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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Blog
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Initial Launch of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Training Program

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 9:00pm
Feeding students healthy, tasty and nutritious school meals can be a challenge.  Just ask any one of the thousands of school nutrition professionals who carry out the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.  They have to balance menu planning following nutrition standards, financial management, and inventory management, all while making meals that will [...]

USDA Marketing Orders Help Industries Climb to New Heights

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:00pm
Every successful business must have a solid plan to successfully take it from the initial startup phase all the way through its push to expand its operations after the business matures. The same can be said for an industry looking to reach new heights in its lifecycle. A concerted emphasis must be placed on strengthening [...]

Secretary’s Column: 2014, a Year of Action, Partnership and Innovation at USDA

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:00pm
This has been a tremendous year for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the rural families and communities we serve. Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden recently shared a reflection on her most inspirational moments this year. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished at USDA over the course of this year, and I thought I’d take a [...]

A Year of Promise for American Agriculture

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 9:00pm
It’s not hard to list our accomplishments here at USDA: After all, our progress on the much anticipated 2014 Farm Bill has been lauded as “the most successful Farm Bill implementation.” We also launched a website for New Farmers and started a conversation with women in agriculture that will continue to grow for many years [...]

Partnerships Make “Gouda” on USDA’s Commitment to Rural America

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 1:00pm
’Tis the season for good cheer, holiday festivities and cheese plates.   There are seemingly endless varieties to enjoy – Gouda, Blue, Cheddar, Asiago, Feta, Muenster and many more.  Hardworking American dairy farmers and cheese artisans make these delicious products. A strong dairy sector not only provides us with delicious food for the holiday table, it [...]

Organic 101: Organic Seeds Are Fundamental Right from the Start

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 9:00pm
This is the twenty-second installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations. The fall harvest is in, and organic farmers are already looking forward to planting their spring seedlings.  Organic farmers rely on organic seeds to meet the growing demand for certified organic products. These seeds are essential [...]

You’re Never Too Old to Play With Your Food

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 1:00pm
Who doesn’t want to have a little fun with their food? Especially if you have a picky eater at home, try adding a creative flair to the plate to boost a healthy meal’s fun factor. Our team of nutritionists has been having fun using cookie cutters to come up with creative, healthy ideas, but there [...]

Winter Food Fun for Kids of All Ages

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 9:00pm
You’re never too old to play with your food! This winter, while the kids are home from school and family and friends gather together, you can experiment with ways to make healthy foods festive and fun. This blog shows how we created a snowy scene using foods from all five of the MyPlate food groups. [...]

Green Thumbs near Green Bay: Menominee Tribe Cultivates Nutrition Education

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 1:00pm
Cooking knowledge, proper planning, and access to healthy foods are essential ingredients to healthy diets.  I witnessed this firsthand when I traveled to the food distribution center of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, one of the 20 Indian Tribal Organizations that received funding in 2014 from USDA’s Food Distribution Program Nutrition Education (FDPNE) grants.  [...]

Fighting Hunger with Healthy Food: The Perfect Recipe for School Children

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 1:00pm
This guest blog was submitted by Ellen Parker of Massachusetts’ statewide anti-hunger advocacy organization, Project Bread. As America deals with obesity more than ever, school cafeterias are supporting better nutrition for our kids and echoing public health efforts taking place across the country. USDA is committed to working closely with students, parents, school stakeholders and [...]

Solving the Fresh Produce Equation

Tue, 12/02/2014 - 9:00pm
Whether it’s solving a math problem or figuring out how to buy quality fresh apples, having the right tools and training will lead you to a positive solution. Managing fresh and fresh-cut produce purchases can seem like a complicated math problem for many schools, food banks and other large volume institutions. To help them figure [...]

Secretary’s Column: Celebrating Our Nation’s Agricultural Abundance this Thanksgiving

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:00pm
Thanksgiving is a celebration of the harvest and the abundance of food we are able to share with our friends and family. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to thank the farmers and ranchers who make our nation’s agricultural abundance possible. Without them, the safe, abundant and affordable food we’ll put on our tables at Thanksgiving [...]

Thanksgiving Is a Great Time to Start Reducing Food Waste with Friends & Family

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:00pm
Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate all that is good in our lives and to spend it in the company of friends and family while enjoying great food.  It is also a time to reflect on the bounty of our food supply.  Each year, as I put away the leftovers from my Thanksgiving dinner, I [...]

Circle of Nations School Promotes Healthier Lifestyles for Their Children

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:00pm
In November, USDA pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans by observing Native American Heritage Month.  Today, an important part of Native American culture includes working towards a healthier lifestyle for Native American people.  The following guest blog demonstrates the wide range of efforts that tribes are making to support a [...]

Healthy and Happy Students in D.C. Public Schools

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog is part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlighting the efforts of hard working school nutrition professionals who are dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice at schools across the country.  We thank them for sharing their stories! To learn more about FNS nutrition assistance efforts, follow us on twitter at [...]

USDA’s What’s Cooking website serves up cost effective, healthy recipes

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 1:00pm
The busy holiday season has begun and families everywhere are starting to plan ahead.  If you’re looking for easy to make, nutritious family meals that you can cook quickly on a tight budget, USDA is here to help with a new web tool, called What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl. As Americans prepare for the annual [...]

The Many Reasons USDA is Celebrating 50 Years of SNAP

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 9:00pm
Half a century ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act of 1964, making the Food Stamp Program (FSP), which at the time was a series of pilot projects, permanent. Despite the post-World War II economic boom felt by many Americans, some rural and urban areas of the country experienced extreme poverty as [...]

Giving Thanks to Local Farmers

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:00pm
On Thanksgiving, friends, families and communities come together across America to give thanks and celebrate the autumn harvest.  I love the opportunity to reflect on all that I am grateful for, including the  hard-working farmers and ranchers who provide the delicious and nutritious food for the Thanksgiving table.  I also enjoy making my favorite traditional [...]

Connecting Schoolchildren to Healthy Food Choices

Fri, 11/14/2014 - 1:00pm
Last month, schools all across the nation celebrated National School Lunch Week, honoring the importance of healthy meals to education.  I was able to join in one of these celebrations right here in the national Capital area, and the great things I saw at Takoma Park (Md.) Middle School are still fresh in my mind. [...]

USDA and Partners Build a Healthier Next Generation!

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 9:00pm
As schools continue to move forward with serving healthier meals to tens of millions of our nation’s school children, there is a natural need for a model of sharing best practices. To provide that support, our partner, the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI), will pilot the Team Up For Success Training Initiative in the [...]

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