Thursday, December 29, 2016

MyPlate, MyWins Helps Americans Turn Resolutions into Real Solutions for Healthy Eating in the New Year New video series, landing page, and resources guide Americans towards a healthier eating style WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) launched a New Year’s campaign to help Americans turn their resolutions into real solutions for healthy eating in 2017. This campaign is supported by new and existing MyPlate, MyWins resources available on ChooseMyPlate.gov, which are designed such that Americans can decide where to start on the journey to healthy eating. “As Americans begin thinking about setting goals for the New Year, MyPlate, MyWins is the place to start,” said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “With the new resources available on the MyPlate, MyWins webpages, Americans can set small, attainable, healthy eating solutions to incorporate into their lifestyle now and into the future.” Turning Resolutions into Real Solutions Every January, Americans are overloaded with information about New Year’s resolutions. While starting with the best intentions, many people set unrealistic resolutions and incorporate goals that are difficult to maintain. Starting with small steps and celebrating milestones along the way are shown to be more beneficial strategies in keeping resolutions. This is where MyPlate, MyWins comes in; MyPlate, MyWins is a resource to help Americans turn resolutions into real solutions to achieve a healthy eating style in alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Real solutions are small, practical changes that add up to a healthy lifestyle over time. These changes can be incorporated into Americans’ lives to maintain a healthy eating style based on the five food groups of MyPlate. MyPlate, MyWins encourages consumers to find and celebrate their wins and their real solutions. Since everyone has different eating habits, MyPlate, MyWins helps individuals create their own, personalized nutrition goals and solutions. New MyPlate, MyWins Animated Video Series Over the course of five weeks as part of the New Year campaign, CNPP will release five MyPlate, MyWins animated videos to the new Make Small Changes webpage. These short, animated videos demonstrate simple changes Americans can make to their typical meals to decrease sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. Each video has a different theme including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and beverages. “Making a small change, for example, switching from two slices of pepperoni pizza for lunch to one slice of veggie pizza, a salad, and an apple decreases sodium and saturated fat intake, while adding items from other food groups,” said Angie Tagtow, Executive Directors of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “The videos demonstrate to Americans that small, healthy changes, or switches, during meal and snack times can add up over time and improve your eating style.” To supplement these videos, there are new, meal-specific webpages with nutrition information, more examples of small ways to improve typical meals, and five new MyPlate, MyWins tip sheets. The tip sheets provide suggestions for making healthier choices in typical dining environments: potlucks and parties, coffee shops, buffets, Italian restaurants, and Asian cuisine takeout. All of these resources can help consumers utilize real solutions in their typical day to achieve nutrition goals and maintain a healthy eating style now and into the future. SuperTracker New Year’s Challenge and More Resources On January 2, 2017, SuperTracker will kick off a public New Year’s Challenge that encourages participants to start slowly and develop a healthy eating style over time. Over five weeks, participants will be challenged to incorporate the five MyPlate food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy – into each day. To officially join the challenge and receive encouraging messages along the way, individuals will need to create a free SuperTracker account. The MyPlate, MyWins landing page has many additional resources to assist Americans in modifying their meals in order to maintain healthier eating habits throughout their lives. The Stories from Families and Individuals page includes videos from relatable families about their healthy eating solutions and testimonials from the MyPlate staff. There also are ways to get involved for partners, professionals, and consumers. Additionally, CNPP encourages consumers to share their real solutions and wins via Twitter and Facebook using #MyPlateMyWins. Please visit MyPlate, MyWins to learn more about achieving real solutions and celebrating wins in the New Year.

