In This Issue...
USD.- Issues Disaster Pa\ inents for Crop.
Li\cstock. and Fccd Losses
Blonlson Lir,_cs Florida s Fnarmcls and Rancheir
to Particiatc In (CCIISs of ftlncltulrc
Beef C'hcckoff Lauinchle Ne\\ Ad\ crtismn
.-NII A nnou1lccs .-kAinial (aic Handhlin,_
FSIS Launches Risk-Based Testing for E coll
in Ra\\ Ground Beef
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: '" 2008
Florida Ruminant Nutrition
January 29-30, 2008
Best Western Gateway Grand
For more information or to register, please visit:
http://conference. ifas. ufl. edu/ruminant/index. html
L ~ ~ A r A.
The Institute of Food and Agncultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmatve Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information, and
other services only to individuals that function with regard to race, color sex, age, handicap, or national orgin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your
county Cooperative Extension Service office.
USDA Issues Disaster Payments for
Crop, Livestock, and Feed Losses
Acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner
announced that USDA will begin issuing payments on
December 19, 2007, to tens of thousands of farmers and
ranchers across the country who suffered losses because
of natural disasters.
"Numerous agricultural producers suffered financial
hardships in recent years because of floods, wildfires,
tornadoes and other weather-related disasters," Conner
said. "These funds will provide assistance to producers
affected by these disasters."
USDA is currently processing about $1 billion in
payments under the Crop Disaster Program, Livestock
Compensation Program, and Livestock Indemnity Program.
Sign-up for these programs is ongoing. The programs
provide payments to agricultural producers who suffered
crop, livestock and feed losses in 2005, 2006, and before
February 28, 2007. But, producers must choose one year
for which to receive payments.
The Crop Disaster Program (CDP) provides benefits
to farmers who suffered quantity and quality losses from
natural disasters and related conditions that happened in
2005, 2006, and for 2007 crops if the crop was planted or
prevented from being planted before February 28, 2007.
At this time, USDA is only compensating producers for
quantity losses under this program. Payments forthe quality
losses will not be distributed until early 2008, after sign-up
for quality loss.
The Livestock Compensation Program (LCP)
compensates livestock producers for feed losses resulting
from natural disasters that occurred between January 1,
2005 and February 28, 2007. Producers who suffered
losses caused by blizzards that started in 2006 and continued
into 2007 are eligible. Producers in primary or contiguous
counties that were declared secretarial disaster areas or
counties declared presidential disaster areas between
January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007, are also eligible.
Additionally, USDA will soon issue more than $11
million to Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, and
Oklahoma through the LCP Catfish Grant Program.
Alabama will receive $3,121,477.94; Florida $34,879.25;
Idaho $6,968.00; Mississippi $8,123,840.88; and Oklahoma
$5,651.10. USDA also approved the following six states to
receive funds through the Catfish Grant Program: Arkansas,
California, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Texas.
USDA will distribute funds to the six states after they
conduct sign-up and submit requests for payments.
The Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
compensates livestock producers for livestock losses
between January 1, 2005 and February 28, 2007, that
were caused by natural disasters, including blizzards that
started in 2006 and continued into 2007. Producers in
primary or contiguous counties that were declared
secretarial disaster areas or counties declared presidential
disaster areas between January 1, 2005, and February
28, 2007, are also eligible.
The "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care,
Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations
Act, 2007," signed into law on May 25,2007, by President
Bush authorizes CDP, LCP and LIP. USDA's Farm
Service Agency (FSA) administers the programs.
Farmers and ranchers can apply to receive benefits
through these and other disaster programs by visiting their
local FSA service center. Find more information about
FSA disaster programs online at: http://
Release December 19, 2007
Bronson Urges Florida's Farmers
and Ranchers to Participate in
Census of Agriculture
Forms will be delivered by mail in
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H.
Bronson is urging the state's farmers and ranchers to
watch their mail in early January for the arrival of the
2007 Census of Agriculture form.
"I urge all of Florida's agricultural producers to
participate in the Census by completing and returning
the form," Bronson said. "The input received by the
Census helps shape the future of agriculture for years to
come, and we want to make sure that the voices of
Florida's farmers and ranchers are heard."
Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, the Census is a complete count of the
nation's farms and ranches and the people who operate
them. The Census examines land use and ownership,
operator characteristics, production practices, income and
expenditures and other topics. It provides the only source
of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every
county in the nation.
"Regardless of how large or small their operation or
what kinds of products they produce, it's important for
Florida farmers and ranchers to complete and return the
form," Bronson said. "By participating in the Census, they
will help themselves and their communities."
