Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is the latest cabinet member to official join the Biden Administration. Vice President Kamala Harris swore Vilsack in over Zoom. Vilsack will go down in history as the 30th and 32nd agriculture secretary, having been in that role during the eight years of the Obama Administration.
Working remotely from Iowa, the agriculture secretary acknowledged there’s a lot to do with little time to do it. A top priority is the coronavirus pandemic, and USDA is reviewing how the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is administered.
“In the meantime, we’re making payments under CFAP 2. The next round of CFAP is under review. We felt it was necessary to extend the sign-up period during the evaluation.” Vilsack said once determinations are made for the next round of CFAP, program sign-up will be extended another 30 days.
When it comes to climate change, Vilsack said USDA will be as helpful as possible to providing resources, technical assistance and verify conservation practices.
- A new staffing pattern for Latin America (not including Mexico) resulting in enhanced market coverage and in country presence.
- Global U.S. dry bean value proposition research revealing key messaging to be incorporated into future strategies.
- Analysis of the current threat to dry bean trade posed by low or zero tolerance MRLs in Vietnam as a template for future global research and recommended response.
- Ongoing work on dry bean innovation focused on bean flour and ready to eat dishes with beans, to become part of USDBC’s domestic and global promotion work.
- Enhanced global social media and PR campaigns in all programs while travel remains limited.
- Ongoing pivot to virtual trade missions for Q1 2021 with UK/EU up next.
- Final push for BeanCon21 registrations, matchmaking for business sessions, pre-production of all panels set to begin early this month.
Northarvest Bean Grower – Our Mission:
NHBGA, growers representing growers through the check-off system, is North America’s largest supplier of quality dry beans. Working together to better the industry through promotion, research, market development, education of consumers and monitoring of governmental policy. Our future goals must be continued market exposure and careful monitoring of new ideas, consumer choices, and producer needs.
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