x New video series, landing page, and resources guide Americans towards a healthier eating style WASHINGTON, Dec. 28 2016 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) launched a New Year’s campaign to help Americans turn their resolutions into real solutions for healthy eating in 2017. This campaign is supported by new and existing MyPlate, MyWins resources available on ChooseMyPlate.gov, which are designed such that Americans can decide where to start on the journey to healthy eating. “As Americans begin thinking about setting goals for the New Year, MyPlate, MyWins is the place to start,” said Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. “With the new resources available on the MyPlate, MyWins webpages, Americans can set small, attainable, healthy eating solutions to incorporate into their lifestyle now and into the future.” Turning Resolutions into Real Solutions Every January, Americans are overloaded with information about New Year’s resolutions. While starting with the best intentions, many people set unrealistic resolutions and incorporate goals that are difficult to maintain. Starting with small steps and celebrating milestones along the way are shown to be more beneficial strategies in keeping resolutions. This is where MyPlate, MyWins comes in; MyPlate, MyWins is a resource to help Americans turn resolutions into real solutions to achieve a healthy eating style in alignment with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. Real solutions are small, practical changes that add up to a healthy lifestyle over time. These changes can be incorporated into Americans’ lives to maintain a healthy eating style based on the five food groups of MyPlate. MyPlate, MyWins encourages consumers to find and celebrate their wins and their real solutions. Since everyone has different eating habits, MyPlate, MyWins helps individuals create their own, personalized nutrition goals and solutions. New MyPlate, MyWins Animated Video Series Over the course of five weeks as part of the New Year campaign, CNPP will release five MyPlate, MyWins animated videos to the new Make Small Changes webpage. These short, animated videos demonstrate simple changes Americans can make to their typical meals to decrease sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. Each video has a different theme including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and beverages. “Making a small change, for example, switching from two slices of pepperoni pizza for lunch to one slice of veggie pizza, a salad, and an apple decreases sodium and saturated fat intake, while adding items from other food groups,” said Angie Tagtow, Executive Directors of USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “The videos demonstrate to Americans that small, healthy changes, or switches, during meal and snack times can add up over time and improve your eating style.” To supplement these videos, there are new, meal-specific webpages with nutrition information, more examples of small ways to improve typical meals, and five new MyPlate, MyWins tip sheets. The tip sheets provide suggestions for making healthier choices in typical dining environments: potlucks and parties, coffee shops, buffets, Italian restaurants, and Asian cuisine takeout. All of these resources can help consumers utilize real solutions in their typical day to achieve nutrition goals and maintain a healthy eating style now and into the future. SuperTracker New Year’s Challenge and More Resources On January 2, 2017, SuperTracker will kick off a public New Year’s Challenge that encourages participants to start slowly and develop a healthy eating style over time. Over five weeks, participants will be challenged to incorporate the five MyPlate food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy – into each day. To officially join the challenge and receive encouraging messages along the way, individuals will need to create a free SuperTracker account. The MyPlate, MyWins landing page has many additional resources to assist Americans in modifying their meals in order to maintain healthier eating habits throughout their lives. The Stories from Families and Individuals page includes videos from relatable families about their healthy eating solutions and testimonials from the MyPlate staff. There also are ways to get involved for partners, professionals, and consumers. Additionally, CNPP encourages consumers to share their real solutions and wins via Twitter and Facebook using #MyPlateMyWins. Please visit MyPlate, MyWins to learn more about achieving real solutions and celebrating wins in the New Year.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Statement of US Labor Secretary Perez on fatal occupational injuries in 2015

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued a statement regarding today’s release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. The census shows a slight increase in 2015 in the number of fatal work injuries, the highest annual total since 2008. The census also finds that 4,836 workers died from work-related injuries in 2015, an increase from the 4,821 fatal injuries reported in 2014. Based on the results, the rate of fatal workplace injuries in 2015 was 3.38 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, lower than the 2014 rate of 3.43. The secretary’s statement follows: “These numbers underscore the urgent need for employers to provide a safe workplace for their employees as the law requires. We have a moral responsibility to make sure that workers who showed up to work today are still alive to punch the clock tomorrow. The fact is, we know how to prevent these deaths. The U.S. Department of Labor is – and will always be – committed to working with employers, workers, community organizations, unions and others to improve safety and health in our nation’s workplaces. This effort is essential to ensuring that no more workers are taken unnecessarily from their families.”

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Chairman Conaway Announces New Staff Hire

Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) announced that Jennifer Tiller will join the committee as Professional Staff for nutrition and welfare issues. Tiller, a native of Syracuse, New York, has been working in Washington, D.C. since 2012 as the Director of America Works of Washington, D.C., where her attention was devoted to program operations, public policy, and contract and grant acquisition. Prior to that, Tiller worked in a similar capacity for America Works of Albany, Inc. (New York). Tiller holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in European History from the University at Albany, SUNY, a Master of Public Administration from Marist College, and a Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University. “The House Agriculture Committee devoted an immense amount of time and effort this past Congress to fully examine the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as well has how nutrition plays an integral role in the lives of all Americans. Jennifer’s knowledge and expertise in this area will be a tremendous asset to us as we move towards reauthorizing SNAP and making sure the program helps participants rise out of poverty and into a better future. I look forward to having her as part of our team,” said Chairman Conaway.

