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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Blog
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Thousands of Reasons to Celebrate National Farmers Market Week

Mon, 08/04/2014 - 5:00pm
The 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week is off to a great start! Farmers markets connect and unite people living in urban and rural environments, provide access to fresh, healthy and delicious foods, and—best of all—put a face to the farmers and ranchers who produce their wonderful wares. We, in turn, can support farmers and [...]

What Are You Doing For National Farmers Market Week?

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 1:00pm
Every time I explore a farmers market I become a kid again. It brings back memories of snacking on sun-ripened figs from my backyard with dad or squeezing for perfectly ripe tomatoes at the neighborhood farm stand with mom. The existence, uniqueness and vibrancy of farmers markets can be a positive experience full of exploration [...]

In Colorado, Partnerships Bloom in Support of Regional Food Systems

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 1:00pm
This summer, USDA is highlighting partnerships to invest in the future of rural America. Our partners work with us year after year to leverage resources and grow economic opportunities. They are the key to ensuring our rural communities thrive. Follow more of our stories on Twitter at @USDA or using the hashtag #RuralPartners. Strong local [...]

Food Banks Compete in Membership Drive for the U.S. Food Waste Challenge

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:00pm
Today, the USDA is joining with Feeding America to launch a friendly competition among the nation’s food banks to sign up the most participants in the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.  The food bank that registers the most donors as participants in the U.S. Food Waste Challenge will be honored in an event hosted by the [...]

Studies Find Widespread Student Acceptance of New Healthier School Lunches

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 9:00pm
With nearly 31 million students now participating in the National School Lunch Program each day, sound nutrition at school plays an essential role in supporting a healthier next generation.  But when the new standards were developed by pediatricians and other child nutrition experts, USDA was also looking for students to enjoy the healthier offerings they [...]

Discovering U.S. Agriculture Products Abroad

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:00pm
U.S. agricultural exports are a bright spot in our economy – the past five years represent the strongest in history for agricultural trade.  We export everything from soybeans and dairy to specialty products and fresh produce, all adding up to revenue and jobs back home in the United States. On a recent trip to China, [...]

On the Road to Success for Local and Regional Food

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 5:00pm
Rivers, roads and rails—the shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line. Finding the best path forward can be difficult as city traffic gets worse each year, frustrating commuters and thwarting deliveries. Also in the transportation mix are farmers traveling the same roads trying to bring the freshest produce to city markets.  [...]

Bringing the USDA Foods Mission to SNA-ANC 2014!

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 3:00pm
I love it when business travel doesn’t feel so much like a commitment as it does an adventure. That’s the feeling I had this year (and every year) as I packed my bag and headed to the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Convention (SNA-ANC) in Boston, MA. I was eager and anticipated a week full [...]

The Power of Partnerships

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 3:00pm
In today’s post, Amy Myrdal Miller describes an array of activities being implemented by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), as part of their broad commitment to child nutrition.  I have had the opportunity to participate in some of the CIA’s school nutrition events over the past few years and can attest to the quality [...]

Bringing the Promise of Healthy School Meals to More Children This Fall

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 12:00pm
Cross-posted from the Huffington Post: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 enabled the U.S Department of Agriculture to make historic changes to the meals served in our nation’s schools. Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks sold during the school day are now more nutritious than ever, with less fat and sodium and more whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, [...]

On the Road to the School Nutrition Association Conference

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:00pm
Next week, I, along with dozens of staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will have the pleasure of joining thousands of school nutrition professionals, members of the public health community, and food industry representatives in Boston at the 68th Annual National Conference of the School Nutrition Association (SNA).  This annual event provides an opportunity [...]

Secretary’s Column: USDA, Partners Help Fill the Summer Meal Gap

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 7:00pm
This summer, USDA is highlighting partnerships to invest in the future of rural America. Our partners work with us year after year to leverage resources and grow economic opportunities. They are the key to ensuring our rural communities thrive. Follow more of our stories on Twitter at @USDA or using the hashtag #RuralPartners. In the [...]

On the Front Lines for Our Children

Fri, 07/11/2014 - 12:00pm
Cross-posted from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network blog: When you think about organizations engaged in the War on Cancer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may not be the first that comes to mind. Yet, we are on the front lines of the battle to reduce obesity, a known risk factor for [...]

Delivering Along the Food Value Chain

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 3:00pm
A recent trip back home to Louisiana sparked memories of a simpler time when old trucks full of fresh produce rumbled down dusty roads to deliver goods to the local market. The 2012 Census of Agriculture tells us that 150,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide are now selling to local retailers and that 50,000 of them [...]

Give Students What They Are Asking For: Healthier Foods, Healthier Lives

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 3:00pm
Today’s guest post comes from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization that aptly describes itself as “a catalyst for children’s health.” While the Alliance has been active in many settings, we at USDA particularly appreciate the dedication they have shown to improving school nutrition.  In this post, Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO, describes some [...]

USDA Joins National Hispanic Medical Association to Discuss Health in Latino Communities

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 7:00pm
As schools across the country were winding down for the summer, the conversation around school meals standards was heating up.  School districts, parents, community members and Congressional representatives have engaged in an important discussion about the role of the new standards in our nation’s National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.  Created to boost the [...]

Missouri Makes Summer Meals Work!

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 11:00pm
This spring I had the opportunity to visit several summer feeding sites to witness the efforts of local organizations and states agencies so instrumental in the success of USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.  I had the chance to join our essential partners during summer meals kick-off events throughout the state of Missouri.  It was especially [...]

Celebrating the Blueberry – A Fruit and an Industry That Really Packs a Punch

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 6:00pm
Blueberries are often highly sought after because of their long list of health benefits and their sweet taste. Whether purchased fresh, frozen, or pureed, the blueberry has long been a staple in the diets of many people. Every July, the entire nation celebrates Blueberry Month by coming up with creative recipes and other unique ways [...]

Education Support Professionals – Partners in School Nutrition

Wed, 07/02/2014 - 2:00pm
The USDA school meals programs serve well over 30 million students per day, nationwide.  We rely on our partners in the education realm to help us ensure that these programs—not only programs of great magnitude, but also of great public health importance—are implemented appropriately so that children are healthy and ready to learn.  This week’s [...]

Partnering with Retailers and Food Manufacturers to Make Healthy Choices Easier

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 6:00pm
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. Achieving a good diet requires access to nutritious food, but it also requires good choices from among the many thousands of products available [...]

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