August 3, 2006 |
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked the federal government on Wednesday to help California dairy operators, chicken ranchers and other farmers who were hit with financial losses caused by last week's record heat wave. Though estimates of damages remain sketchy at best, agriculture industry officials suggested they would need help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deal with losses that they said could top $1 billion.
July 21, 2006 |
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cutting its tests for mad cow disease by about 90%, drawing protests from consumer groups. The current testing level -- 1,000 each day -- reflects the heightened concern that followed the discovery in December 2003 of mad cow disease in the United States. Since then, tests have turned up two more cases of the disease, known medically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The government says there may be a handful of undetected cases.
March 23, 2006 |
A Kansas meatpacker has sparked an industry fight by proposing testing all the company's cattle for mad cow disease. Creekstone Farms wants to look for the disease in every animal it processes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has said no. Creekstone says it intends to sue the department. "Our customers, particularly our Asian customers, have requested it over and over again," Chief Executive John Stewart said Wednesday.
March 12, 2006 |
The Agriculture Department is investigating a possible case of mad cow disease, the agency's chief veterinarian said. A routine test indicated the possible presence of mad cow disease, said John Clifford, the USDA official. The agency would not say where the animal was from. The cow did not enter the human or animal food chain, Clifford said. The department is conducting more detailed tests at its laboratory in Ames, Iowa, and should have results within a week.
February 17, 2006 |
A new wave of competition among food vendors is holding down prices and saving the typical U.S. family about $500 annually, an Agriculture Department economist said. Ephraim Leibtag, USDA's food-price expert, forecast food inflation of 2% to 3% this year, about the same as last year and a relief after the 3.4% rise in prices during 2004.
February 16, 2006 |
The Agriculture Department said it had accidentally released the Social Security and tax identification numbers of 350,000 tobacco farmers. The federal agency said it inadvertently released the data in response to Freedom of Information Act requests about the tobacco buyout program. The information went to eight different people or groups. Those who received the information agreed not to disclose it, to destroy any copies and to return computer disks containing the data, officials said.
November 28, 2005 |
Kelsey Kozack's kitchen is a dairy wonderland. Fresh cheeses, yogurt and quarts of fresh raw milk abound, all compliments of Iris, a gentle tan cow who grazes on the family's 7-acre property. Kelsey, just 16, established and runs Fort Bantam Creamery from her family home on this island just west of Seattle. At first, Kelsey's parents and sister were the main consumers of her culinary creations from Iris' raw, unpasteurized milk.
October 19, 2005 |
The Agriculture Department will abandon plans to close more than 700 Farm Service Agency offices across the U.S. because of widespread opposition in Congress, an official said. A hearing had been scheduled Thursday in the Senate Agriculture Committee. But in a letter sent to Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Agriculture Department Undersecretary J.B. Penn said the agency was scrapping the plan to close 713 of the 2,351 Farm Service offices.
October 13, 2005 |
Prices for U.S. corn and soybeans will sink to stressful levels under the weight of the second mammoth harvest in a row, the government forecast Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated a corn stockpile of 2.22 billion bushels at the end of this marketing year, the largest corn surplus in 18 years. At 260 million bushels, the soybean carry-over would be the largest in six years. On the heels of records set last year, the USDA pegged the corn crop at 10.
October 10, 2005 |
An online game and the first food pyramid created specifically for 6- to 11-year-olds just might help kids blast off to better eating habits. Or so the federal government hopes. The goal is to get kids to "eat right, exercise and have fun," Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns told a room of fifth-graders recently in describing the new pyramid and game. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture redesigned the food pyramid for adults and children 12 and older.