Publications

New! https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/topic_files/USDARD/USDARD_884/2018/08/03/file_attachments/1049627/USDA%2BPrograms%2Bin%2Bthe%2BLocal%2BFood%2BSupply%2BChain%2B-%2BFINAL__1049627.PDF">Local Food Supply Chain Flyer
Producers and USDA partners can now find and access USDA resources electronically with the interactive Local Food Supply Chain flyer. This resource helps refer individuals to programs and funding sources across USDA. Resources are relevant to those interested in selling direct to consumers, local institutions, retailers, or distributors who plan to market the food as locally-raised or -grown to meet increasing consumer demand for local food.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001QwVMyypPxKe05VPCfIzpusPhi71bN87sZ_0bk1Y2JDcI3myhn2lZnxScCCR8oYDBjeMdh502HGTaRJNTLpw_kVydLRYOpO1BtTpqhnh8ISkwDnGfvHw1am8zW8rzkP5QNzffNpgWLV9xrXgpXUH3i2q9MSI56KxKRhvFOQlVigGjy0KsBQq3PEk4jyZU9bdyVQugq8scfkuS7DlpqoQUCeb8tRmzDQ6a-L4322Sb6WOYwVHUoZpdv5kW9Y9GZbYGNI5sRc1lJaq5iI5n6aBYvA==&c=9CVg3nICdruqtLfjwhPAC8_swuPg3qxeu6xkDzi3YET9WKRIiSOAkQ==&ch=QKu5Lc_Gt3sVboAqGJ9OTtqJnSV3E5no-v1MFc6UvKMfIqbZal6p5w==">Including asset appreciation and tax-loss benefits raises average farm household economic returns for all types of farms 
Of the roughly 2 million U.S. farm households, more than half report negative income from their farming operations each year. Most farms are small, and the proportion incurring farm losses is higher for households operating smaller farms—where most or all of their income is typically derived from off-farm activities. However, many households offset their off-farm income with these farm losses, thus reducing their taxable income. Also, in many years, farm real estate values have increased, which bolsters the economic returns for farmland owners. When these tax-loss benefits and changes in farm real estate values are taken into consideration, the returns to farming increased in 2015. For example, for residence farm households, estimated average returns increased from a negative $2,241 to positive $13,619. The increases in average returns for intermediate and commercial farm households were even greater. Finally, the share of total farm households with positive returns from their farm operation rose from 43 percent to 70 percent, primarily due to the broad increases in farmland real estate prices in 2015.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001HznG-C-AUL4CPvwGm_xC6QDJPS5gcktRdkCnvop1mG1obSZDQ5Io4Q04sZhE4mZWNWQLDymWaIDOv0-HorDs4q7itMTuexElqiv7SoYNN4SpY5HB9OJJKXbMbZ_0ehORire_8dall-pS2K43tc0mT1rHOSfS2ljeXIs2m25kp4ybXzyYtAn44rmil5GCTwt3H70sl7fj2kp1q8j9e50MPkg9hYXRbCi6nTUpo8erDYCNzKwbVPlszxoDSEcH3KugvWDTYdIkxV1_fVCReFhctA==&c=7HDW_CdWlqsdOoUbPoU5OuHQtt34JAAlAAkyKcw8HdNX1P1_RsSk6A==&ch=WeTIRjvj7gM1lPnHKiM9DxeG8l82iMd6ewGqqnrcklRHUPyccNQrWw==">Although farm wages have increased, labor costs as a share of farm gross cash income remained relatively flat 
Farm wages have risen since 2000, reaching an annual average of $13.32 per hour in 2017. However, farm labor costs as a share of farm gross cash income do not show an upward trend over 2000-16, as rising wage rates for farm workers have been offset by a number of factors, including rising labor productivity and output prices for some commodities. For all farms, labor costs averaged 10.1 percent of gross cash income in 2016, compared to 10.6 percent in 2000. For the more labor-intensive fruit, vegetable, and horticulture operations, labor costs in 2016 amounted to 26.7 percent of gross cash income, compared to 28.6 percent in 2000. For farms specializing in dairy, the labor cost share of gross cash income was 10.2 percent in 2016, compared to 9.5 percent in 2000.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001QJF_RHzyM9G9bzuLGK_bBJnceNT5KdVbL0lTuMBa6sln2rSTKMOfYnXbXSLCfLTcQGuy5d3_zES72HlnNVYrIyzZtCzHSE2VcM9Nx8sMCJxAMlWC0r7m8lYkOo5LuPK9hfE9HcrqIiQONRDXFG_NTdvIhZj8fjg1kK62KIu_SnMGNGFBuEFZp28qq8d0lCmU71Jn6NhZrHnAMdI7Tk-Q_n5bZC9Rb0y6FBUI6NJe1foAP7VZkhOEPw0Bqsg8vvOTdgrZdoaLiOGdoeR9BomdJw==&c=kMH6-Cf3sd9dyWp4HOynzkgU4PzvUdCcshj14ZfgosA91XLCY1KmBQ==&ch=k69lOu9p8eiWKs-MDgNq1YnfO-7GpnicCElC8tb4TQTG_YYYCV-Q1Q==">Households with children make tradeoffs between time and money in their purchases of restaurant meals 
