National Ag News for May 24, 2023

Last Chance to Complete the 2022 Census of Agriculture

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will end data collection for the 2022 Census of Agriculture on May 31. Producers who have not yet returned their completed questionnaires have just one week left to respond. Federal law requires everyone who received the ag census to complete and return it. Recipients can respond online at or by mail. NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer says, “Not being represented in these widely used data means risking being underserved.” USDA NASS is reminding ag census recipients that if they produced and sold $1,000 or more of agricultural product in 2022, or normally would have produced and sold that much, they meet USDA’s definition of a farm. However, landowners who lease land to producers, those solely involved in conservation programs, and even those who may not have farmed in 2022 are still required to respond. USDA will release the results in 2024. To learn more about the Census of Agriculture, visit

NIFA Helps Veterinary Medical Students Repay Loans

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture helped 89 food animal veterinary practitioners with loan repayments from the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program in 2022. NIFA reported this week that the 89 students from 28 American Veterinary Medical Association accredited Colleges received nearly $9 million in loan repayment benefits. The program up to $75,000 in loan repayment over a three-year period to help eligible veterinarians offset a significant portion of the debt incurred in pursuit of their veterinary medical degrees in return for their service in certain high-priority veterinary shortage situations. Funding is authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Services Act. NIFA National Program Leader Bob Smith says, “Award recipients regularly tell us that they wouldn’t be able to serve these areas without this support.”  The program helps address the critical shortage of food animal veterinarians in both private and public practice, particularly in rural communities in the United States.

Eating Patterns Differ from Federal Recommendations

U.S. consumers’ eating patterns differ from Federal recommendations for many food categories, and where food is obtained plays a role. Researchers from USDA’s Economic Research Service examined diet patterns based on density—amounts of food consumed per 1,000 calories—using the latest available national food consumption data. They compared the average consumption densities of 17 food categories with what would be needed to match the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations, assuming a 2,000-calorie intake. Average total consumption densities for 11 food categories fell more than 20 percent outside of recommended levels, with whole grains more than 70 percent below the recommended amount. Refined grains, on the other hand, had a consumption density of more than 85 percent above the recommended level. Densities of six food categories were within 20 percent of the recommended range. Generally, food purchased at grocery stores, supermarkets, and similar retailers for home preparation had consumption densities more in line with dietary recommendations than food obtained from commercial away-from-home sources.

USDA, University of Kentucky Break Ground on New Forage Research Building

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Tuesday participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a new research facility, known as the Forage-Animal Production Research Unit. The University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture, Food and the Environment will host the new facility. Vilsack says, “Today’s groundbreaking builds on more than two decades of partnership with the University of Kentucky, while demonstrating USDA’s latest commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible for agriculture.” Upon completion, targeted for 2026, the new facility will encompass approximately 52,600 total square feet of office, supporting a research laboratory space, as well as a collaborative area, headhouse and eight-bay greenhouses. It will be staffed by six Agricultural Research Service scientists, seven university researchers, laboratory technicians, and administrative personnel. Earlier this month, USDA released a three-year science and research strategy, which establishes a scientific framework to transform the U.S. food system and support our nation’s farmers, ranchers, producers and foresters.

The Alltech ONE World Tour begins in Budapest

Central Europe’s agriculture producers will play a major role in addressing climate and food supply challenges around the world. The region’s agri-food leaders discussed collaborative solutions and strategies for success today in Budapest, Hungary, at the first stop of the Alltech ONE World Tour. The event launches a series of international stops that bring the ideas and inspiration of the annual Alltech ONE Conference to the world. Discussions explored collaborative solutions to the greatest challenges facing the agri-food industry as it confronts the “4 Cs” — the major forces of climate, conflict, consumer trends and rising costs. Alltech president and CEO Dr. Mark Lyons says, “In times of uncertainty, it is crucial for businesses like ours to adapt and innovate.” The Alltech ONE World Tour will continue with stops in Dublin, Ireland, on June 19–20 and Calgary, Canada, on July 3–4, then on to the U.S., Asia, South America and the Middle East. For more information and to register for an Alltech ONE World Tour stop, visit

Ford to Keep AM Radio in New Vehicles

Ford CEO Jim Farley announced on Twitter Tuesday that the company would include AM radio as part of all newly manufactured vehicles in 2024. Farley says, “After speaking with policy leaders about the importance of AM broadcast radio as a part of the emergency alert system, we’ve decided to include it on all 2024 Ford and Lincoln vehicles.” Any owners of a Ford electric vehicle without AM broadcast capability will be offered the capability through a software update, according to the company. The reversal follows action by lawmakers who introduced the AM for Every Vehicle Act last week, and opposition by broadcast associations. The National Association of Broadcasters, in a statement responded, “In light of Ford’s announcement, NAB urges other automakers who have removed AM radio from their vehicles to follow Ford’s lead.” The AM for Every Vehicle Act cited the importance of keeping communities informed during emergencies, particularly rural communities with a lack of other information resources.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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