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Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    They squirm, crawl, scurry and swarm … and they’re all around us. More than 900,000 species of insects and arachnids are found around the world, and some people would rather not come into contact with even one of the often misunderstood critters. The fear for me came when I was 7 years old during the summer of 1990. Mom worked the third-shift, so one night dad decided a night at the drive-in theater with his six kids would be the better than us destroying the house. The movie? Jeff Daniels and John Goodman in “Arachnophobia.” The premise of the now classic comedy-horror movie is simple:...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    Farmer David Brown poses next to one of his giant pumpkins. Healthy soil is key to the success of Mustard Seed Farms. Photo courtesy of NRCS. Oregon organic farmer David Brown didn’t start off growing 400-pound pumpkins, but every fall they hold a prominent place on Brown’s Mustard Seed Farms. Starting out as a 26-acre farm in Marion County, Oregon, Brown has grown his diverse, organic operation to 80-acres while also achieving large gains in soil health. “Our name, Mustard Seed Farms, comes from Scripture where faith is a grain of mustard seed that God will bless, and we will grow, and that...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    With more than 12,500 acres, Illinois growers account for more than three-fourths of all pumpkins harvested for processing in the United States. Check back next Thursday for more interesting information on another state from the 2012 Census of Agriculture! The Census of Agriculture is the most complete account of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. Every Thursday USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will highlight new Census data and the power of the information to shape the future of American agriculture. Most people think of corn and soybeans...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    A collection of stamps and coupons from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Stamp Programs. Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History. This fall, USDA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Food Stamp Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, which made the Food Stamp Program permanent.  In looking back over the past 50 years, there are two notable events in the program’s history that had a significant impact on the transformation of the original Food Stamp Program in 1964 to the program we know today as the Supplemental Nutrition...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    A group of U.S. Forest Service employees gathers together in the Flat Tops Wilderness to reflect upon the idea of preserving wilderness that led to the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Flat Tops Wilderness is in what is known as the Cradle of Wilderness, the area that inspired Forest Service landscape architect Aldo Leopold to recommend designating permanent wilderness areas that could be enjoyed by future generations. (U.S. Forest Service/Roger Poirier) In 1919, landscape architect Arthur Carhart made his first journey to Colorado’s Trappers Lake and the Flat Top Wilderness. His idea of keeping...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    The new Climate Hubs Northern Plains website provides producers with science-based information. This fall, ranchers, farmers, and land managers in the Northern Plains from Bartlett, Nebraska to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming will be making decisions that will affect their operations in the coming year. Land managers often consider markets, weather and changing climatic conditions using data and information from various sources including newspapers and popular press publications, Cooperative Extension agents, State Climatologists, and the Internet. With the recent launch of the...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    Mexican free-tailed bats exiting Bracken Bat Cave. Photo credit: USFWS/Ann Froschauer Most people associate pollination with bees and birds but often forget the work of their furry colleagues: bats. Bats take the night shift, playing a major role in pollinating crops and spreading seeds. One important bat is the Mexican long-nose bat, which dwells in large colonies. Their range includes the southern parts of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona. Throughout time, plants and mammals have shared a dependency on one another that is mutually beneficial. So naturally, these bats feed on...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    John and Trudi Kretsinger of KW Farms promoting their grass-fed beef products at one of La Montanita’s stores. As part of USDA’s ongoing celebration of National Cooperatives Month, please join us for an upcoming webinar exploring the intersection of two important economic trends: a new wave of cooperative development and the rapid growth in demand for local foods. This webinar – The Role of Cooperatives in Local Food Systems Development, on Thursday, Oct. 30, 1 pm Eastern Time – will feature national cooperative leaders and development specialists and USDA experts discussing the critical...
  • Thursday, October 30th 2014
    Nino Reyos and Twoshields Production Co. perform native dances for the opening ceremony at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations in Salt Lake City. (U.S. Forest Service) Confronting climate change will be substantially cheaper and easier if we conserve forests, and the key to that is expert knowledge and science, Undersecretary of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Bonnie told thousands of attendees at the recent 24th World Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations in Salt Lake City, Utah. “A healthy and prosperous planet depends on the...
  • Wednesday, October 29th 2014
    Celebratory events in recognition of National Farm to School Month are taking place across the country, and in many forms! Here in the Northeast, the Maine Department of Education chose to develop and execute their first ever Maine Harvest Lunch Week Menu Contest. Schools were invited to submit a menu from a meal that was served to students during the designated Maine Harvest Lunch Week in late September. The theme this year was “Dig In to Local School Meals,” and participating schools and districts did just that! Schools incorporated local items across the lunch tray in creative and...

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