Childcare requires a lot of time, and some households respond to this constraint by cutting back on time spent shopping for food, cooking, and cleaning up afterwards. ERS researchers used data from USDA’s 2012-13 National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) to look at the factors that affect demand for convenience and found that households with two children spent 48 percent of their food budgets on restaurant food, while households without children spent only 41 percent. Longer waiting times for food and less child-friendly settings and menu offerings may be among the reasons that households with children spent less on full-service restaurant meals than those without children, regardless of the number of children. As the number of children increases, the monetary cost of eating out seems to outweigh the time savings, especially for households with more than two children. Households with one child spent 37 percent of their food budget on fast food, while households with two children spent 40 percent. The share spent on fast food did not increase after two children.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001HznG-C-AUL4CPvwGm_xC6QDJPS5gcktRdkCnvop1mG1obSZDQ5Io4Q04sZhE4mZWNWQLDymWaIDOv0-HorDs4q7itMTuexElqiv7SoYNN4SpY5HB9OJJKXbMbZ_0ehORire_8dall-pS2K43tc0mT1rHOSfS2ljeXIs2m25kp4ybXzyYtAn44rmil5GCTwt3H70sl7fj2kp1q8j9e50MPkg9hYXRbCi6nTUpo8erDYCNzKwbVPlszxoDSEcH3KugvWDTYdIkxV1_fVCReFhctA==&c=7HDW_CdWlqsdOoUbPoU5OuHQtt34JAAlAAkyKcw8HdNX1P1_RsSk6A==&ch=WeTIRjvj7gM1lPnHKiM9DxeG8l82iMd6ewGqqnrcklRHUPyccNQrWw==">Although farm wages have increased, labor costs as a share of farm gross cash income remained relatively flat 
Farm wages have risen since 2000, reaching an annual average of $13.32 per hour in 2017. However, farm labor costs as a share of farm gross cash income do not show an upward trend over 2000-16, as rising wage rates for farm workers have been offset by a number of factors, including rising labor productivity and output prices for some commodities. For all farms, labor costs averaged 10.1 percent of gross cash income in 2016, compared to 10.6 percent in 2000. For the more labor-intensive fruit, vegetable, and horticulture operations, labor costs in 2016 amounted to 26.7 percent of gross cash income, compared to 28.6 percent in 2000. For farms specializing in dairy, the labor cost share of gross cash income was 10.2 percent in 2016, compared to 9.5 percent in 2000.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001W7kJaUj0NY2pbH2zvQxLCDH7Y3SnnYBbicwpcGHHgULZsiFc5no5Bs-HYEK0MCOtnsekBW1Lp81bQI2Wrw9rnSC1KRj4vJGFAUNH5Vj5EnPXiFSdqSZKtF99VsqI6w7ir8FAH127iBpu6cx-OUMkugVj6sqD9ODvXYWAjr6nhF115xXyWe-G3crrb7MuK6ojkhtkFaW_mUy3zBQSQDZMu6saBre4SCpBT4tH127-bt96OjkwZWbVewogWI4n6KfihMHlL-IdHbKx7H-U9CIIZA==&c=-oQB-orUK-f93B1AJC38oS5dnP7PRz5oeonBnLNX1kjsHB-kkMIpCw==&ch=68m45HlAW6T6cbTrun_ORZdsm5qgMLeyV3rI_QnpmKvpcAwY19jHsA==">Elder veterans tend to reside in rural counties and near military bases 
Veterans constitute a rapidly aging and increasingly diverse group disproportionally living in rural America. Nearly 18 percent of veterans lived in rural (nonmetro) counties in 2015, compared to 15 percent of the U.S. adult civilian population. Veterans were also overrepresented in some rural counties: about 10 percent of all rural civilian adults were veterans, but in some rural counties, that share reached as high as 25 percent. The U.S. counties with the highest shares of veterans tended to have significant concentrations of elder veterans (65 years or older), relative to the Nation as a whole. About 24 percent of all U.S. counties—often completely rural counties not adjacent to metro areas—had concentrations of elder veterans. By comparison, 28 percent of all U.S. counties—predominantly large urban counties (not shown)—contained concentrations of working-age veterans (18 to 65 years old). Areas with concentrations of both groups were mostly in rural counties adjacent to metro areas (19 percent). Many of these counties contained or were near military installations, reserve bases, or training areas.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001k-II0Ue_DbuqvSy6_UDjBZdqAxCEGzsVxFr0YRcvVC9o9staic8z08eRjY5qzzZHAd-weBdIhnEIbXsGZ4hOKqkdZlP7y6nQgA8XKfdqfGCRxmAxZyuALtMpp1HAGxnNYToStx5PpvMoPafBWbsgNFjf0uZp__B5WF475ehNa8k1rOWVX-cQEeW1S7MKI7A8IdA4hemMQfdqDAqsxDcPcsX4v1ESLVfNoVlH3excHtcLAxW0tZ_wXaFVM2pb2BVl-30pHf-jKSA7_stslcLeTA==&c=3R7PSg-m0dEJkfAOrJxecsRKsxvmuhOQl9UrwKwi07WHVGJ6ge_n0A==&ch=D1q2yICyhcxTiZ88_ditR8B0mcvTD5TIgZDFAHEL4YdPgWX_qP4njg==">Expenditures for USDA’s food assistance programs declined in fiscal 2017 
USDA administers 15 domestic food and nutrition assistance programs that together form a nutritional safety net for millions of children and low-income adults. Federal spending on these programs totaled $98.6 billion in fiscal 2017, 4 percent less than the previous fiscal year and almost 10 percent less than the historical high of $109.2 billion set in fiscal 2013. Fiscal 2017’s decline was likely largely due to continued growth in the U.S. economy. Spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which accounted for 69 percent of Federal food and nutrition assistance spending in fiscal 2017, totaled $68.0 billion, or 4 percent less than in fiscal 2016 and 15 percent less than the historical high of $79.9 billion set in fiscal 2013. Spending on the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) fell to $5.6 billion in fiscal 2017, 6 percent less than in fiscal 2016. Spending on the three largest child nutrition programs—the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program—remained about the same.

