U.S. House Subcommittee Reviewing of USDA’s Information Technology Systems

On Wednesday of this week (March 10, 2010) the current President of NSGIC Will Craig of Minnesota was part of a panel speaking with the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry on the subject of information technology systems at the USDA.  (FYI….U.S. Representative Steve King of Iowa’s 5th District serves on this Subcommittee)

Mr. Craig was in the second panel of the day and I’ve linked to all the opening statements presented by panelists.  While GIS was mentioned in nearly all of the opening statements and the role it plays at USDA, the main topic presented by Mr.Craig was the Imagery for the Nation (IFTN) program that has been in the development stages for the better part of the last five years.  

  • Mr. Roger Johnson, President, National Farmers Union (NFU), Washington D.C.
  • Mr. Mike Mayfield, National Association of Farm Service Agency Office Employees (NASCOE), Pulaski, Tennessee
  • Mr. Craig Turner, President, National Association of Farmer-Elected Committees (NAFEC), Matador, Texas
  • Mr. Will Craig, President, National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC), Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Mr. Jim Krosch, Supervisor, on behalf of the National Association of Conservation Districts, Morris, Minnesota for NACD
Along a similar line, the Association of Photogrammetry, Mapping and Geospatial Firms (MAPPS) released a press release on March 9th stating that a bill to introduce IFTN to Congress was being presented for introduction.

Many of you have been approached in recent years to contribute funding to the continuation (or upgrade) of NAIP imagery for Iowa.  It is a community effort and Iowa has shown great success in “passing the hat” over the years to keep NAIP acquisition happening.  

Finally, two things to ponder.

The first is that usage numbers provided from the ISU Orthoserver indicate that there are an average of 45,000 visitors per month to the Orthoserver.  Many of these visitors are looking for and utilizing the NAIP imagery.  That is a lot of users.

And last but not least.  If NAIP is important for what you do and if the IFTN program would be beneficial to whatever it is that you may do, you need to let somebody know about it.

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