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Introducing….. The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 03/01/2012 - 2:01pm
Are you a farmer, rancher or food business entrepreneur interested in local and regionally-produced food? Are you a community leader wondering how local and regional food systems can help your local economy? Are you a consumer interested in learning more about where your food comes from? Now you can learn more about USDA’s support of [...]

Urban Interest in Ag?

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/29/2012 - 11:06am
I quickly learned this past weekend that the 2012 Farm Bill deliberations aren’t just being watched by folks who live in rural America. A conference in New York City last week demonstrated that many people in our nation’s largest city are also following the Farm Bill reauthorization discussions closely. As Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan [...]

Organics Take A Major Step Forward with U.S.-EU Partnership

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
Travis Forgues is an organic dairy farmer in the town of Alburgh in northwest Vermont, almost at the Canadian border and surrounded on three sides by Lake Champlain. Like many of the other dairy farmers in northern Vermont, Travis is a realist. He went to college. He tried city life. But he was born into [...]

Bringing Gold to the Red Poppy Capitol of Texas

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
Did you know that Georgetown is the Red Poppy Capital of Texas? I was surprised to find out that the city is known for the red poppy wildflowers that bloom throughout the city each spring. They hold the Red Poppy Festival each year in April and attract approximately 30,000 visitors. But red isn’t the only [...]

Redefining Agricultural Marketing

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
Over the years, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has changed and evolved to meet the regulatory, statutory and market demands of U.S. agriculture.  The agency’s role, its name and place within the structure of USDA have all evolved over the years.  What hasn’t changed is the commitment to helping U.S. farmers successfully compete domestically [...]

Feeding More Kids By Working Together in the Midwest

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
During the school year, nearly 32 million children receive a free or reduced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program. During the summer months most schools – and school meal programs – close down, leaving children without an opportunity for nutritious meals each day. Here at the USDA, we want to make sure that [...]

Just the Facts: State vs. Federal School Nutrition Programs

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen a lot of chatter online regarding a story from North Carolina in which a pre-school student’s lunch was deemed “unhealthy.”  We’d like to set the record straight. As established by law, USDA promotes healthier lifestyles for our nation’s school children through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. [...]

How is your Community Moving? Send us a Video!

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
Last Saturday, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Communities on the Move Video challenge and invited faith-based, community, and other non-profit organizations to create inspiring videos about their efforts to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. The challenge will recognize community efforts that promote healthy lifestyles for kids by encouraging nutritious eating through USDA’s MyPlate [...]

True GRITS: Fighting Obesity in the South

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
It was a sunny and warm day in Frisco, Texas, on January 13. You would never know that it was the dead of winter. It was a perfect day to drive from Dallas to the suburbs well north of the city, to attend the GRITS Regional Summit on Childhood Obesity. Yes, that’s GRITS. No, not [...]

USDA Value Added Producer Grants: Turning Great Ideas into Sustainable Business

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
Earlier this month, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced almost 300 Value Added Producer Grant recipients across the Nation.  Each one of those recipients has a story, and a dream that, with help from USDA, will become reality. From producing pumpkin puree and gourmet cheese to expanding a caviar production operation in Idaho (Yes, Idaho), [...]

Yes, We Have No Bananas

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
We left the cool warehouse with sticky shoes and smelling of spoiled bananas, but also with a warm feeling for having helped the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas ensure healthy, fresh food for their clients. Hundreds of cases of bananas had been donated, but when food bank staff checked the produce it was too [...]

A Catholic School in Harlem Turns MyPlate into a School Musical

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 02/22/2012 - 6:04pm
In the heart of New York City, Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School is a beacon of hope for the communities of East Harlem. The Catholic school serves 280 students in Pre-K through 8th grade, and one hundred percent of students qualify for Free Lunch in the National School Lunch Program. According to the New York City Department [...]