Yesterday at The Food Dialogues in New York, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) announced the finalists of its Faces of Farming and Ranching program, a nationwide search launched earlier this summer to help put real faces on agriculture. Eric McClam from South Carolina and Bo Stone from North Carolina were two of the nine finalist.
More than 100 applications were received from passionate, dedicated farmers and ranchers from across the nation, nine of whom were selected as finalists. The winners will become the face of agriculture, and will be tapped to share stories and experiences on a national stage to help shift conversations about food production and set the record straight about the way we feed our nation.
Former Ag Secretaries Suggest Changes to USDA
Recently at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters National Convention in Kansas City, three former ag secretaries, John Block, Clayton Yeutter and Bob Bergland hosted a round table for broadcasters to discuss the farm bill and other aspects of USDA. While Former Ag Secretary John Block is very opposed to breaking up the farm bill into separate pieces of legislation, he is an advocate on changing the name of the Department of Agriculture:
“We ought to rename the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Food, Agriculture and Forestry; give it a name of what it does.”
Former Secretary of Agriculture, Clayton Yeutter also had some suggestions as to streamlining some of USDA’s appointed offices:
“An under-secretary that would really focus totally on the international issues of importance to agriculture. We have a deputy under-secretary that does that today, but that is the rank that doesn’t carry the clout of an under-secretary and we are going to be living in the international area and we need to focus on that.”
SCDA Receives $100,000 Grant to Expand Successful Farm to School Program
A $100,000 grant is coming to South Carolina to expand the successful Farm to School Program. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded the grant to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA).
Right now the SC Farm to School program is operating in more than 40 different schools and child care centers. Participating schools must implement four components to qualify. Those include serving at least two Certified South Carolina Grown produce items each month in the school cafeteria, integrating nutrition and agriculture education activities, and establishing school vegetable gardens. SCDA is responsible for administering grants to schools and school districts across the state participating in the Farm to School program.
The new grant will allow SCDA to help farmers and distributors supply locally grown produce to schools in an additional eight school districts. South Carolina’s Farm to School program is in its second year.
Still Time to Participate in SCDA Survey
South Carolina Department of Agriculture has extended it’s survey of potential locations for the 2012/2013 Pesticide Recovery Program. The original end date was November 1st, but has been extended about 6 weeks to December 15th. This will be the second phase of the Waste Pesticide Recovery program with the goal to increase proper management and disposal of unwanted pesticides, along with increased education and outreach to pesticide users about the need to properly dispose of outdated and unwanted pesticides.
The survey is to help determine locations for disposal and quantities. For a link to the survey, and other contact information,click here. The goal is to have disposal locations set up by February 1st.
Part of South Carolina’s Immigration Law Upheld
A federal judge has upheld a South Carolina law allowing police to check people's immigration status.
But U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said in a ruling Thursday that he would continue a prohibition keeping other parts of the state's tough immigration law from becoming effective.
Gergel in December blocked several sections from going into effect, including the status check provision. A lawsuit over the legislation was put on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a challenge to similar legislation in Arizona.