- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The $101 million in grant money will be apportioned to promote two areas:
- $55 million in specialty crop block grants to state that fund 748 initiatives to strengthen markets and expand economic opportunities for local and regional producers.
- $46 million to support new and continuing research and extension activities to address challenges and opportunities for growers and businesses that rely on a sustainable, profitable specialty crops industry.
Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, floriculture and nursery crops.
The key research areas for funding are:
- Improving crop charactistics through plant breeding, genetics and genomics
- Addressing threats from pests and diseases
- Improving production efficiency, productivity and profitabilitiy
- Developing new innovations and technologies
- Developing methods to improve food safety
These grants reflect the continuing efforts by the USDA to stimulate agriculture and food based economic development. UC extension in turn provides the research, outreach and expertise to local and potential growers seeking specialty niches in agriculture.
Find out more about this grant program and read the USDA news release in its entirety here.
- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The University of California Cooperative Extension in Ventura County in conjunction with the USDA's Risk Management Agency will conduct presentations and simulations on managing risk for farm operations.
The prepaid cost (by Friday September 21) is $20 per farm/ranch couple. After September 21 the cost will be $25. The registration fee includes lunch and instructional materials.
For more information go directly to the registration webpage.
USDA’s Growing A Nation: The Story of America Agriculture is an amazing resource.
In addition to general timelines and statistical information from the 1700’s through 2000, there is an assortment of videos and audio clips including:
The USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov website is full of great information, including sample menus and recipes.
- The Sample Menus for a 2000 Calorie Food Pattern is a 7-day healthy eating template. It is designed to supply the recommended amount of key nutrients. Even better, the food choices were chosen with cost to the consumer in mind. The cost of the menu items is less than the national average spent on food, per person, in a 4-person family.
- White House Recipes is a collection of healthy recipes with easy to follow instructions. Recipes include: Warm Baked Apples with Dried Cherries; Raisins and Blueberries; Broccoli Soup; and Cauliflower Mac and Cheese.
- Food Group Recipes is another wonderful collection of recipes with nutrition in mind. Recipes include: Lemon Velvet Supreme; Corn Chowder; Roasted Root Vegetables; and Outtasight Salad.
- SNAP-Ed Connection Recipe Finderis a fantastic resource. This online collection includes: tips, food safety, and the ability to sort recipes by a wide range of categories. Recipes can be searched by: style, cooking equipment required, menu items, themes, nutrients, and cost.
Soils perform vital functions, and are the basis of the ecosystem. Healthy and productive soil is vital for our survival. It is an amazing resource and fascinating to learn about.
- Soil facts – definitions, career information, soil basics, glossary, and regulations for moving soils
- Painting with soil – Jan Lang’s images of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
- 10 key messages to understanding soils
- Find out about your state’s soil
- Links for students and teachers – available for grades K-6, 7-12, and college level
- Videos and webinars
- Dig It! The Secrets of Soil
- NRCS photo gallery – natural resource and conservation related photos from across the United States
- And more