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Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • Dallas ISD launched a Harvest of the Month program during Farm to School Month. Each month the district’s cafeterias feature Texas grown fruits and vegetables. (Photo credit: Dallas ISD) This post was written by USDA Farm to School Grantee Dallas Independent School District (ISD). Last November, the district became one of a cohort of 32 schools and districts across the country using USDA funds to spend a year planning a robust farm to school program, embedding best practices from the very start, and learning from their peers. Guest post by Dora Rivas, Executive Director, Dallas ISD Food...
  • L to R: U.S. Army Sgt. Clarence H. Beavers, Triple Nickles' Association President Joe Murchison, Smokey Bear, 2nd Lt. Walter Morris and Lt. Col. Roger S. Walden visited the U. S. Forest Service in Washington, D. C., March 26, 2010. In the summer of 1945, a group of African-American paratroopers for the U.S. Army became smokejumpers assigned to a special Forest Service mission known as “Operation Firefly.” Also known as the Triple Nickles, they represented the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion for colored soldiers who set out to make a jump for change. Two of these valiant, pioneering men...
  • (L to R) DC Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C. Rich Holcomb employee, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Brian Lounsbury, and USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Dewell Delgado Paez stand with a bin of just washed bok choy that was grown USDA headquarters Peoples Garden in Washington, D.C. USDA photo. Every week USDA employee volunteers pick ripe herbs and vegetables from the Headquarters People’s Garden and deliver it to DC Central Kitchen, a local community kitchen. So far this growing season more than 1,000 pounds of...
  • Forest Service firefighters work to contain a wildland fire. (U.S. Forest Service) Few would ever take jobs that require one to literally run toward fire—and possible death—but that’s exactly what countless firefighters did last year. Seventy-three of those heroes didn’t live to tell about it. Their deaths happened on U.S. Forest Service-managed lands, in public and privately-owned buildings and just about any place fire can burn. These fallen firefighters were remembered during a tribute held at the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Md. Oct.6. The National Firefighters Foundation has...
  • Example of citrus greening leaves. If you are like millions of other Americans, there’s a chance you have a citrus tree or two growing in your yard. As a residential citrus grower, it is very important to check your trees regularly for signs of disease. A diseased tree in your yard may seem like no big deal; however, it can easily spread disease to other nearby trees and make its way to large commercial groves where significant damage can be done. If citrus disease were to spread out of control, it has the potential to destroy the entire U.S. citrus industry, causing the loss of billions of...
  • Mildred Griggs of Marianna, Ark., installed a seasonal high tunnel through the USDA StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity. Mildred Griggs, of Marianna, Ark., wasn’t looking for bragging rights when she installed her new seasonal high tunnel, last year, but that’s what she earned this spring after harvesting her first winter vegetable crop. “We had the best salad green mix in the region,” says Griggs. With the high tunnel, Griggs was able to extend her fall growing season of fresh produce into the winter months. Her harvest included lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots and...
  • 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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. Americans love, love, love their spuds:  In 2010, per capita consumption of potatoes in the U.S. hit almost 114 pounds, according to USDA’s Economic Research Service. One of our favorite ways to dish up this versatile veggie is in the form of French fries. Of course, deep-frying those potato slices to golden crispness adds extra calories from the oil.  But what if you could indulge your French fry craving with fewer...
  • USDA Census shows healthy habits are taking root across the country. When students have experiences such as tending a school garden or visiting a farm they’ll be more likely to make healthy choices in the cafeteria. And when schools invest their food dollars in their local communities, all of agriculture benefits, including local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and manufacturers. Good news: these healthy habits are taking root all across the country. USDA released today results from a nationwide Census of farm to school activities. We found that 43 percent of all public school...
  • Ski athletes come from all over the world to train on the Chugach National Forest, spending 25 to 30 hours a week in the challenging, variable conditions found on Eagle Glacier. The Alaskan Pacific University operated seven camps, each with about 20 athletes this summer. (Courtesy U.S. Ski Team Women’s Coach/Coach Matt Whitcomb) America’s elite, Olympic-bound Nordic skiers have a high-altitude secret they hope will give them an edge in Sochi, Russia, during the 2014 Winter Olympics in late February. Team members take a 10-minute helicopter ride from sea level up to Eagle Glacier on Alaska’s...
  • Grasses grown from the NRCS Plant Materials Center in Los Lunas line the edge of Mather Point in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. For more than 20 years, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been growing seeds for the Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks. When the National Park Service renovated the Grand Canyon’s South Rim visitor center in 2008, they looked to the NRCS Plants Materials Center in Los Lunas, N.M. to produce the seed needed to restore native grasses in the area. Now, driving along eight miles of twists and turns of the South Rim, you can...

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