FARMWORKER JUSTICE’S STATEMENT ON EPA’S CERTIFICATION OF PESTICIDE APPLICATORS RULE

WASHINGTON,DC (December 15, 2016)-- Farmworker Justice is pleased that the EPA has published important changes to regulations that govern the certification, training and supervision of individuals who apply high-risk pesticides. The Certification of Pesticide Applicators rule (40 CFR 171), which has not been updated in nearly 40 years, provides national competency standards for those who may purchase and apply ‘restricted use pesticides’ (RUPs). A pesticide is classified as restricted if it poses heightened risk to people or the environment. The new rule imposes stricter standards to protect human health and the environment and reduce risk to those applying pesticides. Currently there is wide variance among state certification and training programs for pesticide applicators, and requirements for supervision of non-certified applicators. We are hopeful that the new national standards will provide greater consistency in the knowledge and competency of applicators across the nation. In addition, those who apply pesticides aerially or by fumigation will have to demonstrate competency to use these application methods which pose high risk to applicators, farmworkers, surrounding communities and the environment. Many farmworkers applying RUPs are non-English speaking, non-certified applicators who are applying these chemicals “under the supervision” of certified applicators. These are the applicators whoare the most vulnerable to occupational injury from pesticide exposure. The vast majority are unable to read the application instructions and safety information printed on the pesticide labels, which are almost entirely in English. Although we are disappointed that the EPA does not require pesticide labels to have bilingual content, the revised rule requires supervisors to provide to non-certified applicators the label information about safety precautions and detailed use instructions in a manner and language that the non-certified applicator can understand. The revised rule also includes improved standards for supervision, establishes a minimum age of 18 for applicators, and requires non-certified applicators to receive pesticide handler and safety training in a language they understand. We hope that the improved regulation will result in greater awareness by pesticide applicators of the risks they face, stronger protections from exposure, and ultimately, fewer pesticide-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths among farmworkers and their family members. Farmworker Justice will work with farmworkers to help them understand these changes and their right to a safe workplace and environment. We will also work with EPA to ensure timely implementation and strong enforcement of the new rule, and continued engagement with farmworker communities.

Friday, December 2, 2016

DLA Troop Support, USDA provide Native American tribes fresh fruits, vegetables

To many, America’s Great Northwest may come to mind as one of abundance — of salmon, software and the Space Needle. Yet there are Americans in this region and other areas of the United States who struggle to get a variety of nutritious food for themselves and their families — or enough food at all. This is particularly true for fresh fruits and vegetables. One option for American Indians, Alaska natives and their neighbors is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, serving more than 92,000 participants, most of whom live in rural areas. To help FDPIR participants get access to fresh produce, Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support’s Subsistence supply chain plays a crucial role. Since 1994, DLA Troop Support has worked with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to handle several logistical tasks for FDPIR — tasks DLA also performs thorough the Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. This program USDA Foods is open to income-eligible households living on Indian reservations, and to American Indian households residing in approved areas near reservations or in Oklahoma. Participants must meet income requirements and not participate in FDPIR and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the same month. A pleasant surprise The Shoalwater Bay Reservation, on the central coast of Washington, is about 30 minutes from the hamlet of Raymond and about the same to Aberdeen. To the south is the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, home of one of North America’s last four subspecies of elk. Indian tribes are still very much a part of this region. Native Americans live on and near several reservations in the area — including the Shoalwater Bay Tribe Reservation, where Titiana Burks loads boxes into her vehicle at the tribal food center. Burks has Alaska Native heritage but has lived in Washington state almost all her life. She participates in the FDPIR to help feed her children. “This helps my family out tremendously, versus any other programs,” she said. “Each box is a surprise, because I don’t know what I’ll get ... but I’m very thankful for what I get.” She’s a particular fan of the fresh fruits and vegetables she gets through FDPIR. “I love it," Burks said. "It’s kind of like harvesting them out of the garden without having a garden. My three kids love the food.” Without the program, “I would probably go down to the local food bank and wait,” Burks said. “But I know this food is healthy and low-sodium.” The fruit network The seeds of DLA’s involvement in FDPIR were planted in 1994, when USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service began to work with DLA to supply fresh fruits and vegetables to schools. FNS had realized DLA Troop Support’s contracts with small regional wholesalers/distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables were the perfect way to help tribes get those foods, said Patricia Scott, chief of DLA Troop Support’s Customer Operations Garrison Feeding Division. That year, a USDA/DLA pilot project began, with $3.6 million of funding and serving eight states. The DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, commonly known as “DoD Fresh,” was made official in 1996 and now serves schools in 48 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. In FDPIR, FNS acts as the program manager, Scott explained. For FDPIR and its other USDA Foods programs, FNS buys a variety of healthy foods in many food categories in full truckload quantities from farmers across the nation, via USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. But for smaller amounts of fruits and vegetables, USDA did not have contracts set up with the regional distributors. “The DLA Subsistence produce contracts were the right fit for supplying smaller amounts of a wider range of fruits and vegetables to these remote areas,” Scott said. “DLA’s buying power enables all customers in each contract zone to get the same delivered price and highest quality produce from our contracted vendors.” Serving their communities Many Native Americans give back to their communities by working for organizations that receive and distribute food received through FDPIR. David Gibson, a Navajo, is the assistant director and warehouse manager of the commodity food program at the Small Tribes of Western Washington, in Lakewood. STOWW serves 14 tribes in this part of the state, as well as six in Southeast Alaska and two on the Aleutian Islands. “This program provides a stable food base for our clients,” he said. “Many of them are Native, and a lot of them are non-Natives." Gibson noted that many of the tribes served by STOWW don’t have any grocery store nearby. “So we’re bringing food to them that they would otherwise have to drive a great distance to get,” he said. He recalled his childhood visits to see his grandparents, who lived on a reservation in New Mexico and relied on FPPIR. “We would drive 60 miles to the nearest town to get their commodities,” Gibson said. But back then, there were no fresh fruits and vegetables — only dry goods. The current FPDIR “is a lot of better of a program." In the area STOWW serves, deliveries usually become a community event, he said. In one location, residents welcome the STOWW delivery staff with lunch they prepared using food from the program. “That really means a lot to us,” he said. Produce for the future For now, the program’s participants say they appreciate the fresh produce DLA helps provide. Angelina Phansisay, who is Chinook, picks up produce for her children as well as elders in her community at the STOWW center. “It’s more than awesome to be able to have fresh fruit. It means a lot,” she said. “I couldn’t be more blessed.” For more about FDPIR, check out the video on DLA's YouTube page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcTI5HbmZBM As a Department of Defense combat support agency, DLA provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and technical services. The agency sources and provides nearly 100 percent of the consumable items America’s military forces need to operate, from food, fuel and energy, to uniforms, medical supplies, and construction and barrier equipment. DLA also supplies 86 percent of the military’s repair parts. Headquartered at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, DLA has more than 25,000 employees worldwide and supports more than 2,300 weapon systems. For more information about DLA, go to www.dla.mil, www.facebook.com/dla.mil or http://twitter.com/dlamil Article written by John Bell, DLA Public Affairs Office

