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Last Published: 12/03/2012
  • August 27 2013
    Boy Scouts work on pulp and paper merit badge at the Forest Service exhibit. (U.S. Forest Service photo) Did you know the U.S. Forest Service has a long connection to the Boy Scouts of America? Roughly 78 percent of Forest Service employees were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in their youth; and many scouting projects, including Eagle Scout projects, take place on national forests or grasslands. “The Boy Scouts of America is a longtime valued partner of the Forest Service,” said DeVela J. Clark, deputy forest supervisor on the Monongahela National Forest. “Scouts have assisted our National...
  • August 27 2013
    Troy Joshua (left) visited Matty Matarazzo’s (right) farm. Matarazzo owns and operates the Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere, N.J. This post is part of the Science Today feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. 2013 is the International Year of Statistics. As part of this global event, every month this year USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will profile careers of individuals who are making significant contributions to improve agricultural statistics in the United States. Growing up in...
  • August 26 2013
    Hi there! Smokey Bear here. We all know that bears love to hang out in the forests, but as our Nation’s symbol for wildfire prevention, I don’t get to do that as much as I’d like. So I’m really excited to tell you about a trip I recently made to the woods of Pennsylvania. I went to the Boy Scouts of America Camp Karoondinha to help present a Bronze Smokey Bear Award to Pennsylvania State fire wardens for their “Wardens Helping in Prevention” program. Since 1968, the fire wardens have volunteered their time to make presentations at schools, malls, fairs, and other events as part of their...
  • August 26 2013
    Shane Kerner used an FSA Rural Youth Loan to purchase cattle, including her ‘best show’ heifer shown here. From that point, she built a thriving commercial herd. Shane Kerner applied for her first USDA Farm Service Agency Rural Youth Loan at age 14. Now, at age 20, she not only reached adulthood, but financial independence to grow what was once a 4-H project into a thriving cattle operation. “I never thought I would get as far as I am today with my cattle,” said Shane. “It is truly a privilege to have the opportunity to start at a young age and see the growth of your animals from seed stock ...
  • August 26 2013
    During the North American Indian Days Celebration in Montana, Under Secretary Ed Avalos (foreground), witnessed the pride and commitment of youth as they celebrated their cultural and agricultural roots. Agricultural producers in rural America represent less than 1% of the U.S. population, yet they produce almost 75% of the food we eat in this country and much of the food eaten throughout the world. Among that 1%, the average age of the American farmer is 57 years old—making it imperative for us to engage and encourage young people to pursue agricultural careers. Earlier this summer, while...
  • August 23 2013
    Ensuring the health and well-being of our nation’s children is a top priority for President Obama, and for all of us at USDA. We have focused in recent years on expanding access, affordability and availability of healthy foods for families and children. Recently, we learned of some promising new results in the fight against obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the rate of obesity among young, low-income children appears to be declining. In 19 states, the obesity rate among low-income preschoolers has dropped for the first time in decades – and in many other...
  • August 19 2013
    Volunteers distribute sack lunches to children at the New Freedom Park Summer Food Service Program site in Aurora, Colorado. The lunches are delivered in a school bus by an organization called Lunch Box Express. Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado, is known for its diversity of businesses and residents.  It is home to establishments ranging from upscale restaurants to motels housing low-income and homeless families. However, the upscale scene doesn’t tell the whole story. Within a two-mile stretch of Colfax, there are an estimated 15,000 children who qualify for free and reduced school meals...
  • August 16 2013
    School cafeterias across the country are at the heart of offering great nutrition for our kids. As we continue to combat childhood obesity in America, I am proud to say that this Back to School season our school cafeterias are at the heart of offering great nutrition for our kids. Students and schools are embracing the healthier lunches offered through the National School Lunch Program that, together with the healthier breakfasts offered through the School Breakfast Program beginning this school year and the recently announced “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards that kick in next...
  • August 15 2013
    The front entrance of Anderson Public School in rural Gallatin County, Montana. USDA photo. Back to school means a fun and exciting way to learn for students of Anderson Public School in rural Gallatin County, Montana. Using a Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant from USDA Rural Development, Anderson Public School and nine other rural schools in Montana installed the necessary equipment to connect their students to share and expand learning opportunities. Through the web-based portable videoconferencing equipment, the students in this community southwest of Bozeman, Montana have already...
  • August 14 2013
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) annual report on the Expenditures on Children by Families has found that a middle-income family with a child born in 2012 can expect to spend about $241,080 for food, shelter, and other necessities associated with child rearing expenses over the next 17 years. How much will that little bundle of joy cost? According to USDA’s Cost of Raising a Child report, the answer for a child born in 2012 is $241,080 for food, shelter and other necessities over the next 17 years, which translates to about $301,970 when adjusted for inflation! Speaking as a...

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