Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

Carrizo cane and French wasps

I love stories like this. They’ve burned it, bulldozed it, hacked it and poisoned it. Now they want to try wasps – imported from France, no less. The target is carrizo cane, a bamboo-like reed that’s a fearsome enemy of officers patrolling the Texas-Mexico border. Dense stands have camouflaged stash houses, half-ton steers and a […]

A poison plan for feral hogs?

It could work, though probably not any time soon. A preservative used to cure bacon is being tested as poison for the nation’s estimated 5 million feral hogs. […] The USDA program that began in April includes $1.5 million for the research center headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado. Its scientists have made sodium nitrite studies […]

Feral hogs cross the border

You can’t stop them, and hoping to contain them is not looking so likely, too. If nothing else, the voracious wild hogs that years ago destroyed the lucrative melon and cantaloupe harvests in this isolated border city — and are now ruining the alfalfa, corn and oat crops — have discriminating tastes. “They like vanilla. […]

We’re exporting feral hogs

You’re welcome, neighboring states. Feral pigs have already taken over Texas and are expanding their numbers in other states, but federal and state land managers think they have a chance to tip the balance in New Mexico. They’re willing to bet $1 million in federal funds on a yearlong pilot project aimed at eradicating the […]

The Houston Food Bank could use your help

Times are tough, y’all. Despite a growing demand, food banks, charities and pantries face a dwindling supply of products to distribute to Houston’s hungry this holiday season. Food banks in Houston and across the country have less to give away because the federal government is purchasing fewer excess farm products to stabilize agricultural prices. At […]

Rick Perry and pink slime

Two great tastes that taste great together. Gov. Rick Perry is defending so-called “pink slime” in a statement issued in conjunction with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman and South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels (on behalf of South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who’s on a trade mission to […]

Pink slime

I don’t know if you’ve been following the “pink slime” debate, but Bettina Siegel, who is one of the main catalysts behind it, had an op-ed in the Chron that summarized the main arguments. Last week, the online publication The Daily set off a media firestorm when it reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture […]

New school food coming

No more mystery meat. School lunches, long saddled with an unhealthy reputation, are getting a makeover. Instead of salt-doused fried foods, highly processed white bread and sugar-laden desserts, cafeteria trays will be carrying whole wheat pizza, leafy green and orange vegetables and fresh fruit. The changes, announced Wednesday by first lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture […]

There are lots of hungry people in Texas

Wow. Millions of Texans are at risk of going hungry, and the resources available to many low-income families aren’t enough, according to new data released [Wednesday] by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Food Bank Network. The report, which is based on survey data from 2008 to 2010, showed Texas as among […]

The state of school food

Bettina has a feature story in Houston Family magazine about the current state of school food, which takes into account recently passed legislation by Congress and what’s going on in HISD. She also has a report from an HISD “Nutrition Strategy Event” that was an attempt to “define a clear direction and priorities for Houston […]

Progress on food stamps

Good news. With hundreds of new workers on board, Texas has dramatically improved its speed and accuracy processing food stamp applications, Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs [told] state lawmakers [last week]. But he’ll also tell the joint gathering of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the House-Senate panel overseeing the […]

Feds fine Texas for food stamp failures

Our longstanding food stamp problems continue to cost the state of Texas millions of dollars. Federal officials have fined Texas $3.96 million for errors in issuing food stamp benefits, according to a letter sent to House Speaker Joe Straus. The penalty is for exceeding 105 percent of the national average rate of payment errors — […]

Monitoring the food stamps problem

State Sens. Judith Zaffirini and Tommy Williams will be keeping an eye on the food stamps situation. Zaffirini said in an interview that she and Williams will work with Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs on hiring more enrollment workers — as well as training and retaining them — and improving communication between […]

Feds to Texas: Fix food stamps!

Yet another (bad) way in which our state has distinguished itself. Federal officials say Texas should appoint a food stamp czar to take charge of fixing the application backlogs and high error rates plaguing the program. “All states are feeling the pinch right now because of the economic recession, but I’m not aware of any […]

Justice for Hispanic farmers

I received an email about this and thought it was worth passing on. Hispanic farmers and ranchers deserve justice! Join us in calling on President Obama to end discrimination and bring transparency to USDA-administered farm programs. Sign the petition online here. GUADALUPE L. GARCIA JR. v. TOM VILSACK United States District Court for the District of […]

“Crazy ants” becoming a bigger menace

You may recall hearing about the “crazy ants”, also known as Rasberry ants, last year. They’re apparently gaining a large foothold in Texas and other states, and are threatening honeybees wherever they go. The range of the so-called Rasberry crazy ant has more than doubled in the past year, creating a swath in 11 counties […]

The real Coke classic

True aficionados know, if you really want the kind of Coca Cola they used to make before the “New Coke” fiasco, you have to get one that was bottled in Mexico. Coca-Cola Classic, as it has been known since then, wasn’t exactly the old formula, because it no longer contained cane sugar. Instead it was […]