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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Blog
Updated: 3 hours 44 min ago

Food Hubs – Building Businesses and Sustaining Communities

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 12:44pm
Food is a great equalizer.  Whether sharing it with loved ones around our holiday table or worrying about how we’re going to fit lunch in to our busy work days–food is something we all have in common.  But we don’t always think about the path it takes to get to our plates or even the [...]

USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 6:26pm
I just spent the morning calling people who had applied to receive a USDA Farm to School grant. They were fun calls to make as I was letting this year’s awardees know their project had been selected for funding. Today USDA announced awards for 71 projects spanning 42 states and the District of Columbia that [...]

Hangout to Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:00pm
At USDA, we know that local and regional food systems are an important part of America’s diverse agriculture sector.   Local and regional food is a multi-billion dollar market opportunity for America’s farmers, ranchers and food businesses. From the produce vendor at one of the nation’s 8,100 farmers markets to the operating  220 food hubs across [...]

Makeover Your Holiday Meals with MyPlate! – Week 1

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:00pm
The holiday season has finally arrived! It’s time to find your favorite family recipes and start cooking! While many of our favorite dishes help us to remember and celebrate special times, choosing healthier options can be a challenge. Let MyPlate help you find solutions with “MyPlate Holiday Makeovers.” During our eight-week series, you’ll find ways [...]

In Case You Missed It: Study Finds Offering Healthier School Snacks Helps Kids Make Healthier Choices at Home

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 6:00pm
Last week, researchers from Michigan State University, Oakland University, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and the Michigan Department of Education came out with a new study showing that when schools offer healthier snacks in vending machines and a la carte lines, students’ overall diets improve. Students in schools that offered healthier snacks consumed more [...]

Let’s Talk Turkey about USDA Poultry Grades

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 11:52am
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is the perfect time to learn more about the quality grade standards for poultry products and the “Grade A” shield you might find on the label of your family’s main dish.  Most consumers are familiar with the USDA beef grades – Prime, Choice and Select.  But did you [...]

Secretary’s Column: All Americans Benefit from Local and Regional Markets

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 4:55pm
One very important reason for Congress to expedite work toward a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is to continue today’s rapid growth in local and regional marketing opportunities for American agriculture. From local farmers markets to regional food hubs, these new opportunities benefit a wide range of Americans from all walks of life. They [...]

Providing Opportunity Yields Long-Term Insight

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 3:47pm
Growing up on a family farm in New Mexico, I experienced the joys of producing your own food and sharing it with others. For many, the opportunity to own a farm or work in the agriculture industry is a dream come true, one that they can achieve if given the right opportunity. In my position [...]

Borlaug Fellows Gain Inspiration, Insight During World Food Prize

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 3:47pm
Every year the World Food Prize recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug created the prize, which emphasizes the importance of a nutritious and sustainable food supply for all people. This year’s [...]

MyPlate Meals from the Garden

Wed, 11/06/2013 - 1:29pm
Looking for ways to brighten your meals? Stock up on goods from your local Farmers’ Market! Or try out your green thumb by growing your own food. Gardening and agriculture go hand in hand with MyPlate. When planning a garden, start by thinking about foods that adapt well to the cool, fall season.  Many vegetables [...]

Making Moves in Maryland

Tue, 11/05/2013 - 1:06pm
Last week, I met up with Washington linebacker Darryl Tapp to help kick off Fuel Up to Play 60’s new Make Your Move effort and see how kids at Kenilworth Elementary School in Bowie, Maryland are eating healthier and getting active at school and at home. Tapp and I challenged students to “Make Your Move” [...]

USDA Partners with FoodCorps to Grow Healthy Eaters

Tue, 11/05/2013 - 1:06pm
They are t-shirted and tilling up soil in schools across the country. And this year, thanks to a new partnership, FoodCorps service members have USDA at their side. FoodCorps is a national service organization that places emerging leaders in schools across the country to teach kids about what healthy food is and where it comes [...]

Secretary’s Column: As Conferees Convene, Priorities for a Farm Bill

Fri, 11/01/2013 - 12:35pm
While rural Americans have already waited too long for passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs bill, this week brought a promising new development. Conferees from the Senate and House met to begin work on the creation of a bipartisan, long-term Farm Bill. Their work could not be more timely – and they are [...]

Philadelphia Fights Hunger Through Academic, Faith and Community Partnerships

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 6:18pm
The City of Brotherly Love puts its motto into practice. I saw this firsthand when I travelled to Philadelphia to meet with a network of community leaders who partner with USDA through its Summer Food Service Program. With this program, USDA subsidizes nutritious summer lunches for students who need them and works with community partners [...]

Reapers and Creepers Give Rave Reviews for Fall Harvest and Halloween Stats!

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 12:12pm
Whether its an abundance of fresh farm crops at the local grocery store, farmers market or fall festival, the fruits (and vegetables) of the growing season are all around us. About 158 million Americans will get into the Halloween spirit this year, spending an estimated $7 billion to celebrate Halloween. Just over 44 percent will [...]

RISE Volunteers Mentor Young Gardeners

Thu, 10/31/2013 - 12:12pm
In 2011, Washington State University won a USDA People’s Garden School Pilot Project grant. The University used the funds to start the “Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth” project, a multi-year research project that engages elementary students in creating edible gardens in schools across the country.  School gardens are an effective way to introduce kids to healthy [...]

On the One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, USDA Looks Ahead

Tue, 10/29/2013 - 11:22am
All this week, Americans are pausing to reflect on the devastation caused when Hurricane Sandy slammed ashore on the eastern seaboard.  Over 160 people died, property was damaged, lives were disrupted, families were torn apart and jobs were affected. USDA helped the recovery effort in a number of ways, and while we are proud of [...]

Farm to School Programs Come to Life on Video

Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:06pm
Right before the Academy Awards I race around trying to see all the films that have been nominated. And right about now, with Farm to School Month about to come to a close, I’m feeling the same way about trying to absorb all the great information being shared this month. As the USDA Farm to [...]

Local Food Makes the Grade: Farm to School and Beyond

Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:06pm
If you are a regular USDA blog reader, you’ve heard about the new Farm to School Census, which shows the national farm to school footprint down to the school district level.  With farm to school purchases topping $350 million across the country and over 38,000 schools nationwide participating in farm to school activities, local food [...]

Helping SNAP Recipients Prepare for November 1st Benefit Changes

Mon, 10/28/2013 - 5:06pm
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will see their monthly benefits decrease beginning on November 1st. As USDA’s top official in charge of the program, I want to ensure that SNAP recipients know that this change is coming and understand what it means for you and your families. As you know, the amount of SNAP [...]

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