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It all Began with a Football: How the Super Bowl Shaped the Chicken Industry

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/03/2016 - 1:00pm
On January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers faced off against the Kansas City Chiefs in the very first Super Bowl.  On that day, few of the estimated 51 million fans gathered around their television sets realized the profound impact the Super Bowl would have on chicken consumption in the United States.  The Packers won [...]

Navajo Nation Highlights the Value of the Environmental Justice

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 01/29/2016 - 1:00pm
I recently traveled to New Mexico and Arizona to visit with local Navajo government leaders, Tribal College officials, and community members to hear about life on the Navajo Reservation. Michael Burns, from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was also there to discuss an important new collaboration, the College/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP). CUPP develops partnerships [...]

Fun New eBooks Help Kids Discover MyPlate

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 01/22/2016 - 1:00pm
The recently-released Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 highlights how many Americans need to shift their dietary patterns to include more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy, seafood, and oils and eat fewer refined grains, added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.  Perhaps your family has also set some new year’s resolutions to try some new vegetables or [...]

Georgia School Gardens Nourish Healthy Habits

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 1:00pm
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 celebrated its fifth anniversary last month, and I can tell you it has made a difference!  I think back on the past five years and am proud of the strides we’ve made in giving students access to more local and healthy food in our schools. Accompanied by FNS [...]

Lessons from USDA’s Farmers Market Help Local Food Businesses

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 1:00pm
The USDA Farmers Market, next to the Department’s headquarters and steps from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a “living laboratory” for identifying and testing strategies to help support local and regional food systems. To mark the 20th anniversary of the market, my colleagues and I at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which manages [...]

New Dietary Guidelines Support Healthy Choices for All Americans

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 1:00pm
Today, we are delighted to announce the release of the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. We know that a lifetime of healthy eating helps to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines provides a clear path for the general public, as well as policy makers [...]

Introducing USDA Results, a Year-Long Storytelling Effort of the Obama Administration’s Work on Behalf of Those Living, Working and Raising Families in Rural America

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 1:00pm
Today, USDA is launching USDA Results, a progressive, year-long, multimedia storytelling effort showcasing the Administration’s work on behalf of those living, working and raising families in rural America. Each month, USDA will release a new chapter of the story at medium.com/usda-results. We encourage you to check out January’s chapter, Celebrating America’s Farmers and Ranchers: Supporting [...]

Change Beyond the Plate

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 01/05/2016 - 9:00pm
The following guest blog from a school and community nutrition services director in Louisville, Kentucky highlights how non-profit School Food FOCUS relies on USDA’s Process Verified Program (PVP) to help increase transparency and choice for school food purchases.  USDA’s objective, third-party auditing services focus on increasing transparency from farm to market by offering verification based [...]

Five Years of Working Toward a Healthy, Hunger-Free Generation

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 12/30/2015 - 1:00pm
This time of year, it often feels like time is flying by. As we take time to step back and reflect on the past, we often think, “My, my, where did the time go?” or “It feels like just yesterday…” or “How could it be almost 2016 already?”  Many of us at USDA are feeling [...]

2015: A Banner Year for School Meals and the Health of our Nation’s Schoolchildren

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 12/29/2015 - 1:00pm
It’s been another outstanding year for healthier school meals programs and the millions of American students that benefit from them.  Today, more than 97 percent of schools nationwide report they are meeting the updated school meal standards, which are based on pediatricians’ and nutritionists’ recommendations. The new meals provide children more whole grains, fruits and [...]

High Five for Partnerships with Native Americans and Alaska Natives

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 12/15/2015 - 1:00pm
2015 was another banner year for innovative Federal / Tribal partnerships, government-to-government relations with Federally Recognized Tribes and investments that continue to improve the quality of life for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Here are five examples from this past year of ways USDA and this Administration have built on their deep commitment to improving [...]

A Banner Year for Economic and Social Research: 5 Reports on Rural Communities and on Opportunities for Agriculture

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 12/11/2015 - 1:00pm
USDA scientists work 365 days to provide safe and sustainable food, water, and natural resources in the face of a changing climate and uncertain energy sources. To recognize the contribution that agricultural science and research makes in our daily lives, this week’s “Banner Year” series features stories from 2015 that show the successes that USDA [...]

Five Lessons Learned from USDA’s Farmers Market at Night

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 12/10/2015 - 1:00pm
Our own USDA Farmers Market, brought to you by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), celebrated 20 years of offering Washington, DC access to farm-fresh products this year. USDA is always looking for innovative ways to help farmers markets succeed and experiment with ways that might help them expand. So this season we added evening hours [...]

First-ever Regional Farm to School Institute Underway in the Northeast

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 9:00pm
This account was written by VT FEED Project Director, Betsy Rosenbluth and Shelburne Farms Public Relations and Marketing Director, Vera Chang.   As principal of Sharon Elementary School in Sharon, Vt., Barrett Williams helps his teachers integrate farm to school pedagogy into curricula by making sure they have planning time during the school day and a [...]

Go Local – Promoting Healthy Habits and Boosting Local Communities

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 9:00pm
The following guest blog highlights Providence, Rhode Island school district’s exemplary commitment to purchase and source local food into the school meal programs. Going local economically supports RI farms and small businesses and provides opportunities for students to consume healthy, fresh foods and learn how their food is grown and promote healthy food choices. By [...]

Sowing Gardens, and Growing Kids Who Love Them

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 11/17/2015 - 5:00pm
In celebration of Native American Heritage Month, guest blog writer Katie Rainwater, also a FoodCorps Service Member, shares her remarkable experience at Cherokee Central Schools, a 2014 USDA Farm to School Grantee. Guest blog by Katie Rainwater, FoodCorps Imagine this: A bright, sunny fall day in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. Fresh, organic [...]

How Sacrifice and Sense of Duty Drive Our Veterans

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 11/13/2015 - 5:00pm
I would like to take a moment to recognize the hard work and dedication of America’s veterans.  After serving our country so honorably, many of our veterans feel a sense of duty to continue to give back to the land they love and have fought so hard to protect. And we want all veterans to [...]

Bringing More Farmers Markets to Service Members

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 11/10/2015 - 5:00pm
As we take time this week to honor America’s veterans, we are also thinking about how we can improve the health and welfare of military communities across the country.  That’s why we are so proud to release the first-ever Guide for Farmers Markets on Military Installations.  By assisting military installations in establishing farmers markets, the [...]

Organic Sound and Sensible Resources: Why Go Organic and Where to Start

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 11/09/2015 - 5:00pm
Last week, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s National Organic Program (NOP) announced new resources resulting from our Sound and Sensible Initiative, which is aimed at making organic certification more accessible, affordable, and attainable. Today, we are introducing guides, videos, and other tools – all produced by our partners in the organic community – that will [...]

Creating Opportunities for Georgia’s Produce Industry

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/05/2015 - 5:00pm
A solid vision combined with an innovative approach to reach new markets can yield success in the ag industry. During a recent trip to Atlanta, Ga., I got a chance to talk to state and industry leaders who are using both to solidify the future of their respective organizations.    I joined a team of [...]

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