http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001sqWsvfcsyCJmB3sGHW_C4tHLfKPqf0pAhngJor_5pDrZmDVB0WLzC9Wh-9H1NCoKph-q9zcJQFUqCsefSPzeqgaXOof7RiUQNWiLeuf3nZXeiZ_YlMJa5KDgFMtR6uSzFlP46f-TteF_FD4yJexTbbwCxce8Ezl5yG8GBBPgknHhM1g8uznYX2r7TMTujKitJmO5k1RTYD2voqJh90FkqjJbx03cD7sWhDKPl6GAJmUiolsysd9p-RpuALxo7tkzGHepTpsq8JD2WlF_HeAa4w==&c=c4wp1zPgXdfdMw7j2QbTYVG5pMKEpy1je7QIGqdNNBkpKWgbrovRLA==&ch=NSjDBdmOsC6obQ77XRtxhCQMjRPXBGz8EFYtlxuVe_x0_kRyEOC4LQ==">Food prices less volatile than transportation prices 
The 1970s were a decade of volatile prices for consumers’ top three spending categories—housing, transportation, and food. Annual food price inflation during the 1970s averaged 8.1 percent, and food prices rose by 10 percent or more in 3 of the 10 years. Yearly price changes for housing costs, which include rents, utilities, and household furnishings, averaged 7.6 percent during the decade and peaked at 15.7 percent in 1980. And price changes for transportation (prices of vehicles, gasoline and diesel fuel, and public transportation) topped 10 percent in 1974, 1976, and 1979 and jumped 17.9 percent in 1980. Since that time, prices for food and housing have become comparatively more stable than transportation prices, which continue to be volatile from year to year. Food prices in 2016 and 2017 changed little as decreasing prices for food commodities and energy offset rising costs for other food processing, marketing, and food service inputs. At the same time, a strong U.S. dollar lowered the cost of imported foods.

