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Decline in U.S. Slaughterhouse Numbers Continues

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published its 2015 Livestock Slaughter SummaryOn April 20, 2016, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) published its 2015 Livestock Slaughter Summary; the data indicates further deterioration of U.S. slaughterhouse infrastructure. The total number of livestock slaughter plants (poultry plants are not included) under federal inspection declined from 881 to 808 between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016. There was a slight increase in the number of state-inspected/custom slaughter plants combined but not enough to offset the decline in the number of federal facilities. The total number of slaughter plants declined from 2,770 to 2,718.

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Keep America Beautiful’s National Planting Day Kicks Off Sept. 10

National Planting DayKeep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit which envisions a country where every community is a clean, green and beautiful place to live, is mobilizing Americans to bolster their local ecosystems by planting native species of trees, shrubs and plants for its fifth annual National Planting Day. National Planting Day, which will be observed on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 and throughout the month of September, is a fall initiative of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program.

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Five (or more) Things to Know about Bees and Beekeeping

 

Honeybees don’t see the color red, which means you rarely notice them heading for a red fruit or flower. They do see blue, green, yellow, orange, and ultraviolet.

It’s fun to play the numbers game with bees: For example, honeybees beat their wings 250 times a minute. A queen bee lays between 1,500 and 2,000 eggs a day. A single bee produces 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. On an average two-to-three mile nectar-hunting trip, a bee visits between 50 and 100 flowers. Bees have five eyes and six legs. Bees are about 3/4 inch long.

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Whole Kids Foundation raising money for school salad bars, gardens

https://www.wholekidsfoundation.org/images/homepage-feature-image/GrantsKidsDigging320x240.jpgFoundation’s mission is to improve children’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables

Throughout September, Whole Foods Market shoppers can get involved by participating in one of hundreds of in-store events or by making donations at store checkouts or online at wholekidsfoundation.org. Because Whole Foods Market covers all of the foundation’s operational costs, 100 percent of every dollar donated directly supports Whole Kids Foundation programs. The campaign’s goal is to raise $4 million to fund school salad bars and gardens, and nutrition education classes for teachers.

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Obama Administration Encourages Schools and Districts to Enroll Students in Healthcare Coverage through School Registration

As students begin the new school year, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are calling on states and districts to help enroll students in healthcare coverage during school registration processes and ensure students have access to the health coverage they need.

Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson joined the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), AASA, The School Superintendents Association and other officials at Cardozo Education Campus for a roundtable discussion highlighting best practices for getting more students enrolled in health care. CDF and AASA have developed the Insure All Children toolkit, informed by extensive work with districts in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, on how schools and districts can enroll students in healthcare coverage through routine school registration processes.

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Food safety from farm to table

If you are a farmer interested in selling produce wholesale or direct to a retailer, restaurant or institution, you probably have food safety on the brain. A growing number of buyers require farms to demonstrate compliance with a food safety standard, often through an audit and certification program. That takes work for any farmer, but small and midsized farmers can face unique challenges in accessing and paying for food safety training, audits and certification. Luckily, USDA has a tool designed specifically for you.

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World's Largest Blue Morpho Butterfly Display is at Callaway Gardens in September

World's Largest Blue Morpho Butterfly Display is at Callaway Gardens in September

Brilliant Blue Butterflies Provide Beautiful Sight for Guests; Exclusive Reception Available

September is Blue Morpho Butterfly Month at Callaway Gardens’ Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center.  Typically there are more than 1,000 tropical butterflies of various kinds flying freely throughout the conservatory; however, this month it will be filled exclusively with spectacular blue morpho butterflies.

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People’s Gardens, Farmers Markets & CSAs at USDA and Across Government

The Trend Toward Cage-Free Eggs is Based on Misinformation

More than 100 companies purchasing eggs now are demanding their sources produce cage-free eggs. The idea of chickens roaming about, scratching in the dirt, elicits an idealistic thought that it leads to better animal welfare and better quality eggs. The National Association of Egg Farmers wants consumers to know that this is simply not true.

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