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Letter No. 3283                                                                                                           October 22, 2004


JAPAN AND U.S. CONSULT ON BSE
– The Government of Japan and the United States Government are holding a consultation, October 21 and 22, in Tokyo (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) on the BSE issue. At the consultation, the two Governments will discuss issues related to the resumption of mutual trade of U.S. and Japanese beef, based on the progress made regarding the issues since the Third Consultation that took place on April 24, 2004. For more information, visit www.usda.gov or http://japan.usembassy.gov.


AGRICULTURE SECRETARY VENEMAN COMMEMORATES SLAIN FOOD INSPECTORS – An Alameda County, CA, jury has found (October 19) Stuart Alexander, the owner of a San Leandro, CA, sausage factory, guilty of first degree murder in the slayings of Food Safety and Inspection Service compliance officers, Jean Hillery and Tom Quadros, as well as Bill Shaline, a California Department of Food and Agriculture investigator. Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman said, “We extend our appreciation for the very hard work and dedicated cooperation of the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California in prosecuting this case against Alexander. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these brave public servants who were murdered mercilessly in the line of duty on June 21, 2000. They embodied the commitment to their profession and dedication to public service that are at the very core of our workforce. We will never forget their sacrifice, and their memory will continue to live through the efforts of their colleagues in ensuring food safety for all Americans."


$207 MILLION FOR WATER CONSERVATION – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced (October 18) a $207.3 million Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to voluntarily improve water quality in Ohio's Scioto River Watershed, the main source of drinking water for the city of Columbus. "This partnership among USDA, the state of Ohio and local groups will result in cleaner drinking water for nearly 2 million Ohioans", said Veneman. "The program will have wide-spread benefits, and improve water quality as far away as the Gulf of Mexico." More information on the Ohio Scioto River Watershed CREP is available at: www.fsa.usda.gov/dafp/cepd/default.htm. Contact: Jillene Johnson (202) 720-9733.


HISPANIC ASSOCIATION PRESENTS PUBLIC PARTNER AWARD TO USDA – In recognition of the many USDA efforts to promote educational and employment opportunities for Hispanic students, Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman accepted (October 18) the Public Sector Partner of the Year award from the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). "President Bush has been a strong leader in improving educational opportunities to prepare our workforce for the 21st Century," Veneman said. "We are pleased that the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has recognized the many USDA internship, scholarship, fellowship and grant programs available to improve the educational achievement of Hispanic students and prepare them for successful and rewarding careers." Contact: Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623.


WORLD FOOD DAY MESSAGE – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman honored (October 16) World Food Day and its theme "Biodiversity for Food Security" by highlighting increased U.S. commitments and pledging continued high-level attention to issues of food availability and quality in the United States and around the world. "World Food Day is a way to acknowledge our accomplishments around the world, and to examine how we can do even more to meet the goal of reducing by half the number of people suffering from chronic hunger by the year 2015," Veneman said. "Our country is the world's largest provider of food aid and the leading contributor to the World Food Program. But that and other aid programs are only temporary solutions to food insecurity. Increasing agricultural productivity is one of the pathways to a permanent solution. Science and technology have the potential to raise agricultural productivity, increase income, and ultimately improve nutrition and health across the world." For more information, visit www.worldfoodday.org. Contact: Ed Loyd (202) 720-4623.


$1.1 MILLION TO ERADICATE INVASIVE PESTS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced (October 14) awards of $1.1 million in grants and cooperative agreements to determine the economic implications of combating harmful pests and diseases. Organizations in six states and the District of Columbia are award recipients. "We are committed to identifying strategies that are effective in controlling invasive pests in a cost-efficient manner," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "These research projects will help guide our efforts to protect our natural and agricultural resources." The grants and cooperative agreements will provide funding to research institutions in Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC. For more information, go to: www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/invasivespecies. Contact: Mary Reardon (202) 694-5136.


FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR FOOD ASSISTANCE AND NUTRITION RESEARCH– Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced (October 14) $1.1 million in grant and cooperative agreement awards for research on food assistance and nutrition programs in seven states and the District of Columbia. "USDA's food assistance and nutrition programs help ensure that all Americans have access to nutritious, healthful diets," said Veneman. "This research will help evaluate and meet the changing nutritional needs of our nation's most vulnerable families and individuals." The goal of the research is to examine, evaluate and enhance USDA's food and nutrition assistance programs. The grants and cooperative agreements will fund projects in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia. For more information, visit: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/FoodNutritionAssistance/Funding. Contact: Vic Oliveira (202) 694-5434.
NEW CLASSICAL CHINESE GARDEN – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman signed (October 14) a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Yang Jiechi, ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the United States, for the construction of a classical Chinese garden at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. "This Chinese garden will be a wonderful addition to the world-class display gardens already at the Arboretum," Veneman said. "The new garden will deepen the American people's understanding of Chinese garden culture, and provide research opportunities to study Chinese plants and flowers. Upon completion this will be the finest Chinese garden outside of China." Contact:
Alfredo Flores (301) 504-1627.


