• The USDA announced Monday $200 million of competitive grants are available for state SNAP agencies for employee training programs.

    The grants for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are available for designing and conducting training for employees to help SNAP participants find jobs and increase their earnings. The grants are part of the 2014 Farm Bill which will fund up to 10 pilot projects to test methods of training.

    The USDA is looking for states to submit proposals that target populations indicated by the Farm Bill, including individuals with low skills, able-bodied adults without dependents, and recipients who are working in very low-wage or part-time jobs.

  • One of the top-performing markets for U.S. beef and pork in 2014 has been South Korea, where exports have posted strong year-over-year gains.

    Beef exports to Korea in the first half of the year totaled 56,478 metric tons – up 11 percent from a year ago – valued at nearly $380 million, which is up 40 percent. On the pork side, first-half exports were up 31 percent in volume and 48 percent in value.

    Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior vice president for marketing and communications, explains that although the U.S. industry has come a long way in combating misperceptions among Korean consumers about the safety of U.S. beef, this is still an ongoing challenge.