Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • It’s no secret that participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has experienced significant growth over the past 10 years.  In fact, the December 2011 participation showed that 46.5 million people received SNAP benefits. What has caused these increases?  During 2011, the increases were primarily due to unemployment and more people in need as [...]
  • Join Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on March 8th in celebrating “What’s on My Plate?” Day and help raise public awareness of the importance of choosing nutritious foods for a healthy meal. If you haven’t already joined the network, become one of almost 6,000 of USDA’s MyPlate Community and National Strategic Partners, all of which are [...]
  • Two and a half years ago, I announced a new initiative here at USDA called Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food. It’s the public face of our commitment to help farmers and ranchers of all sizes take advantage of new opportunities, meet the growing demand for local and regional food and succeed in America’s diverse [...]
  • March is National Nutrition Month, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service is improving the way consumers receive nutritional information about the meat and poultry products they most frequently purchase.  Beginning today, ground or chopped meat and poultry products, such as ground turkey and hamburger, will be required to have nutrition facts panels on their [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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. [...]