October 22, 2014

“A Peek Inside USDA’s Massive Digital Library Project”

From FierceGovernmentIT: Two and half years ago the Agriculture Department started work on a project it hopes will combine 10 databases of reference material, creating integrated search and alerts for at least 100 million records. Now, after bringing together seven legacy platforms–some utilizing systems that date back to the 1980′s–USDA’s DigiTop e-world houses a total […]

Reference: USDA: Consumers to Receive Timely Food Safety Alerts Through New State Twitter Feeds

Smart idea! From the USDA: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) launched a series of Twitter feeds that will provide state-specific, food safety alerts to consumers. Followers of these Twitter accounts will receive alerts about recalls of meat, poultry and processed egg products in their state, as well as information […]

New Reference Resource: USDA Releases Historic Census of Agriculture Reports

From the USDA Blog: Did you know that the number of farms in the United States peaked in 1935 at 6,812,350 operations when the average farm size was 154.8 acres? In comparison, the 2007 Census of Agriculture counted 2,204,792 farms with the average farm size of 418 acres. In celebration of 150 years of service […]

Reference: USDA Unveils New Plant Hardiness Zone Map

From a USDA Announcement: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released the new version of its Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM), updating a useful tool for gardeners and researchers for the first time since 1990 with greater accuracy and detail. The new map—jointly developed by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Oregon State University’sy […]

USDA Launches New Online Nutrition SuperTracker

From the USDA News Release: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released USDA’s new nutrition SuperTracker. The SuperTracker is a comprehensive, state-of-the-art resource available at ChooseMyPlate.gov designed to assist individuals as they make changes in their life to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight. [Clip] Consumers can access this free, on-line […]

Fast Facts and Stats Relating to Thanksgiving Day 2011 (from the U.S. Census)

The complete set of facts and stats compiled by the U.S. Census is available here.  A PDF version is also available. Each statistic is linked to its source document. Here’s Some of What You’ll Find: 248 million The number of turkeys expected to be raised in the United States in 2011. That’s up 2 percent […]

Government Libraries: "A 5th Anniversary For the Forest Service National Library Celebrates 100 Years of History"

Happy Anniversary! From the USDA Blog: As far back as 1902, a national U.S. Forest Service library formed with the transfer of 3,000 books from the Department of Agriculture library. It grew steadily over the years providing a range of services to research customers. Gradually interest grew in expanding service to other Forest Service employees […]

A Look at a Few Resources Using U.S. Department of Agriculture Open Data

From the USDA Blog: Resources Mentioned Include: USDA National Farmers Market Directory  Farmers Market Data and Ratings Comparisons API For the Farmers Market Directory Real Time Farms (Database) Eat Well Guide (Database) The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the USDA agency responsible for the National Farmers Market Directory, will continue gathering and refining the data and […]

Food Safety Questions? USDA Releases Mobile Version of "Ask Karen" Virtual Assistant

From the Mobile Gov Blog: Ask Karen is mobile! Now you can get all of your food safety questions answered on the go. From your web-enabled mobile device, you can browse food safety information, send email and call a toll-free number. If you are using an iPhone, iPad or Android device you can web chat […]