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Press Releases and Announcements

This section includes all current and archived press releases and announcements.

China Garden Groundbreaking at the National Arboretum - November 5, 2016

REE Under Secretary Cathie Woteki addresses the gathering at the groundbreaking for the National China Garden at USDA's National Arboretum in Washington DC. Woteki said the 12-acre gift from the People's Republic of China would serve as a "living classroom" about Chinese nature and culture.

Also pictured: Sam Mok of Washington DC, President of the National China Garden Foundation, and Chavonda Jacobs-Young, Administrator of ARS.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced increased federal and private-sector support to expand and diversify the U.S. agricultural workforce by increasing opportunities in education, research and outreach. The announcement is part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Rural Council initiative,

America the Bountiful, a collaboration with federal agencies and private-sector stakeholders to meet the growing demand for a skilled, diverse workforce in the rapidly evolving agricultural landscape.

2016 GODAN Summit: A Large Display of USG Support for Agriculture and Nutrition Open Data

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Initiative, comprised of over 350 international organizations representing governments, donors, businesses, and not-for-profits, continues to be a leader in advocating for the use of open data as a mechanism to support sustainable development. The initiative focuses on building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data for agriculture and nutrition and encourages collaboration and cooperation among existing agriculture and open data activities to solve long-standing global problems. To learn more about joining GODAN, please visit:

To view ongoing U.S. Government releases of open data resources within the agriculture and nutrition fields, visit

Read More about the 2016 GODAN Summit...

Four cold-tolerant faba bean germplasm lines are now available for developing pulse or cover crops that can be rotated with wheat and other cereal grains grown in the Pacific Northwest.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, scientists who co-developed the new germplasm lines, planting faba beans can offer both environmental and economic benefits. These include converting atmospheric nitrogen into a form subsequent crops can use for growth, forming a thick canopy that shades out weeds, protecting the soil from erosion, and nourishing it when chopped and left to decompose as a so-called “green manure.”

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2016 – Today, the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR) released the first Nutrition Research Roadmap designed to guide federal nutrition research. The 2016-2021 National Nutrition Research Roadmap encourages an increased focus on research that can lead to more individualized advice for promoting health and preventing disease.

USDA to Host Listening Sessions on Public Access to Scholarly Publications and Digital Scientific Data

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 10, 2015 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is seeking public comment on the development of a policy to increase access to the results of federally-funded agricultural research. Dr. Catherine Woteki, the USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE) announced today that USDA will receive comment at two live teleconferences and via email through Dec. 9, 2015.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2015 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) that will provide more than 500 member museums and science-technology centers with resources to incorporate agricultural science and research in their programs.

NASS Receives the "Golden ARC" Award

The Agriculture Relations Council (ARC) announced the 2015 Golden ARC Awards and NASS' Public Affairs team was this year's top winner for the Public Affairs Campaign Division.

NASS' winning entry, Census of Agriculture: American Agriculture by the Numbers, encompassed the 2012 Census of Agriculture data release campaign that helped bring static numbers to life and provide data users with content and tools to easily access the data they needed. Ultimately, the campaign was targeted to increase interest in and usability of the data, which engaged and built data provider and user communities.

ARC is the only association dedicated to serving the unique needs of public relations professionals working in agriculture, food, fiber and other related industries. Some of this year's ARC winners in other categories included U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, Syngenta, CropLife America, National Association of Wheat Growers, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and United Soybean Board. NASS has earned merit awards from ARC in prior years, this is the agency's first Golden ARC Award.

2011 - Ag Reporter Jerry Hagstrom Interviews Under Secretary Woteki