Blog

Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • Summer is the season when harvests of healthful foods are most abundant: gardens overflow with zucchini and berries, trees are laden with sweet, ripe fruit, and farmers tend and harvest crops from dawn until dusk. Despite the seasonal abundance, many children go hungry when school is out and the food programs that fed them during [...]
  • “Our dream is to be part of upgrading the living standards of small-scale farmers who produce the foods that go into Azuri products, in a sustainable and profitable way,”  —Tei Mukunya, CEO of Azuri Health Limited, Kenya A common challenge among small-scale farmers in developing countries is getting their products from the farm to markets. [...]
  • Successful businesses use research to meet changing consumer demands. The dairy industry uses innovative research promoted by National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board (commonly referred to as the Milk Processor Education Program or MilkPEP), and other organizations to find new markets for their products. Milk has always been known as a good source of calcium [...]
  • Getting a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed this year is essential – and it can’t fall victim to politics as usual. Too much is at stake, and too many people lose out if Congress can’t act.  Here are 10 good reasons why Congress must take action as soon as possible to achieve passage of [...]
  • NRCS Earth Team volunteer Ken Lair prepares a seedbed during the nahavita study. Photo by Rob Pearce, NRCS. Native American agriculture techniques once dominated the continent, but after the arrival of Europeans, many of those traditions were nearly lost. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is working with tribal communities and ethnobotanists to restore some of these techniques and crops. NRCS Earth Team volunteer Ken Lair is working with the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley in California to test a cultivation technique to stimulate growth of the plant nahavita, or blue...
  • Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Scuse (center) with Native American FFA Students: Hannah Nichols (left), Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and Jessica Wahnee (Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okla.) (right). USDA photo: Bob Nichols. The future of America is entirely about its youth. According to figures provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sixty percent of the farmers in this country are 55 years old or older. Will the next generation take over for their parents and accept a rural lifestyle?  What options are available for promising students, many of them minorities, living in economically...
  • Last month, I joined Secretary Vilsack in announcing National Small Business Week on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Louisiana. In support of rural small businesses, USDA announced several funding opportunities across the country for business owners to increase their capacity to hire new workers and expand their businesses. Small Businesses are the lifeblood of every community, but in a rural town one small business can mean the difference between a thriving main street and empty windows. This is why the work that USDA does on behalf of rural America is so important. The state...
  • USDA Rural Development staff visited with Jasonville, Indiana town officials earlier this month during a ceremony celebrating the town’s purchase of a new flex fuel police vehicle. Utilizing an Economic Impact Initiative (EII) Grant to fund 75 percent of the vehicle purchase price, Assistant Police Chief James E. Gadberry talked about how pleased the department was in working with USDA Rural Development. He also noted three days after the vehicle arrived, it played an instrumental role during a high speed chase involving a suspected methamphetamine distributor.  The vehicle performed...
  • Military veteran Tyler Price, left, of the Student Conservation Association, and Josh Carr of Historicorps scrape lead paint off of historic window sashes of a Thornburg Farm historic building during a restoration project on the Uwharrie National Forest. (Photo courtesy Michael Salisbury) Under a new program to help veterans re-enter civilian life and find career-oriented employment, eight military veterans visited the Uwharrie National Forest near Asheboro, N.C. as part of their summer program to gain experience in developing historic preservation skills, they restored a historic site of...
  • Cross-posted from the White House Council of Environmental Quality blog: Americans are all too familiar with the devastation catastrophic wildland fires can wreak on the landscape. Fire takes lives, destroys homes, impacts wildlife, and devastates millions of acres of valuable forests and grasslands every year. But what is lesser known is that these fires also severely damage watersheds—the very lands that provide clean and abundant drinking water for millions of Americans every day. To address this problem, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell this week...

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