tom vilsack

7:54 am
Mon May 12, 2014

USDA to use rural development money for local food connections

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says local food projects in cities that show a direct benefit to rural producers can be considered for USDA loan guarantees.
Credit Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Recognizing that the demand for local food is growing to between $5 and 7 billion a year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new effort Thursday aimed at connecting farmers with urban shoppers. 

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Health & Wealth Update
1:27 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack explains healthcare enrollment deadline

With the deadline approaching, Missouri residents signed-up for health insurance at an enrollment event March 8 at The Library Center in Springfield.
Credit Katie Hiler / KBIA

The Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance marketplace has been open for business since October 1 and technical issues that plagued the website early on have mostly been resolved. Yet Missouri residents have been slow to sign-up for health insurance under the new law. According to the nonprofit group Kaiser Family Foundation, only 40 percent of Missourians eligible to enroll have actually chosen a plan. I spoke with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about why signing up is important for Missouri residents, particularly in rural areas.  

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4:21 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Lincoln University to receive funds from USDA

Lincoln University in Jefferson City is to receive $999,000 for research and $299,000 for teaching from new grants according to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday new grants totaling more than $35 million to support research, teaching and Extension activities at 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Colleges and Universities. The grant comes from the U.S Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Ohio House Representative Marcia Fudge brought up the program with the Department of Agriculture.

Vilsack said the Universities use the grants in multiple ways:

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10:22 am
Thu April 4, 2013

MU gets USDA grant to help farmers build resilience to drought

MU researchers measure soil water infiltration.
Photo courtesy of Tim Reinbott.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce that it will fund a University of Missouri project focused on building drought resiliency through soil health.  

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9:46 am
Thu April 4, 2013

MU to receive funds for building drought resistant soil

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce on Thursday that it will fund a University of Missouri project focused on building drought resiliency through soil health.

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4:21 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Corn, soybean production took hit in 2012

Farmer Eric Cress, left, shows Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack the drought damage to his corn crop on his farm near Center Point, IA in July 2012.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service released its end-of-year Crop Production 2012 Annual Summary Friday.

Not surprisingly, the report revealed that corn and soy production took a beating last year due to the drought that is still ravaging farms all over the Midwest.

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Business Beat
3:40 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Weathering the recession, drought

There may not be much corn to sell in 2013, but other grains are set up to carry some of the load.
Credit jungmoon / Flickr

In recent months, a fairly severe drought and a slowly recovering economy have thrown food businesses for a loop.

Coming up we’ll listen in on a conversation Abbie Fentress Swanson had with President Barack Obama’s top agriculture guy about the looming dip in corn exports. But first, some businesses have been able to weather the storm better than others. Jennifer Davidson has this report about one successful shop in West Plains.

Now, things aren’t so peachy for everyone in the food industry. Clearly.

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10:12 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Agriculture Sec. Vilsack: Farm Bill expiration affects exports

Ed Greiman, a cattle producer near Garner, Iowa, checks on his silage in this file photo.
Clay Masters for Harvest Public Media

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latestOutlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade,” which was published on Nov. 29, forecasts American farm exports increasing and predicts they will come in at $145 billion in 2013. That's a 50 percent increase from 2009.

Such a high export number gave me pause, since the USDA is also predicting that in the coming year U.S. corn exports will be at a 40-year low because of a domestic corn shortfall caused by the drought.

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4:25 pm
Wed July 11, 2012

USDA streamlines drought disaster assistance

bionicteaching Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is streamlining the process for farmers to apply for government disaster help as crops in many states burn up in the widest drought in nearly 25 years.

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Health & Wealth Update
7:05 am
Wed February 1, 2012

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talks jobs, farm safety net

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at a roundtable in Kansas City last week.
Andy Dandino USDA

Following up on President Obama's State of the Union address last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is touring the country, touting his boss's job-creation efforts in rural America -- Missouri was his latest stop. In this week's Health & Wealth update, a conversation with Secretary Vilsack: we talk rural jobs, USDA office closures, and the fate of the farmer's safety net in the face of natural disasters and shrinking budgets. 

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5:27 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

US Ag Secretary talks cuts

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is in Missouri touting President Obama’s job creation plans, laid out this week in his state of the union address. This comes as the agriculture department faces a shrinking budget.

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Health & Wealth
5:21 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Agriculture Secretary on Rural Jobs

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
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President Obama has been touring the country trying to sell voters on his American Jobs Act. According to the White House, the bill would, if passed, give the state of Missouri $700 million for transportation projects and cut the taxes of 120,000 Missouri businesses. And agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack says that rural areas in particular would benefit from the jobs bill. Vilsack spoke with KBIA’s Jacob Fenston.

Health & Wealth
4:54 pm
Wed September 14, 2011

USDA Commits $14 Million to Rural Jobs

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced $14 million in new funding Wednesday to help stimulate rural job growth. Small businesses across the country will get money, including a tiny airport in southern Missouri.

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