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- In our work with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, we occasionally help out when FAS arranges official tours to the Pacific Northwest. As an example, tonight we are hosting a dinner at Yakima’s Gilbert Cellars for a group of about thirty agricultural attachés stationed at various embassies in Washington, D.C. These diplomats hail from some 21 countries ranging from the People’s Republic of China to France to South Africa.
- Helping to lead this week long tour through parts of Washington and Oregon is Bonnie Borris, an assistant deputy administrator at FAS, a graduate of Washington State University, and a long time friend of mine.
- “Sustainability” is a word I think devoid of much meaning, but one that pops up in all types of deep discussions on our nation’s food system. Some users of the word mean this: social and environmental justice intertwined with obtaining food from a local, small farm. Others, this: what is needed to be done in order to continue farming. Definitional confusion reigns. Those seeking clarity will be pleased to learn that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced a $761,820 grant to the Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops to advance its work. Those concerned about this country’s budget deficit will be less pleased.
- Produce food safety expert Dr. Donna Garren, mostly recently with NSF International’s Davis Fresh, next month will join the staff of the American Frozen Food Institute, based in McLean, Virginia. Her new boss? Kraig Naasz, who once worked for our organization and who now serves as president of the AFFI.