sure children who depend on school meals throughout the academic year have the same access to those meals in the summer months.”

NASA: NASA Data Powers New USDA Soil Moisture Portal

NASA: NASA Data Powers New USDA Soil Moisture Portal. “Farmers, researchers, meteorologists, and others now have access to high-resolution NASA data on soil moisture, thanks to a new tool developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), NASA and George Mason University. The app, Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics (Crop-CASMA), provides access to high-resolution data from NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument in an easy-to-use format.”

USDA: Cook Healthy at Home with Nutrition. gov’s New Recipe Page

USDA .gov: Cook Healthy at Home with Nutrition. gov’s New Recipe Page. “Have you been cooking at home more since the coronavirus pandemic started? Nutrition.gov’s new Recipe page can help you prepare nutritious meals that support health and taste great. With recipes from federal and Cooperative Extension sites, this curated resource offers a variety of healthy recipes from trusted sources all in one place. Plus, Nutrition.gov’s recipe library continues to grow with new recipes being added regularly.”

USDA: USDA Now Accepting Applications for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

USDA: USDA Now Accepting Applications for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. “You can now apply for USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which provides direct payments to farmers and ranchers to offset impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Applications will be accepted through August 28, 2020. We now have the application form and a payment calculator available on farmers.gov/cfap. And we have a call center (877-508-8364) set up to help you with your questions.”

USDA: Another Look at Availability and Prices of Food Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

USDA Blog: Another Look at Availability and Prices of Food Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. “Last month I discussed the impact of COVID-19 on availability and prices of food based on data and information we had available at the time. Since then, USDA released its first assessment of U.S. and world crop supply and demand prospects and U.S. prices for 2020/21, and more data on market prices, production, and trade flows during the crisis became available. Of particular note, temporary closures of some meat packing plants have affected meat supply and prices seen by consumers and farmers. Hence, I want to take another look at food availability and prices in light of the new data and information we have and share with you some insights on market conditions.”

USDA: Tips for Handwashing When Running Water is Not Accessible

USDA: Tips for Handwashing When Running Water is Not Accessible. “By now, many of us have heard several times that washing hands with soap and water is an effective way to get rid of germs, including those that cause foodborne illness. We are advised to wash our hands often, especially before and after handling food. This advice is easy to follow when we have access to clean, running water. But how do you wash your hands if you find that clean, running water is out of reach?”

CBS News: 3 USDA meat inspectors dead, about 145 diagnosed with COVID-19

CBS News: 3 USDA meat inspectors dead, about 145 diagnosed with COVID-19. “About 145 field employees were absent from work as of April 28 due to COVID-19 diagnoses, and another 130 were under self-quarantine due to exposure to the virus, a spokesperson for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the federal agency that inspects the U.S. food supply, told CBS News on Monday. One FSIS inspector based out of the New York City area, one from the Chicago area and another from Mississippi have died due to the virus, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), a union representing food inspectors, said Tuesday.”

Politico: USDA let millions of pounds of food rot while food-bank demand soared

Politico: USDA let millions of pounds of food rot while food-bank demand soared. “Tens of millions of pounds of American-grown produce is rotting in fields as food banks across the country scramble to meet a massive surge in demand, a two-pronged disaster that has deprived farmers of billions of dollars in revenue while millions of newly jobless Americans struggle to feed their families. While other federal agencies quickly adapted their programs to the coronavirus crisis, the Agriculture Department took more than a month to make its first significant move to buy up surplus fruits and vegetables — despite repeated entreaties.”

USDA: Will COVID-19 Threaten Availability and Affordability of our Food?

USDA: Will COVID-19 Threaten Availability and Affordability of our Food?. “As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in the U.S., its impacts have reached every aspect of our lives and shook all sectors of the economy. Amid this crisis, there have been widespread worries that the disease could threaten the nation’s food production and supply systems and stoke inflation. Many began to wonder whether the food they need will continue to be available and affordable as we work our way out of the outbreak. While we can’t track COVID-impacts on the agri-food sector in real time, I wanted to share some of the data currently available at USDA, which show that the U.S agricultural market will remain well supplied and food will continue to be affordable.”

CBS 19: USDA announces new tool to assist rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

CBS 19: USDA announces new tool to assist rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced on Monday a resource guide of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Leaders in rural communities can access the COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide to look for federal funding and partnership opportunities.”

USDA: USDA Announces Online Tool to Help Families Find Meals for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency

USDA: USDA Announces Online Tool to Help Families Find Meals for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency . “The ‘Meals for Kids’ interactive map directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at http://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids.”