Edited by Elizabeth Conley

FROM OUR RADIO SERVICE

AGRICULTURE USA CD # 43.04 – For consumers, Brenda Curtis reports on the best ways to select the perfect peach, pear or plum at the grocery store.

CONSUMER TIME CD # 43.04 – Science helps bring ripe, juicy and flavor-filled fruit. Get ready for winter driving. Pasta sauce the gourmet way. Sampling traditional American Indian food. The art and science of fall leaf disposal.

AGRITAPE CD # 43.04 – More corn and soybeans than expected. Brighter outlook for wheat. Record rice and cotton crops expected. USDA makes new citrus forecast after assessing hurricane damage. The tobacco buyout.

UPCOMING ON USDA RADIO NEWSLINE – October 25-27, USDA Obesity Conference (Radio stories from that conference will be available each day). October 29, agricultural prices and the Trick or Treat weather forecast. November 1, crop progress. November 2, crop/weather update. November 8, crop progress. November 9, farm sector income update, crop /weather update. These are USDA reports we know about in advance. The newsline carries many stories every day that are not listed in this lineup.

USDA Radio Newsline, 202-720-6776, 5:00pm ET
Or go to www.usda.gov, click on Newsroom at top of the page, scroll down on right side of page until you see Radio and TV. Then click on Daily Radio News Service or Weekly Radio Feature Service. To request radio features on CD, fax name, station,
and address to 202-690-2165.

FROM OUR TELEVISION SERVICE

Features:

NEW USDA WEBSITE DESIGNED FOR EASIER USE – A new USDA website allows users to customize a personal web page to make it easier to find the information they need rapidly. Bob Ellison reports.

USDA HELPS WITH RURAL DEVELOPMENT – The USDA is working with electric cooperatives to offer renewable energy in the Northern Plains of the United States. Bob Ellison reports.

TV SATELLITE NEWSFEED – The feed is available Thursdays from 4:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET from TELSTAR 5 (C-Band) Transponder 16, orbital slot 97 degrees west, downlink frequency 4020 MHZ, polarity horizontal, audio 6.2/6.8, TWTA power 20 watts, trouble number: 703-642-8585.

Comments and suggestions are welcome regarding USDA broadcast services. Call Larry Quinn, (202) 720 4623, or write: 1400 Independence Avenue S.W., Mail Stop 1300, USDA, Office of Communications, Washington, D.C. 20250 1300. Internet e mail: larry.quinn @usda.gov.

OFF MIKE

NAFB’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR . . . plans to leave his position at the end of 2004, according to Jeff Nalley (Cromwell Ag Network, Owensboro, KY), president of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. Ken Root, who became Executive Director in 2002, announced his plans at an NAFB Board of Directors’ meeting late last week. Ken said, “I love NAFB…I’ve been attached for 30 years, and I hope that I can remain affiliated and serve in some capacity as a volunteer in the future.” About Ken’s work, Jeff said, “His passion for agriculture and farm broadcasting is reflected in every aspect of his work for NAFB. Ken has assembled an effective and dedicated staff to serve the members of our association. NAFB is better today because of Ken’s work.”

LEAVING FARM BROADCASTING . . . to begin a career in farm market consulting is Joe Gangwish (Rural Radio Network, Lexington, NE). He leaves the network at the end of October. As a licensed commodity broker, he will assist farmers with marketing decisions on corn, soybeans, wheat and cattle. He spent this past summer studying and preparing for this change, which comes after 12 years of farm broadcasting with Rural Radio Network, KMMJ (Grand Island, NE) and WOW (Omaha, NE). Joe says this year’s corn crop developed late in central and western Nebraska. Cool, wet weather has left an estimated 60 percent of the crop to be harvested. Corn is mature so dry weather and a heavy frost would lower corn moisture levels and speed up harvesting.

RECORD YIELDS FOR CORN . . . in South Dakota are ranging from 120 bushels per acre in drought areas to more than 200 bushels per acre in areas having sufficient moisture, according to Michelle Rook (WNAX, Yankton, SD). She said that soybean yields are more variable, ranging from 20 to 70 bushels per acre. Presently serving as Vice President of NAFB, Michelle becomes President-Elect next year and will chair program planning for the 2005 NAFB Convention.


LARRY A. QUINN, Assistant Director
Office of Communications




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