Category: News

New research shows link between fungicides and bee decline
January 4, 2018January 4, 2018
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New research shows link between fungicides and bee decline

Fungicides have been found to be the strongest factor of declining bee populations determined by the first landscape-scale analysis. The exact method of  how fungicides affect bees is being studied, but it is suspected that fungicides make bees more susceptible to parasites such as nosema. Scott McArt at Cornell University led the study published in...

USDA offfers conservation grants
December 29, 2017December 29, 2017
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USDA offfers conservation grants

The NRCS is now accepting grant applications for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. This funding awards innovation and conservation specifically focused on grazing land, organic agriculture, or soil health.  The NRCS focuses on transfer and ownership of new technologies that concern American natural resources. The CIG grant will award any U-S based entity or...

Food waste in America
December 26, 2017December 26, 2017
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Food waste in America

A recent article in USA Today, investigated food waste across America. On average, 31-40% of our food is thrown away after harvest.  That amount of food equals 1,200 calories per person per day that is wasted. Dr. Roni Neff, John Hopkins University, lead the first study of the nutrient content of food waste. The study...

First biological house built in Denmark
December 20, 2017December 20, 2017
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First biological house built in Denmark

Using farm waste such as tomato stems, seaweed, grass, and glass, the sustainable structure is the first to be made entirely of upcycled materials. Overall, 40 partners worked together to make the concept a reality; it took many years to see through to completion. Sustainable architecture firm GXN collected the raw farm materials and sent...

Millennials pushing sales of organics
December 6, 2017December 6, 2017
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Millennials pushing sales of organics

An article published in Food Business News focuses on sales trends of organics in the current marketplace.  A 2016 survey published by the Organic Trade Association concluded that more than half, 52% of organic shoppers are parents between the ages of 18-34. Generation X parents represent 35% of shoppers while baby-boomer parents come in at...

Nutrition as a Prescription
November 30, 2017November 30, 2017
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Nutrition as a Prescription

A recent article published in the NY Times, discusses how doctors across the country are realizing the connections between illness and diet.  Instead of handing their patients pamphlets, some doctors are teaching their patients how to prepare healthy meals.  This includes building teaching kitchens next to their offices, creating food pantries, or prescribing culinary education programs...

Cover crops provide essential resting areas for migrating birds
November 29, 2017November 29, 2017
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Cover crops provide essential resting areas for migrating birds

A new study published by the University of Illinois, delves deep into the relationships between agricultural fields and migratory avian species. Graduate research assistant Cassandra Wilcoxen monitored birds in corn and soybean fields with and without cover crops.  She tracked species and counted individual birds in study sites. Fields with cover crops provided an important...

USDA and SCORE Launch Mentorship Effort to Support New Farmers and Ranchers
November 17, 2017November 17, 2017
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USDA and SCORE Launch Mentorship Effort to Support New Farmers and Ranchers

This new collaboration between the USDA and SCORE will make the transition of owning/operating a farming business easier for those just starting out.  The average age of farmers throughout the country is 58 years, and most farmers do not have a successor who can successfully operate the business after they retire.  The USDA and SCORE...

Organic farming can combat climate change
November 15, 2017November 15, 2017
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Organic farming can combat climate change

A recent article published in The Guardian, investigates the ways that organic farming can cut greenhouse gas emissions. A study published in Nature Communications goes further into specifics including carbon sequestration, vegetarian diets, and cutting food waste that could fed the projected 9 million people by 2050 without increasing agricultural acreage.  Scientists are debating the models since...

Veterans in Agriculture
November 13, 2017November 13, 2017
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Veterans in Agriculture

Each year, thousands of veterans leave service and can find a new career path in the agricultural sector.  The USDA can help veterans transition into agriculture by providing loans for purchasing or leasing land.  The USDA has also recently partnered with SCORE to provide mentorship programs to veterans and beginning farmers.  Army veterans Tom and...