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  • The brown marmorated stink bug, a winged pest from Asia that is eating crops and infesting U.S. homes. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are launching a campaign to ask volunteers to count the number of stink bugs in their homes. USDA-ARS photo by Stephen Ausmus. Calling all insect enthusiasts and frustrated gardeners!  USDA scientists need your help in documenting Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) in your home. Beginning September 15th through October 15th, we’re asking citizens across the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States to record...
  • Schools across the country are telling us that they are successfully serving healthy, delicious breakfasts and lunches to students. But how do the students and staff feel about the changes? We interviewed students and staff at Bondurant-Farrar School District outside of Des Moines, Iowa to get their take on the new meals. Lexi Atzen, a senior at Bondurant-Farrar High School says that school meals make her feel better. “When you eat good foods, you feel a lot better about yourself,” says Atzen. “You feel a lot better just in general, you have more energy. And then that leads into the classroom...
  • Woodsy Owl, the iconic symbol of conservation for the U.S. Forest Service, celebrates his 42nd birthday on Sept. 15. Whether you give a hoot and don’t pollute or go out and lend a hand to care for the land, thank Woodsy Owl, the iconic symbol of conservation of the U.S. Forest Service. After all, Woodsy Owl celebrates his 42nd birthday on Sept. 15 and has outlasted most environmental symbols from the 1970s and even expanded his repertoire to include such things as helping preschoolers learn their ABCs via conservation messages. “Woodsy Owl’s messages are clear: all of us have a...
  • USDA researchers are working together to protect and conserve our beautiful nation and all of its majestic natural resources for generations to come.  As part of USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP), more than 60 USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are working together to gain a better understanding of the role that agricultural conservation programs and practices play in achieving our nation’s environmental objectives of clean air and water, healthy soils and flourishing natural habitats. USDA began the CEAP program in 2003 to study the environmental benefits...
  • The Wilds’ 60-acre demonstration site showcases a variety of native grasses. Yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Natural Resources Conservation Chief Jason Weller announced 33 Conservation Innovation Grants awarded to entities across the nation to develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate private lands conservation. As the chief said during a media call with the secretary, “The Conservation Innovation Grant program brings together the strength and innovation of the private and non-profit sectors, academia, producers and others to develop and test cutting-edge...
  • Alberto Moreno, a U.S. Forest Service supervisory forester, stands in the Spin Ghar Mountain range at the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan by the Khyber Pass. (Photo courtesy Alberto Moreno) On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, sitting in a small Cessna about to go airborne, the pilot suddenly slowed the plane and aborted the takeoff. He said he had received orders that all flights had been grounded and that any airplanes that did not comply would be shot down by the Air Force. The United States was under attack. At the time, my job had been with the Arkansas Forest Inventory and Analysis...
  • Since the White House Rural Council was formed in 2009, our members from across the Federal government have taken a renewed look at many critical programs and services that impact rural residents, with an overarching goal to ensure that Federal agencies are collaborating to achieve the greatest possible benefit in rural America. Today, I hosted a meeting of the White House Rural Council where we continued our focus on shared efforts to better serve rural America – from conservation, to veterans’ services, to rural development, to support for American agriculture and more. Today’s meeting...
  • There is no “off-season” for the nearly 15% of people in this country facing hunger. Although demand remains high all year round, many of the nation’s food banks experience a major decline in donations during the summer months. USDA programs, however, work year-round to help those affected by hunger. Through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), USDA helps those in need by purchasing items for food banks and community service organizations. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Commodity Procurement staff coordinates with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to send quality,...
  • The Foreign Agricultural Service recently launched an online tool, called the Agricultural Tariff Tracker, to help exporters obtain information about tariff reductions resulting from world-wide free trade agreements. The United States has free trade agreements with 20 countries around the world that expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural producers.  To help exporters obtain information about tariff reductions resulting from these FTAs, the Foreign Agricultural Service recently launched the Agricultural Tariff Tracker. “The tracker was developed in response to requests...
  • 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. There are no borders around the opportunities and challenges we face in agricultural science.  Agricultural science priorities in one country are often shared by others.  That’s why agricultural science, whether national or international, benefits from being addressed globally and cooperatively. That’s exactly what was discussed at the second G-20 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists (MACS), hosted in June of this...

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Last Modified: 03/21/2012