Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

Governors conference planned for Maine will be moved online

Aug. 3, 2020 2:09 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A meeting of governors from around the country that had been scheduled to take place in Maine has been moved online to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. The Summer Meeting of the National Governors Association had been slated to convene Wednesday in Portland. The...

UConn receives $10 million grant to research poultry

Aug. 3, 2020 12:30 PM EDT

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — UConn has been awarded a $10 million grant to research how to raise poultry for food without giving the birds antibiotics. The grant, announced Monday by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will fund a project led by Kumar...

Mississippi farmers can start applying for hemp license

Aug. 2, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi farmers or those interested in becoming farmers can start applying for hemp grower licenses. The Daily Leader reports the license application period began Saturday and runs through Oct. 31 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Industrial hemp has been promoted as a...

Don't open those mystery seed packets, Maine officials say

Aug. 2, 2020 9:47 AM EDT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine agriculture authorities are asking residents who receive unsolicited packages of seeds from China in the mail to avoid opening them and contact the state. People around the country have reported receiving the packages. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and...

Rabies vaccine to be dropped from planes in rural Vermont

Aug. 1, 2020 2:07 PM EDT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Rabies vaccines will be dropped from low-flying planes in rural Vermont for a week to stop the spread of the disease in wild animals. The annual rabies bait drop starts Saturday and is a collaborative effort between the state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services....

1st dog that tested positive for COVID-19 dies in New York

Jul. 30, 2020 3:55 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — A German shepherd in New York that had the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a dog in the U.S. has died. Robert and Allison Mahoney of Staten Island told National Geographic that their 7-year-old shepherd, Buddy, developed breathing problems in mid-April after Robert had been sick with...

Colorado activists want more federal money to feed families

Jul. 30, 2020 2:21 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers and hunger awareness groups are urging Congress to increase food stamp benefits as families increasingly turn to food banks due to job losses during the coronavirus pandemic. Sens. Brittany Pettersen, a Democrat, and Larry Crowder, a Republican, joined advocates Wednesday...

UW-Madison fined $74,000 over animal research

Jul. 30, 2020 11:19 AM EDT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin-Madison was fined $74,000 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 28 violations of federal animal research treatment standards. The fine was assessed in April as part of a settlement for 28 violations that occurred between 2015 to 2019, the Wisconsin State...

Unions sue USDA over faster chicken plant production speeds

Jul. 28, 2020 2:33 PM EDT

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The union representing workers at chicken processing plants in six states sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, saying its policy of allowing companies to slaughter birds more quickly endangers workers and makes it more difficult to protect against spread of the...

Natasha Bowens Blair sorts buckets of fresh cut flowers in her trailer, July 19, 2020, Frederick, Md. “Pretty much as soon as I stuck my hands into the dirt, and decided I was in love with growing and learning more about plants and the land, there was no way that I could do that without seeing the kind of intersection of race and injustice in our country,” she said. Bowens Blair is co-owner of Native Mountain Farm, which they describe as a “women-owned, Black empowered” business located in Boonsboro, that serves customers in Frederick County. (Bill Green/The Frederick News-Post via AP)

'This is for us': A look at inequity in local agriculture

Jul. 26, 2020 10:00 AM EDT

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — For Natasha Bowens Blair, farming isn’t just a job. It’s an act of resistance. “Pretty much as soon as I stuck my hands into the dirt, and decided I was in love with growing and learning more about plants and the land, there was no way that I could do that without...