Washington, DC - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced 19 grants totaling $36.5 million for research and extension to support American farmers growing fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops including floriculture. The grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Specialty Crop Research Initiative, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Washington, DC - The Security and Defense Working Group of the U.S.–Georgia Strategic Partnership Commission met on July 20, 2016, in Washington, DC. The Working Group noted the historic events leading up to this meeting, including the signing of the Memorandum on Deepening the Defense and Security Partnership between the United States of America and Georgia on July 6 and the NATO Summit in Warsaw on July 8-9, which included the NATO-Georgia Commission’s Joint Statement welcoming Georgia’s significant progress in its preparations towards membership.

Yuma, Arizona - August was proclaimed “Drowning Impact Awareness Month” in the City of Yuma by Mayor Douglas J. Nicholls. This proclamation was also being made for the State of Arizona by Gov. Douglas A. Ducey.  The purpose is to raise awareness of the number of cases and the impact of child drowning in Arizona. Even though Arizona is considered a desert state, on average, drowning incidents take the lives of many of our state’s children. Children 4 years old and younger are in the highest risk group.

Washington, DC - The C5+1 is a platform that brings together the five states of Central Asia and the United States to discuss and work on issues of common concern. At the first C5+1 ministerial, held in Samarkand in November 2015, the six ministers agreed to develop regional projects to improve security, promote economic connectivity, and increase resilience against the impacts of climate change. At the second C5+1 ministerial, held in Washington in August 2016, the six ministers agreed to launch five corresponding projects, which the United States plans to support with up to $15 million (pending congressional notification).

Washington, DC - The Federal Trade Commission will host its second FinTech Forum on Oct. 26, focusing on two topics of increasing interest to consumers: crowdfunding and peer-to-peer payment systems. The event is designed to bring together perspectives from across the landscape of these two growing sectors, and it will include separate panels exploring each one.