Events and Learning

First Nations Native Arts Initiative Q&A Webinars| http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=FsPbrbbihdFZq5F0D4o6PWZ4HDnZmHJ0">August 15, 2018 1PM Mountain Time | http://org2.salsalabs.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=FsPbrbbihdFZq5F0D4o6PWZ4HDnZmHJ0">August 23, 2018 11AM Mountain Time 
First Nations will award about 15 Supporting Native Arts grants of up to $32,000 each to Native-controlled nonprofit organizations and tribal government programs that have existing programs in place that support Native artists and the field of traditional Native arts, as well as a demonstrated commitment to increasing the intergenerational transfer of knowledge of traditional Native artistic practices and perpetuation and proliferation of traditional Native arts. First Nations invites interested applicants to join one or both of the remaining Application Q&A webinars. 

https://www.arc.gov/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=635">"Health in Appalachia" Website Tutorial Webinar 
ARC invites partners and other stakeholders to a webinar about https://healthinappalachia.org/">healthinappalachia.org, a new website that allows users to explore health data in their community and build downloadable reports, maps, and charts on 41 health measures at the county, regional, and state levels for the 13 Appalachian states. The tutorial webinar will be held on Friday, July 27, at 10:00 a.m. ET.

https://rurallisc.cmail20.com/t/r-l-jykdmdk-hikdlkyuih-tj/">Disaster Recovery and Preparation Webinars 
The Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) is hosting a series of two online webinars on Disaster Preparation and Recovery. The webinars will cover why disasters are important for housing counseling; the potential effects of disasters on communities, agencies and counselors; and the six areas in which housing counseling has played a key role in disaster recovery to help participants gain a broad understanding of the agency disaster preparation and recovery role, including pre-disaster agency planning, identifying and collaborating with key stakeholders, and recognizing opportunities for disaster recovery housing counseling services. The webinars will take place on September 11 and September 13, 2018 from 1:00 to 3:00 PM EDT.

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sy58DHhDSA6Tz4tNWDhFzg">Cooperatives and Business Succession Strategies | July 19, 2018.  Time: 12 - 1 p.m. CDT. 
Over the next two decades, an estimated 70% of privately held businesses will change hands, many as a result of retiring baby boomers. Who will take over these businesses, and will they remain in their communities?  This webinar will look at the conversion of businesses to cooperatives owned by the employees as one effective method for retaining businesses, jobs, and wealth in local communities.  This webinar is the third in a series that explores cooperative solutions to challenges in rural and urban communities.

  • Cooperatives and Community Infrastructure Needs: September 19, 2018 
  • Cooperatives and Community-Owned Businesses: October 17, 2018 
  • All webinars will be held at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Central Time.