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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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February 21, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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February 21, 2012
 

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D4 Wednesday, February 22, 2012 Business bpirit of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE Presidents winning plaque USDA projects:will assist agricultural producers and farmers CHICAGO --' Agricul- eral Reserve Bank of Chicago. ture Deputy Secretary Kath= "In his State of the Union ad- leen Merrigan announced that dress, President Obama was clear the USDA has selected 298 re- that we need to do more to cre- cipients in 44 states and Puer- ate jobs and promote economic to Rico to receive business de- growth. These projects will pro- velopment assistance through vide financial returns and help the Value-Added Producer, create jobs for agricultural pro- Grant (VAPG) program. Mer- . ducers, businesses and families rigan made the announcement across the country," Merrigan in Chicago after keynoting the said. "This funding will promote "Local/Regional Food System small business expansion and en- Conference" hosted at the Fed= trepreneurship opportunities by providing local businesses with er Grants are made available to access capital, technical assis- agricultural producers seeking tance and new markets for prod- to establish or expand markets ucts and services." For example, Bloomery Plantation Distillery, LLC, of Charles Town, will utilize a $49,000 grant, leveraged with an applicant contribution, as working capital to produce and market hand-crafted, artisan fruit' cordials using farm-grown for their value-added agricul- tural products. For a complete list of recipi- ents receiving grants, go to http:// www.rurdev.usda.gov/Support- Documents/rd-vapg012012.pdf. Funding of individual recipients is 'contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agree- produce. Value-Added Produc- ment. PROVIDED PHOTO Amanda Smith displays her plaque for winning the Zoology Division of the Agriscience Fair at FFA Convention. USDA seeks to modernize U.S. poultry inspection WASHINGTON In a shift that will save money for busi- nesses and taxpayers while im- proving food safety, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and In- . spection Service (FSIS) is pro- posing a modernization of young chicken and turkey slaughter in- spection in the United States by focusing FSIS inspection re- sources on the areas of the poul- try production system that pose the greatest risk to food safety. "The modernization plan will protect public health, improve the efficiency of poultry inspec- tions in the U.S., and reduce spending," Agricultttre Secre- tary Tom Vilsack said. "The new inspection system will reduce the risk of foodborne illness by focusing FSIS inspectiort activi- ties on those tasks that advance our core mission of food safety. By revising current procedures and removing outdated regula- tory requirements that do not help combat foodborne illness, the result will be a more effi- cient and effective use of tax- payer dollars." Currently, some FSIS em- ployees in poultry establish- ments perform several activi- ties which are unrelated to food safety, such as identifying visual defects like bruising, while oth- ers conduct the critical inspec- tion activities. Under the pro- posed plan, all FSIS inspection activities will focus on critical food safety tasks to ensure that agency resources are tied direct- ly to protecting public health and reducing foodborne illness- | es. Additionally, some outdated regulatory requirements are be- ing removed and replaced with more flexible and effective test- ing and process control require- ments. Finally, all poultry estab- lishments will now have to en- sure that their procedures pre- vent contamination in. the pro- duction process and provide supporting data to FSIS person- nel. By focusing inspectors only on the areas that are crucial to food safety, these changes will not only enhance consumer safety but will improve efficien- cy saving taxpayers more than $90 million over three years and lower production costs at least $256.6 million per year. FSIS will continue to con- duct on-line carcass-by-carcass inspection as mandated by law. This rule will allow FSIS per- sonnel to conduct a more effi- cient carcass-by-carcass inspec- tion with agency resources fo- cused on more effective food safety measures. Data collected by the Agency over the past sev- eral years suggests that offline inspection activities are more effective in improving food safety. Inspection-activities con- ducted off the evisceration line include pathogen sampling, and verifying that establishments are maintaining sanitary conditions and controlling food safety haz- ards at critical points in the pro- duction process. The proposal was posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis. usda.gov/regulations_&=_poli- cies/Proposed_Rules/index.asp and soon will publish in the Fed- eral Register. The comment pe- riod will end 90 days after the proposal publishes in the Fed- eral Register and must be sub- mitted through the Federal eR- ulemaking Portal at www.reg- ulations.gov, or by mail to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), FSIS. OPPD, RIMD, Docket Clearance Unit, Patriots Plaza III, Room 8-164, 355 E Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-3221. All items submit- ted by mail or electronic mail must include the Agency name and docket number, which will be assigned when it is published in the Federal Register. Over the past two years, FSIS has announced several new measures to safeguard the food supply, prevent foodborne ill- ness, and improve consumers' knowledge about the food they eat. These initiatives support the three core principles developed by the President's Food Safe- ty Working Group: prioritizing prevention; strengthening sur- veillance and enforcement; and improving response and recov- ery. Some of these actions in- clude: Performance standards for poultry establishments for con- tinued reductions in the occur- rence of pathogens. After two years of enforcing the new stan- dards, FSIS estimates that ap- proximately 5,000 illnesses will be revented each year under the new Campylobacter standards, and approximately 20,000 ill- nesses will be prevented under the  revised Salmonella stan- dards each year. Zero tolerance policy for six Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) serogroups. Raw ground beef, its components, and tenderized steaks found to contain E. coli 026, O103, 045, Ol11, O121 or O145 will be prohibited from sale to consum- ers. USDA will launch a testing program to detect these danger- ous pathogens and prevent them from reaching consumers. Test and hold policy that will significantly reduce consumer exposure to unsafe meat prod- ucts, should the policy become final, because products cannot be released into commerce until Agency test results for danger- ous contaminants are known. Labeling requirements that provide better information to consumers about their food by requiring nutrition information for single-ingredient raw meat and poultry products and ground or chopped products. Public Health Information System, a modernized, com- prehensive database about pub- lic health trends and food safe- ty violations at the nearly 6,100 plants FSIS regulates. Wesley L. Harris, M.D. General Surgery RESIDENCY: General Surgery Howard Universit Hospital Washington, DC MEDICAL SCHOOL: Medical Cotle( e of Wisconsin Milwaukee WI WVUH-East welcomes Dr. Wesley L. Harris to the Eastern Panhandle. University Medical & Surgical He joins Dr. _]an Kletter at University Medical and Surgical Associates Associates in Ranson and will be on the Jefferson Memorial Hospital medical staff. 203 East 4th Avenue, Ranson 304.728.1812 WVUH.EAS;T For more information, call our Physician & Services Referral Line 1.888.WVU.1DOC. Join with WVU Hospitals-East as we "Take Heart" during the month of February and focus on improving the health of our community. WVU_H: EAST WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS For more information, call our WVUH-East Physician and Services Referral Line at 1.888.WVU.1DOC www.wvuh-east.org WVUH-EAST SPONSORED ACTIVITIES IN FEBRUARY: Red Dress Day - Friday, February 3rd Free Blood Pressure Screenings - Every Friday in February, :It am - 2 pm 1st Roor Lobby, City Hospital & Jefferson Memorial Hospital Community Mini-Medical School Tuesday, February 21st "Heart Failure" Presented by Cathy Funk, MD and Neal Gaither, MD 7 pm, WVU Health Sciences Center Auditorium, City Hospitalcam pus To register, call 304.264.1287, ext. 1760 Heart & Stroke Prevention Screenings Wednesday, February 29th Cath Lab at City Hospital $50 includes Cholesterol, Carotid Ultrasound (CIMT), Rhythm Evaluation By appointment. Phone 304.596.5750 Sponsored by University Cardiovascular Associates and WVUH-East Cardiovascular Services !