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Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • Two chapters of the Navajo Nation in Utah are getting new livestock wells, thanks to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Members of the Teec Nos Pos and Red Mesa Chapters use wells drilled deep into the desert floor to water their 1,000 or so cattle. (A chapter is both a rural community and a unit of local government in the Navajo Nation.) But in the 2000s, the Navajo Nation Water Code Administration found, through testing, that these wells had high levels of arsenic, uranium and E. coli, rendering them non-potable for both humans and livestock. After the discovery, ranchers had to...
  • Hatch green chiles can be used in everything from potato salad to lemonade. It’s no secret I love New Mexican grown green chiles.  So does Melissa’s World Variety Produce in Los Angeles, California. So much so, that during a recent trip to California, I attended a spicy workshop and reception hosted by Melissa’s, featuring New Mexican Hatch green chiles. “When I grew up, I thought there was only one kind of chile: we just called them green.” says corporate chef Rodriguez who grew up in El Paso, Texas. Southwesterners like Ida and I may just call them “greens”. However, the rest of the...
  • Today’s college students and young professionals are particularly attuned to the environmental issues that face our nation. Universities across the United States are often stuck with excess food left over from dining halls, sporting events, and other social gatherings that more often than not goes directly into the dumpsters.  While many young adults across the country are working their way through school and loan payments, they are also becoming increasingly cognizant of the efforts underway at their Universities to reduce food waste. In a recent study conducted by The Princeton Review, 69...
  • Pam Hird, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Photo courtesy of FedTech Magazine 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. Unlike the math and agricultural statisticians with whom I work daily, I took a completely different career path into the world of agricultural statistics. In college, I started out as an accounting major at Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV. Based on the recommendation of friends, I took some courses in computer programming and...
  • While many manufacturing companies provide well-paying jobs and play a vital role in creating vibrant, healthy rural communities, sometimes rural communities may struggle to attract these companies. To help bridge this gap, the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) was created. This Administration-wide effort brings together federal departments and agencies to provide coordinated assistance to communities to become more attractive for manufacturers. Recently, USDA hosted two IMCP events in Minnesota and California with diverse audiences of about 120 stakeholders...
  • You can actually feel the wonder while discovering a new side of the U.S. Forest Service at Shedd Aquarium’s new Great Lakes Exhibit At Home on the Great Lakes. The Shedd Aquarium, on famous Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, unveiled the exhibit as part of its renovation of the facility’s historic Local Waters Gallery. The exhibit features exciting new interactive components. Visitors experience a connection to the Great Lakes through hands-on learning and up-close encounters with native Great Lakes species. “There is a strong connection between the health of national forests and the health of the...
  • Cross posted from the White House Blog: Today, the White House released a new report detailing the important benefits provided by the bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill for the domestic agriculture sector, its workforce, and rural American communities. As the report states, in recent years, the agriculture sector has seen strong growth, with farm income and agriculture exports both reaching historic highs. But there’s more work to do, and currently the agriculture industry is hampered by a broken immigration system that fails to support a predictable and stable workforce. Among...
  • Nellie Buckman is the daughter of a migrant worker.  Growing up her family moved from place to place a lot.  She never really had a place to call home until her adult years when she moved into a little tiny house that was originally from Igloo, South Dakota, which incidentally  is  located on the same lot line as her current residence which was built by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1979.  Over the years, the Buckmans raised 10 children in this home.  The transition from the little small house to the HUD house was quite an experience for the family.  The HUD...
  • Sorry Mr. Wolfe. As it turns out, you actually CAN go home again…and John Padalino recently did. Padalino is the Administrator for the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a branch of USDA Rural Development. Born in south Tucson, Padalino grew up along the border where his father was a customs agent. Recently he was back in Tucson to facilitate a Rural Development Energy Round Table. The round table was filled to capacity with participants that represented small businesses, solar companies, utilities, community action groups, tribes, contractors, and local governments. The lively dialogue...
  • Last month, the Foreign Agricultural Service office in The Hague, Netherlands, partnered with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute to highlight the institute’s commitment to sustainable fishing and introduce its new sustainability certification. There is a growing interest among European consumers in sustainable seafood. Many European retailers require their suppliers to demonstrate that their products don’t deplete ocean fisheries. On June 11, about 40 leading Dutch seafood industry and government representatives attended a seminar to learn about Alaskan seafood industry practices,...

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