Want to keep up with the latest news for growers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the fruit and vegetable industry.

USDA Invests $225 Million in Conservation Partnerships
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that 88 high-impact projects across the country will receive a total of $225 million in federal funding as part of the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). In addition, partners have proposed to contribute up to $500 million to improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability.

Organic Trade Association Names Government Affairs Professionals to Team
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has announced the hiring of two experienced government affairs professionals to join its team. Kelley Poole has been selected to fill the role of Vice President of Government Affairs at the trade association. In addition, Megan DeBates will take on the new position of Director of Legislative Affairs and Coalitions. Both Poole and DeBates will begin their posts in January 2017 and help introduce organic food and farming to a new Administration and Congress. Both will be based in OTA’s Washington, D.C., office at the Hall of the States.