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USDA Announces $35 Million in Support for Local Food Systems

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today helped to kick off the nation’s harvest season by announcing nearly $35 million in new funding through four grant programs to support local and regional food systems, including farmers markets. Secretary Vilsack has named strengthening local food systems as one of the four pillars of USDA’s efforts to revitalize rural…

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Social Media Platform AgFuse Launches to Help Connect Farmers

Farmers are going digital in more ways than one these days. A site called AgFuse recently launched, providing farmers and the farming community with an easy and intuitive social media platform. Through AgFuse, farmers and the farm community can interact, share ideas, tips, research, promote their products, and more. According to the company, never before has…

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New App Helps Farmers’ Markets Manage Federal Nutrition Incentive Programs

Cleveland, Ohio-based software developers, Prototype1, and Case Western Reserve’s Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) have launched FM Tracks, a new app designed to help farmers’ markets nationwide manage and evaluate federal nutrition incentive programs. Created for farmers’ market managers and program organizers of local healthy food initiatives, FM Tracks is an iOS app and…

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When it Comes to Water Conservation, How are Californians Measuring Up?

As the State continues to experience near-record and record hot conditions, increasing the severity of the drought’s effects on communities, agriculture, and the environment, California’s urban water suppliers reported the highest level of conservation achieved to date for the month of May. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) announced today that statewide…

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Federal ‘Local Foods, Local Places’ Program Enters Second Year on a High Note

Today, the Obama Administration invited communities to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing direct technical support to build strong local food systems as part of a community’s emerging economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, public health, environmental, and regional economic experts will work directly with local communities…

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USDA Reports Six-Fold Increase in Amount of SNAP Benefits Spent at Farmers Markets, Produce Stands

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), people who receive food assistance benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are spending more of their benefits on purchases at roadside farm stands, farmers markets, and through direct purchases from local farmers than ever before. SNAP redemptions at those outlets for the 2014 fiscal year totaled $18.8 million,…

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USDA Announces $150 Million & New Partnership to Support Water Quality & Quantity in Drought-Stricken California

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today joined Interior Deputy Secretary Mike Connor and California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird to announce a new partnership focused on conserving and restoring the Sierra-Cascade California Headwaters, as part of President Obama’s Resilient Lands and Waters initiative. Over the next two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest…

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Pepsi Faces Legal Heat Over High Carcinogen Levels in Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, PepsiOne

A federal judge recently ruled that PepsiCo must address class action allegations that its Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, and Pepsi One products contain carcinogenic 4-methylimidazole (4-MeI) at levels that exceed the threshold set by California Proposition. Nine class action cases were consolidated into a single action, with the lead plaintiff claiming that Pepsi fails to warn…