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Texas Ag Daily
Online guide aids new farmers with Farm Bill program options

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has published an online guide, the Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs, to help small and mid-sized farmers with the many programs and opportunities available through the 2014 Farm Bill.

The online guide is designed to help new farmers walk through the dozens of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture and explains how they can be used by farmers and ranchers nationwide, reports Southwest Farm Press.

NSAC guide offers information on microloans, revenue protection, risk management, organic crop insurance, direct and guaranteed farm loans, conservation loans and how to make better conservation measures that are more sustainable.

Click here to review and use the NSAC online guide.

TWDB approved $45,190,000 for water projects

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will grant $45,190,000 for improvements of water and wastewater infrastructure projects in the Lone Star State.

Three of the five projects approved will benefit rural communities, according to TWDB.
• $2,525,000 in financial assistance to the Greater Texoma Utility Authority on behalf of the City of Sherman (Grayson County) for water treatment plant improvements

• $39,000,000 in financial assistance to the City of Fort Worth (Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Parker, and Wise counties) for improvements at the Big Fossil Creek Drainage Basin and the Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility

• $1,040,000 in financial assistance to the City of Winnsboro (Franklin and Wood counties) for wastewater treatment plant renovations

• $200,000 in financial assistance to Sol Y Mar Water System (Hidalgo County) for water system improvements

• $2,425,000 in financial assistance to the Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District (Williamson County) for water system improvements

The TWDB collects and disseminates water-related data, assisting with regional planning and preparing the state water plan for the development of the state’s water resources.


USDA talks turkey safety tips

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers safety tips on thawing Thanksgiving turkey to ensure it’s safe for consumption, which starts long before one begins cooking the bird, according to USDA.

Proper handling and storage are just as important as correctly cooking the turkey and forgetting these steps can lead to serving harmful pathogens like Salmonella and Campylobacter. 

Cooking is the only way to destroy bacteria and other pathogens and keeping the turkey refrigerated slows bacterial growth; therefore, these are the ways to thaw a turkey.

• Refrigerator: Place turkey in its original wrapping on a shelf with a pan underneath it to catch any leaking juices. Allow approximately 24 hours for each four to five pounds of bird to thaw. After thawing, it’s safe to store the turkey for up to two more days. This is the USDA’s preferred method of thawing.

• Cold Water Method: Submerge the bird in its original packaging in cold tap water and change the water every 30 minutes. Allow about 30 minutes per pound of turkey to defrost. Cook immediately after thawing.

• Microwave Thawing: Follow the microwave oven manufacturer’s instructions when defrosting a turkey. Plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving.

For additional information, visit USDA’s Let’s Talk Turkey or turkey resources at FoodSafety.gov.

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