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Texas Ag Daily
Senators urge USDA to make stricter food safety standards

Three senators urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reduce levels of salmonella and campylobacter in chicken and turkey products through development of food safety standards, according to Agri-Pulse.

“We write to urge you to develop strong performance standards for poultry products that will significantly reduce foodborne illnesses and deaths,” Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

The USDA is planning to finalize a proposed rule by the end of the year that seeks to create a new, faster inspection system at poultry harvesting plants. 

FAS awards funds to help expand export markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) awarded funding through the 2014 Farm Bill to more than 60 U.S. agricultural organizations to help expand commercial export markets for American products.

Through the Market Access Program (MAP), FAS will provide $171.8 million to 62 non-profit organizations and cooperatives. According to an agency news release, FAS partners with U.S. agricultural trade associations, cooperatives, state regional trade groups and small businesses to share the costs of overseas marketing and promotional activities that help build commercial export markets for American products and commodities.

FAS will allocate $24.6 million to 22 trade organizations that represent U.S. farmers and ranchers through the Foreign Market Development (FMD) program, which focuses on trade servicing and trade capacity building by helping to create, expand and maintain long-term export markets.


Hays County Feral Hog Workshop slated for April 28, San Marcos

A free workshop addressing feral hogs is set for April 28 in San Marcos. The Hays County Feral Hog Workshop will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Hays County.

According to AgriLife Today, topics discussed during the workshop will include basic ecology and biology of feral hogs, regulations for transporting feral hogs, disease concerns, control techniques, feral hogs and the Brazos River Watersheds, hunting regulations, feral hog population dynamics and resources.

Attendees who hold Texas Department of Agriculture private pesticide applicator licenses can earn two general continuing education units.

Call (512) 393-2120 to preregister by April 23.

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