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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Blog
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USDA Partners with Community, Farmers Market in Eastern Kentucky: To Feed Kids and Help Farmers

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 9:00am
This week marks the 15th annual National Farmers Market Week and USDA is celebrating the achievements of the more than 8,700 markets across the county. In rural eastern Kentucky, over the summer, a remarkable thing happened in the small community of Whitesburg. Local, state and federal officials all worked together to create the first-ever USDA [...]

School Nutrition Standards Underpin Healthy Eating Habits

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 5:00pm
In this week’s guest post, Dr. Stephen Cook describes the childhood overweight and obesity epidemic based on first-hand experience with patients in his clinical practice.  He also discusses the important role that school nutrition plays in both short- and long-term health outcomes among our nation’s children. Dr. Stephen Cook, M.D., Ph.D., American Heart Association Volunteer [...]

USDA Leadership Helps Host the 2014 Kids’ State Dinner

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 5:00pm
CNPP’s new Executive Director, Angela Tagtow, MS, RD, LD, closed out her first week with USDA by honoring the winners of the 2014 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge recipe contest at the White House during the Kids’ State Dinner on August 20. Below are her impressions from the event. What was the best part of the 2014 [...]

Small State Comes Up Big with Healthy Summer Meals and Engaging Activities for Kids

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 5:00pm
Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to see the many happy faces of children playing on the recreational fields of the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club in Seaford, Del.  They were there as part of a Summer Food Service Program showcasing USDA’s Eat Smart. Play Hard Campaign. It was easy to get caught [...]

#AgCensus and MyPlate Serve up Lessons in Math, Nutrition, and More

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:00pm
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. Where was the food on your plate grown? Do you know in which state the apple in your lunchbox was mostly likely harvested? [...]

Local & Regional Data Added to USDA Market News

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 5:00pm
America’s hunger for locally and regionally grown food has become a $7 billion-per-year market.  That means more consumers are savoring farm-fresh food, and more farmers—especially small and mid-size farmers—are profiting from new markets for their products.  It also means that a trove of useful pricing and volume data about local and regional food markets is [...]

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 [...]

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