Saturday, August 30, 2014

2012 Wisconsin Census of Agriculture

Find the latest 2012 Census of Agriculture for Wisconsin counties and the entire state.
Wisconsin Agriculture Census

Recalls Look-up by VIN

"Owners may not always know their recalled vehicle still needs to be repaired. NHTSA's new search tool lets you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years..."
Automobile recalls

EPA Releases Three Final Chemical Risk Assessments

"Today,[8/28/2014] EPA released three final risk assessments for specific uses of three chemicals found in common household products. The risk assessment for Dichloromethane (DCM), which is widely used in paint stripping products, indicates health risks to both workers and consumers who use these products, and to bystanders in workplaces and residences where DCM is used. EPA estimates that more than 230,000 workers nationwide are directly exposed to DCM from DCM-containing paint strippers..." 
EPA chemical risk assessment

Labor Day: 2014

 "The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. That celebration inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a "working men's holiday" on one day or another. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated "Labor Day." This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers..."
Labor Day -2014

Enrollment for New Dairy Farm Risk Management Program to Begin Sept. 2

"Aug. 28, 2014 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that starting Sept. 2, 2014, farmers can enroll in the new dairy Margin Protection Program. The voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also launched a new Web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource, available at, allows dairy farmers to quickly and easily combine unique operation data and other key variables to calculate their coverage needs based on price projections. Producers can also review historical data or estimate future coverage based on data projections. The secure site can be accessed via computer, Smartphone, tablet or any other platform, 24 hours a day, seven days a week..."

Dairy farmers risk management

Back-to-School is the Season for Safety

"It’s that time of the year again!
Parents and caregivers have pencils, binders, backpacks and notebooks on their back-to-school shopping list. But, as the countdown begins and students head back to school, what should you have on the back-to-school “safety” list?
Here are a few things you should pencil in:
  1. If your child bikes to school, make sure he/she has the appropriate helmet that fits his/her head properly and is worn correctly.  Check out “Which Helmet for Which Activity” for guidance.
  2. Make sure playground equipment has been inspected and maintained.  There are more than 200,000 injuries on playground each year—and many of them are serious.  Our Public Playground Safety Handbook is a great source to learn about how to design and install a safer playground.
  3. Take the drawstrings out of your child’s jackets and sweatshirts to prevent a strangulation hazard on playgrounds and school bus doors.
  4. Visit  to check for recalls on your new and used back to school products.
  5. Be sure to check out our ABCs of school safety video with former CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum..."
Back-to-school safety

Thursday, August 28, 2014

HHS and CMS announce new members of the management team ahead of 2015 Open Enrollment

"Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today the most recent in a series of management hires intended to ensure a successful 2015 Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace and make good on the promise that millions more Americans will be able to access quality, affordable health coverage.
Kevin Counihan will join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) team as Marketplace Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  In addition, Lori Lodes has been named the new Director of Communications for CMS..."

Affordable Care Enrollment

2014 Ebola Outbreak: Information and Updates

Get the latest information on the Ebola outbreak from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mumps: Be Sure Your Child Is Fully Immunized

"Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Infected people can spread mumps when they breathe, cough, and sneeze. They can also spread it by sharing items such as cups and eating utensils, and touching surfaces that are then touched by others. There is no treatment for mumps, and it can cause long-term health problems. People in the United States still get mumps, and outbreaks continue to occur.
Protect Your Child with Mumps Vaccine
Mumps vaccine is the best way to protect your child against mumps. It is usually given as part of a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). The MMR vaccine is safe and effective..." 

Stay Healthy at Animal Exhibits This Fall

"From watching calf roping at the rodeo to petting goats at the county fair, there are many ways to explore the animal world. Exhibits such as petting zoos and fairs allow children of all ages to have the thrilling experience of coming face-to-face with animals. This interaction allows people to learn more about animals and helps to build an important human-animal bond.

Unfortunately, many people become sick every year because of a visit to an animal exhibit. It is important to remember that animals sometimes carry germs that are harmful to humans. When people forget to wash their hands after petting an animal, or bring food or drinks into an area where animals are exhibited, they are at risk for becoming ill. You can learn more about these germs and how they cause illness by visiting CDC's Healthy Pets Healthy People site..."

Animal Exhibits

An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2014 - 2024

"The federal budget deficit for fiscal year 2014 will amount to $506 billion, CBO estimates, roughly
$170 billion lower than the shortfall recorded in 2013. At 2.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), this year’s deficit will be much smaller than those of recent years (which reached almost 10 percent of GDP in 2009) and slightly below the average of federal  deficits over the past 40 years. However, by CBO’s estimates, federal debt held by the public will reach 74 percent of GDP at the end of this fiscal year—more than twice what it was at the end of 2007 and higher than in any year since 1950..."
Federal budget

Survey of Public Pension, State Data: 2012

"The Survey of Public Pensions: State-Administered Defined Benefit Data provides revenues, expenditures, financial assets, membership, and liabilities information for defined benefit public pension systems. Data are shown by state, for the state-administered systems. There are 227 state-administered defined benefit public pension systems, all of which are represented here..."
Public pensions

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

"This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto. At the threshold of many climate-change-related lawsuits are two barriers—whether the plaintiff has standing to sue and whether the claim being made presents a political question. Both barriers have forced courts to apply amorphous standards in a new and complex context.."

Climate change and law

China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States

"China’s economic rise has significant implications for the United States and hence is of major interest to Congress. On the one hand, China is a large (and potentially huge) export market for
the United States. Many U.S. firms use China as the final point of assembly in their global supply
chain networks. China’s large holdings of U.S. Treasury securities help the federal government
finance its budget deficits. However, some analysts contend that China maintains a number of
distortive economic policies (such as protectionist industrial policies and an undervalued
currency) that undermine U.S. economic interests. They warn that efforts by the Chinese
government to promote indigenous innovation, often through the use of subsidies and other
distortive measures, could negatively affect many leading U.S. industries. This report surveys the
rise of China’s economy, describes major economic challenges facing China, and discusses the
implications of China’s economic rise for the United States.."
China's economy

U.S. Direct Investment Abroad (USDIA): Preliminary 2012 Data

"This publication presents preliminary data on the financial structure and operations of U.S. multinational enterprises (MNEs) and their foreign affiliates from the 2012 annual survey of U.S. direct investment abroad, conducted by the Bureau of Economic Analysis..."
Investment abroad