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5:11 am, August 28, 2014

USDA News

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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6th annual Feds Feed Families campaign kicks off for summer

The sixth annual Feds Feed Families campaign is now underway for the summer after a kick-off event on Monday. The theme of this year is to "Help Knock Out Hunger."

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 10:03am EDT

Agencies rev up for 2014 Feds Feed Families food drive

June 1 marks the start of the sixth annual Feds Feed Families event where federal employees donate food items and their time to help the hungry. Last year's drive netted 9 million pounds of donated food.

Monday - 05/19/2014, 02:15pm EDT

USDA joins the ranks of the financial shared services providers

The Office of Management and Budget and the Treasury Department Friday announced they recertified the departments of Interior, Treasury and Transportation and added USDA to be the support pylons of its financial management shared services initiative. GSA is no longer an approved provider, and it's unclear where its 44 customers will migrate to next.

Monday - 05/05/2014, 04:59am EDT

'Broken' pay system driving SES out of government

More than half of senior executives surveyed by the Senior Executives Association are reporting "low" or "very low" morale with their jobs. The problem lies with a pay-for-performance system where some supervisors make less money than the people they lead. Increasing numbers of senior executive service members are ready to leave the federal government altogether.

Friday - 05/02/2014, 12:49pm EDT

Thomas Melito, Director, International Affairs and Trade Issues, GAO

The Agriculture Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development are at loggerheads over a computer application called Web Based Supply Chain Management system. USAID quit using it shortly after it rolled out in 2011. Agriculture officials say they've fixed the problems. They say the information USAID is tracking outside the system isn't always accurate. Thomas Melito, director of International Affairs and Trade Issues at the Government Accountability Office, looked into this spat and shared what he found with Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 10:54am EDT
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Bill Hohenstein, Director, Climate Change Program Office, USDA

Wildfires, floods and invasive pests are just some of the natural risks that farmers and other rural landowners are facing at an increased rate. Now, the Agriculture Department has a plan to help combat those risks. Last month, it launched the first Regional Hubs for Risk Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate Change. The seven hubs will provide information to farmers. Bill Hohenstein, director of USDA's Climate Change Program Office, spoke with Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp about the goals of the program.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 01:13pm EDT
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Panel: Digital technologies changing how agencies communicate -- both inside and out

Agencies across government are leveraging digital technologies to both embark on new initiatives and enhance existing ones. The growing adoption of mobile devices, cloud computing technologies and wireless capabilities allows agencies to conduct unique outreach efforts and makes the agencies, themselves, more flexible workplaces. Agency technology officials discussed both issues as part of the Federal News Radio special report, A New Era in Technology.

Thursday - 11/21/2013, 05:08pm EST
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3 takeways from HealthCare.gov IT hearing; First task order for continuous monitoring is out

In this week's edition of Inside the Reporter's Notebook, Executive Editor Jason Miller shares news and buzz in the acquisition and IT communities that you may have missed.

Friday - 11/15/2013, 05:20pm EST

'Fired up' feds celebrate their achievements

Federal employees celebrated their achievements Wednesday at the Feds Feed Families closing ceremony. Collectively, feds donated nearly 9 million pounds of food and other non-perishable goods in 2013. Read the full story here.

Thursday - 11/14/2013, 09:35am EST

'Fired up' feds celebrate their achievements

Federal employees celebrated their achievements Wednesday at the Feds Feed Families closing ceremony. This year, feds collectively donated nearly 9 million pounds of food.

Thursday - 11/14/2013, 09:13am EST
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Agencies exploring the right balance between open data, security

HHS is using big data to improve the cybersecurity of their systems, but also using a layered approach to protect the information. Commerce wants to improve the governance and usability of its data. USDA is creating a big data strategy.

Friday - 09/27/2013, 05:39am EDT
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2013 Causey Award Winner - Francis McDonough

McDonough was recognized for improving the labor-management working relationship at the Food and Nutrition Service.

Monday - 09/23/2013, 08:00am EDT

USDA expands its IT tent in effort to consolidate systems

Cheryl Cook, the Agriculture Department's chief information officer, said she's focusing on governance to improve mobile computing and reduce duplication among IT programs.

Friday - 09/20/2013, 02:55pm EDT
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HHS pacing its move to the cloud

The Department of Health and Human Services will release a solicitation for email-as-a-service this summer.
August 29, 2013

Thursday - 08/29/2013, 09:45pm EDT
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Online tools help USDA preserve, transfer knowledge

The Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is using online identification tools to prevent a loss of expertise and institutional knowledge caused by a growing number of people retiring.

Monday - 08/26/2013, 02:39pm EDT
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Budget cuts cause shortage of funds to fight wildfires

Only $50 million remain for the U.S. Forest Service to fight wildfires. The agency is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap. Sequestration forced cuts of 500 firefighters and 50 engines.

Thursday - 08/22/2013, 04:35pm EDT

Feds get 'fired up,' donate millions of pounds of food

Doug Keeler, national program manager of Feds Feed Families, says he's not surprised federal employees continue to donate food, even with sequestration and furloughs. Since 2009, the campaign has collected more than 15 million pounds of food, and it's striving for a goal of 25 million by Aug. 28.

Thursday - 08/22/2013, 10:37am EDT
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