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service
(NASS) will mail out Census forms on December 28,
2007, to collect data for the 2007 calendar year. Completed
forms are due by February 4, 2008. Producers can return
their forms by mail or fill out the Census online via a secure
"The Census ofAgriculture provides information that
benefits agricultural producers and their communities in
many ways," Bronson said. "For instance, policy-makers
factor Census data into decisions concerning agricultural
and rural programs. Community planners use Census data
to target needed services to rural residents. Companies
rely on Census data when determining where to locate
their operations. And farmers themselves can use Census
data to help make critical decisions about their
For more information about the 2007 Census of
Agriculture, contact the NASS Florida Field Office at
(407) 648-6013 or (800) 344-6277 or visit http://
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Census of Agriculture?
The Census ofAgriculture is a complete count, taken
every five years, of America's farms and ranches and
the people who operate them. It is the most complete
agricultural data resource available, providing the only
source of uniform, comprehensive information for every
county in the nation. The Census provides information on
land use and ownership, operator characteristics,
production practices, income and expenditures, and many
other important topics. The 2007 Census ofAgriculture is
your voice, your future, your responsibility.
By participating in the 2007 Census, producers can
help show the nation the value and importance of U.S.
agriculture. This is an opportunity for every producer to
show how agriculture contributes to America by providing
food, fuel and fiber. Each producer has the power to
influence key decisions that will shape the direction of
American agriculture for years to come, including:
* Transportation and marketing locations
* Farm services
* Production practices and new technologies
* Policy decisions
By responding to the Census, every producer can
have a positive impact on the future of their own operation
and their entire community. The Census provides valuable
information used for:
* Community planning
* Farm succession planning
* Store/company locations
* Availability of operational loans and other funding
* Location and staffing of USDA service centers
* Federal budget support for agriculture
Everyone's response to the Census makes a
difference. To assure we are providing the best tools and
reports, we need accurate information from all farmers
and ranchers no matter how large or small their operations.
This information is used to make a positive difference in
local communities. Additionally, responses are required
and protected by law.
What to Do?
Producers should look for the Census form in their
mailboxes in early January 2008.
Forms must be mailed back or completed online by
February 4, 2008.
Visit http://www.agcensus.usda.gov for more
Phone: (407) 648-6013
Release December 14, 2007
Beef Checkoff Launches
BEE New Advertising Campaign
The National Cattlemen's BeefAssociation
announced a new Beef Checkoff Program advertising
campaign that lauds beef's nutritional value and consumers'
taste for it through a variety of media placements.
With a budget of roughly $15 million, the campaign
encourages Americans to "Discover the Power of Protein
in the Land of Lean Beef' and plans to reach 86 percent
of the consumer target via radio, billboards and 39 national
consumer magazines in 2008.
The first print advertisement will hit the pages of
Fitness magazine's February issue and additional consumer
magazines, such as Cooking Light, People and Parents,
New national radio spots will begin airing January
21st. The campaign change will be signaled by a new and
distinct campaign voice that the Checkoff said embodies
the qualities unique to beef: passion, protein and strength.
The famed "Beef It's What's for Dinner" tagline and
Aaron Copland's familiar "Rodeo" music will remain a
part of the campaign.
Visit http://www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to
view each of the print ads, new corresponding recipes
and hear the new radio advertising.
Release January 8, 2008
^M AMI Announces Animal
SCare Handling Conference
The 2008 AMI Foundation Animal Care and Handling
Conference for the Food Industry will be held February
14-15 at the Westin Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo.,
The conference will open with an informative general
session on current global trends in animal welfare,
keynoted by Dr. David Bayvel, director of animal welfare
for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Biosecurity,
Following the keynote, the conference will break
into three focused tracks: management and policy, applied
pig handling and applied cattle handling. Exhibitors may
showcase their products and services during a special
welcome reception February 14.
Immediately preceding the conference, the Animal
Transportation Association, together with AMI, will host
a Livestock Transportation Conference on February 13
to address the increasing focus on ensuring optimal care
during livestock transportation.
Registration fees for those registering before
December 31 are $325 for AMI members, $450 for non-
members and $295 when three or more members register
together. After December 31, registration rates increase
to $425 for members and $395 when three or more
members register together.
Release January 2, 2008
USDA FSIS Launches Risk-Based
^ Testing for E. coli in Raw
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has
commenced an enhanced risk-based sampling and testing
program for E. coli 0157:H7 in raw ground beef, one of
the many programs it promised to initiate following the
Topps Meat Co. recall last fall.
Under the new protocol, effective January 1, FSIS
will take into account establishment volume and whether
the establishment has had any FSIS or Agriculture
Marketing Service positive results within the past 120 days.
FSIS says inspectors will likely collect a minimum
of 4 samples and up to 24 samples annually. The new
program is independent of follow-up testing, which results
from an establishment being implicated in an E. coli
O 157:H7-positive production lot.
Topps' recall of nearly 22 million pounds of frozen
ground beef products in early October, one of the largest
beef recalls in U.S. history, followed a rash of recalls in
the summer and forced FSIS to review its oversight
procedures. The agency vowed it would make
improvements, announcing some of its plans shortly
Release January 4, 2008