U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has proposed new rules for school meals aimed at giving administrators more flexibility in what they serve in school cafeterias around the country each day.

Citrus Aid Money Moves A Step Closer

Sep 17, 2018

As a new citrus growing season gets underway, federal assistance tied to the hurricane-ravaged 2017-2018 harvest is finally moving into the application phase.

Florida Governor's Office

Gov. Rick Scott is asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to move quickly to get disaster-relief funding into the hands of Florida citrus growers, as it may be another three months before farmers can start to apply for the money.


For the next three years, a $250,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture will support healthy options in Parramore and west Orlando where residents there have managed without a major grocery store.


The project is part of the federal government’s $13 million plan to increase domestic consumption and boost community-based agriculture.


Associated Press

More than 1 million low-income residents in 21 states could soon lose their government food stamps if they fail to meet work requirements that began kicking in this month.

Nelson To Talk Greening With Citrus Growers

Oct 13, 2015
Amy Green/WMFE

  Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is meeting with citrus growers in Lakeland today and will likely hear how citrus greening and the Oriental fruit fly are taking a big bite out of their crop. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is forecasting a Florida orange crop of 80 million boxes for the 2015- 16 season. That’s 17 percent lower than last season.

Growers were expecting a lower yield because of HLB, or citrus greening disease, said Florida Citrus Mutual’s Communications Director Andrew Meadows.

Putnam Puts Miami-Dade Under Fruit Fly Emergency

Sep 16, 2015

A type of fruit fly led Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on Tuesday to declare a state of agricultural emergency in Miami-Dade County.

More With SNAP Buying From FL Farmers

Jun 29, 2015
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons. / WMFE

Food stamp recipients in Florida are buying a lot more from farmers and farmers markets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says expanding access to fresh produce for SNAP recipients has been a top priority.

Redemptions under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly the Food Stamp program, have ballooned since 2008 by more than a thousand percent.

Amy Rupert-Secol is chief vegetable officer at Homegrown, a Central Florida food co-op. She says even more could be done to get low-income families to shop local.


A Florida Senate bill to implement the state’s low-THC medical marijuana law is headed to the Senate Floor. But black farmers in Florida hope the bill changes to be more inclusive.

Right now, the bill has a provision that requires growers to have been in business for at least 30 years and cultivate at least 400 thousand plants to be eligible to apply to be one of the state’s distributors. The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association says that provision would bar them from participating.

Federal officials are recognizing health insurer Florida Blue for its significant improvements in addressing the childhood obesity epidemic.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Florida Blue Foundation at a ceremony in Cleveland.

Police continue to investigate why a pregnant Tampa woman and her family were sickened and hospitalized after eating steak laced with LSD.

The family started started hallucinating, and experiencing dizziness and rapid heart beats after  eating the meat purchased at a nearby Wal-Mart, according to The Tampa Tribune.

An animal rights group has filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture against the University of Florida.  

The complaint filed by Eleventh Hour for Animals alleges a “culture of negligence” in UF’s handling of lab animals, the Gainesville Sun reports.  The complaint stems from the euthanizing of a macaque monkey in 2010.

Florian / Flickr

A Kansas meatpacker has recalled more than 50,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. Routine monitoring confirmed the presence of the bacteria late on Wednesday, the Orlando Sentinel reports. There have been no reports of illness so far. Click here for a list of the recalled products.