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1:52 am, March 27, 2015

USDA News

Federal CIO Scott to pilot IT initiatives toward smooth landings

Tony Scott, the new federal chief information officer, said in his first public speech his priorities are to ensure existing administration technology efforts are successful. But Scott offered some insights into tweaks and focus areas.

Wednesday - 03/25/2015, 03:22am EDT
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Tim Fullerton, Director of Digital Strategy, Interior Department

At last, spring is almost here. And to celebrate, the Interior Department, together with the Agriculture Department, wants to help people locate their nearest national park or maybe some other federally-managed property they might not know about. They're hosting a hackathon in April, and hope Web developers will create apps for travelers. Tim Fullerton, the director of digital strategy at Interior, joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin with more on the hackathon.

Thursday - 03/12/2015, 10:01am EDT
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USDA, GSA put out 'help wanted' signs for new CIOs

Sonny Hashmi, GSA's CIO since January 2014, is leaving government for the private sector. Cheryl Cook spent almost three years at USDA's CIO before leaving government earlier this month.

Wednesday - 03/11/2015, 09:07am EDT

OMB's Dave Mader: A 'zealot' for shared services

The controller in the Office of Management and Budget says the next two years are critical for financial management shared services. Mader said along with Treasury, OMB will be determining how best to get agencies to move to one of four federal providers.

Thursday - 03/05/2015, 06:39pm EST
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Bill Milton, Chief Human Capital Officer, USDA

Training money is usually one of the first casualties of tight budget times. But some agencies are finding ways around current budget pressures to get their employees what they need. One of them is the Department of Agriculture. Billy Milton is chief human capital officer at USDA. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he explained how USDA is getting its training done with the resources it has.

Tuesday - 02/17/2015, 04:21pm EST
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Budget calls for consolidation within multiple agencies

President Obama's fiscal 2016 budget proposes merging components of the Agriculture Department and FDA that handle food safety, as well as business and trade agencies.

Tuesday - 02/03/2015, 06:40am EST

Jason Weller, Chief, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA

We now turn to hopes of restoring native plants, preserving bird habitats and helping farmers cut pollution. The Agriculture Department has approved the first set of projects under a new program designed to get the rest of us investing in conservation. Congress squeezed the regional conservation partnership program into last year's mega farm bill. Jason Weller, chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive with more on the new program and its projects.

Tuesday - 01/27/2015, 10:36am EST
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A second bite at the Networx apple?

GSA has made it clear the follow-on to Networx, called Network Services 2020, will live up to its name with most agencies not completely migrating to the new contract for another five years.

Monday - 01/19/2015, 02:40pm EST

Agencies have a long way to go to reach data-centricity

USDA, DHS and Transportation are taking steps to implement OMB's May 2013 open data policy. Each agency faces policy and process challenges, but they say progress is starting.

Friday - 12/12/2014, 04:04am EST
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Anne-Marie Fennell, Natural Resources Director, GAO

The total price for professional services contracts at the Agriculture Department is about $2 billion over the last four years. The Office of Management and Budget says those types of contracts can be very risky for you to use. Anne-Marie Fennell is Director of Natural Resources and Environment Issues at the Government Accountability Office. On In Depth with Francis Rose, she said with risk factors in mind, USDA needs to strengthen its oversight of professional services contracts.

Monday - 11/03/2014, 04:22pm EST
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Rory Schultz, Deputy CIO, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA

Experiments with agile development are underway at the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service. The agency is borrowing ways to run some technology projects from agencies like the Health and Human Services Department, but the concept might not be one-size-fits-all. Rory Schultz is Deputy Chief Information Officer of FNS. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said his agency still has a lot of testing to do, and also needs to double-check to make sure it's legal.

Monday - 11/03/2014, 04:06pm EST
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Mike Espy, Former Secretary of the Agriculture Department

The National Academy of Public Administration has elected a new class of fellows. They'll take on some of the most complex management and policy issues in government, and reporting to Congress. Newly elected fellow Mike Espy is the former Secretary of the Agriculture Department, and now a county attorney in Mississippi. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive.

Wednesday - 10/29/2014, 10:54am EDT
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Bill Hohenstein, Director, USDA's Climate Change Program Office

There's a new resource to help those in the agricultural community adjust to the challenges of climate change. The USDA Climate Hubs website launched last week. The site provides a wealth of information from the latest research data, conservation programs and financial assistance to emergency contact information and procedure for each region. Bill Hohenstein, director of USDA's Climate Change Program Office, joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive with details.

Monday - 10/27/2014, 01:00pm EDT
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Feds Feed Families has 'knock-out' summer campaign

Federal employees donated 14.4 million pounds of food to food banks nationwide as part of Feds Feeds Families summer campaign.

Wednesday - 10/15/2014, 04:56pm EDT

The Odd Couple: Salesforce and government IT

David Rey, senior vice president at Salesforce will discuss how his company can help the federal government with its cloud computing needs, and Curtis Wilburn, director of Operations at the USDA Office of Operations will talk about how Salesforce helped his agency move to the cloud.
October 14, 2014

Tuesday - 10/14/2014, 08:48pm EDT
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Helpdesk award continues USDA's trek toward more shared services

Cheryl Cook, USDA's CIO, said the Forest Service awarded a contract to AbilityOne for tier one helpdesk services. This is one of several enterprisewide services the agency is creating to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Monday - 10/06/2014, 12:26pm EDT
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US to train veterans to install solar panels

The jobs training program is among a host of initiatives the White House says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300 million tons through 2030.

Thursday - 09/18/2014, 11:00am EDT

Krysta Harden, Deputy Secretary, Agriculture Department

The Agriculture Department is trying to bring new and younger blood into farming and ranching. It has launched a website to serve as a one-stop resource for new farmers. That's just the latest move. Krysta Harden is deputy secretary at the Agriculture Department. She joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive and said a lot of initiatives are needed, considering the average U.S. farmer or rancher is 58 years old.

Tuesday - 07/01/2014, 10:53am EDT
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USDA shares 'secret weapon' in Feds Feed Families donation campaign

Federal employees at the Department of Agriculture donated more food during the 2013 Feds Feed Families campaign than any other large agency. USDA is now sharing its secret weapon with other agencies in the hope it will help the government, as a whole, reach its goal of 10 million pounds of donated food in 2014.

Tuesday - 06/17/2014, 11:43am EDT
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Karen Comfort, National Program Manager, Feds Feed Families

It's time to rummage through your pantry. Feds Feed Families is in full swing. The annual food drive is a collaborative effort led by the Agriculture Department with help from the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and other agencies. Last year federal employees donated nearly 9 million pounds of food. Karen Comfort, national program manager for Feds Feed Families, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to talk about this year's goals. Read a related story.

Tuesday - 06/17/2014, 11:01am EDT
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