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December 10, 2014
Request for Nominations of Candidates to the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Agricultural Science Committee
EPA invites nominations for the SAB Ag Science Committee (link to the FR Notice) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites public nominations of scientific experts to be considered for appointment to the EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) Agricultural Science Committee to provide advice to the chartered SAB regarding matters referred to the SAB that will have a significant direct impact on farming and agriculture-related industries. Nominations should be submitted in time to arrive no later than January 30, 2015.

December 5, 2014
Pesticide News Story: Announcing the SmartLabel Pilot Program
In an effort to make pesticide label information easier to find and the approval of pesticide labels more efficient, EPA is working with pesticide registrants to pilot an electronic label system. As part of the SmartLabel pilot, nine pesticide registrants will be developing and submitting pesticide labels to EPA through a fully electronic system instead of as paper or PDF files. One of the goals of the SmartLabel system is to make label information more quickly available to the public in an easily searchable format. As a fully electronic system, SmartLabel will make the label approval process more efficient by creating standardized label sections for all pesticide labels. The system will also make it easier to compare previous label versions without losing the necessary flexibility to make a label appropriate for each product.

December 3, 2014
Obama Administration Selects 26 Communities to Develop Local Food Projects, Encourage Economic Expansion/ Local Foods, Local Places Initiative encourages creative economic development in 26 communities in 19 states
Today, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 26 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing technical support, to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects. Project proposals include repurposing vacant land into local food production, developing year-round retail markets for local food products, and establishing food hubs to increase local food supply chains.
USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Affairs Doug O’Brien and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl made the announcement in Wheeling, W.Va. Wheeling will receive Local Foods, Local Places support to transition the historic and underused Vineyard Hill, into a productive regional hub for diversified local food production and value added products. The officials will also visit Youngstown, OH, which will receive Local Foods, Local Places support to reclaim vacant property for local food production.

December 2, 2014
Pesticide News Story: EPA Workshop on Inert Ingredient PRIA Applications
On December 16, 2014, EPA will host a half-day workshop on the application process for the use of inert ingredients in pesticide products. The workshop will take place in Arlington, Virginia. The goal of the workshop is to clarify the necessary elements of an application for approval to use an inert ingredient in a pesticide product. Complete application packages save applicants time and money, and reduce the number of application rejections

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