June 2005 --
Deputy Secretary of Ag Confirmed
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns confirmed Charles F. Conner to serve as the deputy secretary of agriculture on April 27, 2005.
?Conner?s lifelong dedication to agriculture and his many years as an outstanding public servant will be an important asset to enhancing USDA?s many missions,? stated Johanns.
?The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) supports the appointment of Conner to this position. He has been a long-time supporter of the industry and we look forward to working closely with him on future programs,? states Peter Orwick, ASI executive director.
ID/Info Expo 2005 slated for September in Chicago
The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) will host ID/Info Expo 2005, Sept. 27-29. The event will be held at the Crown Plaza Chicago O?Hare Hotel.
A conference and trade show devoted to the subject of animal identification and information systems, ID/Info Expo 2005, will focus largely on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), an industry/state/federal collaborative effort, under development by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This one-of-a-kind trade show will showcase a variety of animal identification manufacturers and information systems service providers.
?With the success of the 2004 meeting, NIAA considered the need for an ID/Info Expo in 2005,? says Robert Fourdraine, Ph.D., chair of the NIAA Animal Identification and Information Systems Committee. ?Based upon overwhelming interest and support to host another meeting, we see it as a valuable forum to advance implementation of a national system.?
Preliminary program and registration information has been published. For more information, visit www.animalagriculture.org.
One Size Doesn?t Fit All
One size doesn?t fit all. That was the message portrayed by Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns when he unveiled the newly revised food guidance system called ?MyPyramid.?
MyPyramid, which replaced the Food Guide Pyramid introduced in 1992, is part of an overall food guidance system that emphasizes the need for a more individualized approach to improving diet and lifestyle. The program is meant to encourage consumers to make healthier food choices and to be active every day.
The new food guidance system utilizes interactive technology found on www.MyPyramid.gov. MyPyramid contains interactive activities that make it easy for individuals to key in their age, gender and physical activity level so that they can get a more personalized recommendation on their daily calorie level based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It also allows individuals to find general food guidance and suggestions for making smart choices from each food group.
Experts Fear Bad Wildfire Season in West
It was a dry, warm winter across the Northwest, with experts in some areas saying they can't remember the last time the snowpack was this low. It was just the opposite in the Southwest, with record winter rainfall that flooded deserts and caused murderous landslides.
Strangely, both face the same worry: conditions are ripe for a bad wildfire season. Along with the dry forests in the Northwest, all that rain in the Southwest has fed lots of tall grass and brush that will become tinder when it dries this summer.
In parts of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, the snowpack is only about 25 percent to 50 percent of normal. The U.S. Drought Monitor, which tracks conditions across the country, rates vast tracts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as "exceptional drought," the worst of five drought categories.
It is predicted that the fire season in the Northwest could start as soon as late May with a key element in both the Northwest and the Southwest being lightning.
Story from Associated Press