Senior Policy Staff Member to Take Helm as Policy Director for National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

Washington, DC, December 2, 2016 – The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) today announced the appointment of Greg Fogel as the Coalition’s next Policy Director, effective January 3, 2017. Together with Jeremy Emmi, NSAC’s Managing Director since 2013, Fogel will help lead the organization into the future. Founded in 1988, NSAC is a leader in both agricultural policy and grassroots advocacy. NSAC’s 117-member coalition advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. Fogel, who currently serves as Senior Policy Specialist and Federal Budget and Appropriations Coordinator, was chosen from a field of over 50 candidates following a year long search process. He has led NSAC’s work on farm conservation, energy, and environmental policy since 2010, and on budget and appropriations issues since 2012. Previously, Fogel has worked for the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the Community Food Security Coalition, the Shanghai Organic Agriculture Company, and the Coalition for a Healthy California. He has a Master of Science degree and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in International Development from the University of California-Berkeley. Current NSAC Policy Director Ferd Hoefner, who has served as NSAC’s senior Washington representative since the organization began in 1988 and has worked to reform federal food and agricultural policy since 1977 – will take on a new, full-time role with NSAC as Senior Strategic Advisor. “I am excited that Greg will be taking over the policy reins for NSAC,” said Hoefner. “He has a strong knowledge base, ample advocacy experience, and far-reaching understanding of NSAC members. I congratulate Greg and applaud the NSAC transition team for its focused and dedicated work throughout the selection and hiring process. After nearly 30 years with NSAC and 40 years in the federal food and agriculture policy business, I decided to initiate this transition a year and a half ago. I very much look forward to moving into the new Senior Strategic Advisor role here at NSAC starting next year.” Teresa Opheim, who currently works with the NSAC member groups Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and Renewing the Countryside and was a former PFI Executive Director and NSAC Executive Director, chaired the transition team. Representatives of NSAC member organizations from California, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin joined her in conducting the search and overseeing the transition process. “This transition is a positive step forward for the sustainable agriculture policy movement as we work to broaden our senior leadership. Kudos to Ferd for working with us to ensure this leadership transition takes place in a thoughtful way. Now, as we approach our thirtieth anniversary year, is a good time to progress through this planned transition. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has never been stronger -- NSAC’s membership now stands at 117 groups, and the entire staff and finances are very strong.” NSAC’s member groups advance common positions to support small and mid-size family farms, protect natural resources, promote healthy rural communities, and ensure access to healthy, nutritious foods by everyone. The Policy Director leads the Coalition’s efforts to gather farmer input, develop consensus policies, and provide direct advocacy to further those objectives. The Policy Director also works closely with the NSAC grassroots team to strengthen the capacity of NSAC member groups, strengthen the broader sustainable agriculture movement, and promote citizen engagement in the policy process. “I am deeply honored to serve as NSAC’s next Policy Director,” said Fogel. “There is no organization that I would rather work for. The mission and values that drive NSAC’s work are the same ones that motivated me to enter the policy world in the first place. Our staff is second-to-none in D.C., and I greatly look forward to taking on this new role with them and moving NSAC forward. I look forward to working with Ferd in his new capacity as Senior Strategic Advisor, and to leading the policy team as we forge relationships with the new Administration and prepare for the 2018 Farm Bill.”