Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Denver groups to remove Trump letter from food-aid boxes

Oct. 29, 2020 11:44 AM EDT

DENVER (AP) — A coalition of anti-hunger groups in Denver have been removing letters from President Donald Trump from inside federal food assistance boxes that address recipient families. The Denver Community Food Access Coalition said it has not been distributing the letter with its Farmers to Families...

USDA to help Maine children's museum get new building

Oct. 29, 2020 2:10 AM EDT

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — The federal government is going to help a children's museum in central Maine make improvements that will allow for better exhibits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Community Facilities Program is giving the Children's Discovery Museum in Waterville a $67,500...

FILE - In this July 31, 2013, file photo, tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest are reflected in a pool of water as they make their way to Nugget Falls in Juneau, Alaska. The U.S. Forest Service announced plans Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020, to lift restrictions on road building and logging in Tongass National Forest, a largely pristine rainforest in southeast Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Road, logging restrictions to end in largest national forest

Oct. 28, 2020 3:46 PM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has...

USDA approves Indiana's plan for commercial hemp growing

Oct. 26, 2020 7:39 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Indiana's plan to allow farmers to commercially grow and process hemp. The plan will take the Office of the Indiana State Chemist’s pilot hemp program and transition it to one allowing for commercial hemp production. Previously,...

Maine farmers eligible for federal assistance due to drought

Oct. 21, 2020 10:52 AM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The federal government is making Maine's farmers eligible for disaster relief assistance due to the drought that has affected the state. Most of Maine is facing extreme or severe levels of drought, according to the United States Drought Monitor. U.S. Department of Agriculture...

Hawaii aquaculture reached record sales of $83.2M last year

Oct. 20, 2020 11:33 AM EDT

HONOLULU (AP) — Farm-raised marine animal sales in Hawaii last year reached $83.2 million, breaking a record, a new federal report said. Aquaculture sales quoted in the report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture eclipsed the high of $78.2 million set in 2014. The increase appeared driven by sales of...

UP hospital awaiting decision on key federal loan

Oct. 19, 2020 6:43 AM EDT

IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (AP) — A health care provider that is a major employer in an Upper Peninsula county is waiting for a decision on a $16.9 million federal loan. Dickinson County Healthcare System operates a hospital near the Michigan-Wisconsin border and has hundreds of employees. It has been grappling...

Rural Maine water systems to make fixes with federal help

Oct. 18, 2020 12:54 PM EDT

GARDINER, Maine (AP) — The federal government is providing a pair of rural Maine water systems more than $5.7 million to help make improvements. U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development is giving the city of Gardiner more than $3.5 million and the Livermore Falls Water District $2.2 million. Most...

W.Va. man partakes in program to improve wildlife habitat

Oct. 17, 2020 9:00 AM EDT

IRELAND, W.Va. (AP) — At age 79, John Cobb doesn’t have to spend six to eight hours a day working to improve wildlife habitat. He does, though, because he wants to. Like an ever-growing number of West Virginians, Cobb participates in a program that reimburses private landowners for turning patches...

Governor extends state of emergency until Nov. 15

Oct. 15, 2020 4:28 PM EDT

BARRE, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Phil Scott on Thursday extended Vermont's coronavirus-related state of emergency until Nov. 15. Scott said the state emergency not only helps the state to suppress the virus but it keeps protections in place to mitigate economic hardships, including expanded housing and meal delivery...