Blog

  • 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...
  • USDA employees across the country and around the world do critical work that impacts millions of lives. I am proud of our employees for many reasons, and I want to share just a few of their great accomplishments under the Obama Administration. Since 2009 the Rural Housing Service has financed 743,309 home loans. Since 2009 the Rural Housing Service supported improvements to 276 hospital and medical clinics, 166 schools and 401 libraries in rural America. Since 2009 the Rural Utilities Service completed 176 broadband projects providing new or improved service to 104,471 subscribers, including...
  • As we get back to work following the lapse in appropriations, USDA remains focused on sharing the importance of Farm Bill programs for all Americans. A Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is critical to growing the rural economy, providing nutrition to families in need, strengthening agricultural research, growing a biobased economy and much more. Now that we’re back to work, our #MyFarmBill social media campaign is ramping back up, and we need to hear from you! We’re asking agriculture and rural stakeholders from across the nation to continue sharing stories on how #MyFarmBill impacts you – using...
  • Dime Rosser, 7, a student at Clinton Elementary School, takes a look at kale. Photo courtesy of Spencer Ainsley, Poughkeepsie Journal. I don’t know how many times I’ve told my children, “Go on, give it a try,” or, “Try it, you might like it.” Tired as those two phrases might be, they’re true. How do you know if you like something if you’ve never tried it? And when it comes to leafy green vegetables and third graders, the truth is, many have never tried things like kale, chard or collard greens. That’s changing as more and more schools hand out a different kind of test. “Taste tests” give...
  • Cheney Public Schools (CPS) is a 7-school district in rural eastern Washington State. Of the 4,135 students who attend CPS, more than 2,000 are eligible for free and reduced price school lunch, and more than 30 percent are obese. Several years ago, realizing the need to improve child nutrition, the district began to take some modest steps to that end, including initiating a scratch cooking program and participating in a regional childhood obesity prevention initiative. Upon receiving a USDA Farm to School Planning Grant in November 2012, CPS developed an eight-member team, comprised of school...
  • U.S. Forest Service Entomologist Danielle Reboletti uncovers forest insects for Nature High Summer Camp participants during an in-field resource learning session with agency resource professionals. Photo by Stacey Smith, BOR. Photo used with permission. Nature High Summer Camp, an annual high-energy environmental learning experience for high school students in Utah, was held in July at the historic Great Basin Environmental Education Center in central Utah’s Ephraim Canyon. For more than 20 years, several federal natural resource agencies and state partners have sponsored the event to help...
  • Pictured (Left to Right) Dr. Mohamed El-Sanousi, Director of Communications and Community Outreach of the Islamic Society of North America, Dr. Abed Ayoub, President of Islamic Relief USA, Michael Scuse, then-acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Imam Faizul Khan of the Islamic Society of the Washington Area As Hunger Action Month comes to a close, I am reminded of an employee event we held last month in honor of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. For many followers of the Islamic faith, the month of Ramadan – known as a time of fasting and sacrifice – is also a time of reflection.  As...
  • The last few years have seen significant improvements to the health of the school environment.  Schools across the country are increasing their efforts to prevent childhood obesity by serving healthier school meals providing more time for physical activity, and helping kids learn about proper nutrition.  It’s clear that the new, healthier school meals implemented last year are working and having a positive impact on the health of our next generation. We recently surveyed states and schools across the country, and the vast majority of schools—80 percent—have already reported that they are...
  • It’s no secret that agricultural work is tough work – and as America’s farm families know, it can be dangerous.  Last year, agriculture recorded the highest fatal injury rate of any industry, with the rate of on-the-job fatality in agriculture nearly seven times the rate for all U.S. workers. Adding complexity to this challenge is the unique role that youth play on the farm and ranch.  Many farms and ranches are a family business. This important tradition strengthens American agriculture and instills important life skills for our young people. Unfortunately, this means that young people also...

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Last Modified: 03/21/2012