Blog

  • Emma and Percy Brown of Vicksburg, Miss., are beginning farmers whose lives have benefited from funding through the USDA StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity initiative. For over a year, Mississippi retirees Percy and Emma Brown traveled 50 miles roundtrip three times a week from their home in Vicksburg, Miss. to their farm in Port Gibson in order to water their cattle. It was a time consuming process that involved filling up eight barrels with many gallons of water for the growing cattle herd. That all changed when the Browns, who were new to farming, heard about USDA’s Natural...
  • Kid-Friendly, Classic American and Foodie Fare MyPlate Picnic Menus A picnic is an easy and relaxing holiday activity. USDA’s MyPlate resources can help take the “labor” out of your Labor Day picnic. You can enjoy an easy, healthy meal by following this simple MyPlate formula: 5 food groups + family and friends = fun! When planning your picnic, be sure to include more healthful choices of menu items from each food group (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy) and water or 100% juice to drink. Fruit Celebrate the end of summer by enjoying seasonal fruits. You can make an easy (...
  • The 8th Annual Governor’s Native American Summit was held last week at Utah Valley University in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Utah’s Rural Development State Director Wilson “David” Conine wanted to share with attendees the importance a community development financial institution (CDFI) can play in tribal development.  He turned to his counterpart, South Dakota Rural Development State Director Elsie M. Meeks who has over 20 years of experience working for Native community economic development. Meeks recognized CDFI as an important part of the infrastructure for delivering consistent funding for...
  • This is a screen capture from the Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge online game for kids. The Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge teaches moms and children about healthy habits and provides practical ways they can incorporate them. It’s summer time! And kids’ thoughts naturally turn to ways to have fun and enjoy themselves! Moms, on the other hand, want kids to continue to learn and develop their skills while they enjoy the lazy days of summer.  The Track & Field Fuel-Up Challenge is an online game that meets the needs of moms and kids. The game inspires kids to jump into good...
  • Today a news report claimed that schools across the country are dropping out of the National School Lunch Program because the standards are too difficult to implement. The truth is that the vast majority of schools across the country are meeting the updated meal standards successfully, which is so important to help all our Nations children lead healthier lives. Even before the new standards took effect and more resources were available, many schools across the country were leading the way with healthier options and appropriate portion sizes. In fact, schools that adopted the changes earlier...
  • Boy Scouts work on pulp and paper merit badge at the Forest Service exhibit. (U.S. Forest Service photo) Did you know the U.S. Forest Service has a long connection to the Boy Scouts of America? Roughly 78 percent of Forest Service employees were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in their youth; and many scouting projects, including Eagle Scout projects, take place on national forests or grasslands. “The Boy Scouts of America is a longtime valued partner of the Forest Service,” said DeVela J. Clark, deputy forest supervisor on the Monongahela National Forest. “Scouts have assisted our National...
  • Troy Joshua (left) visited Matty Matarazzo’s (right) farm. Matarazzo owns and operates the Four Sisters Winery in Belvidere, N.J. 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. 2013 is the International Year of Statistics. As part of this global event, every month this year USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will profile careers of individuals who are making significant contributions to improve agricultural statistics in the United States. Growing up in...
  • Hi there! Smokey Bear here. We all know that bears love to hang out in the forests, but as our Nation’s symbol for wildfire prevention, I don’t get to do that as much as I’d like. So I’m really excited to tell you about a trip I recently made to the woods of Pennsylvania. I went to the Boy Scouts of America Camp Karoondinha to help present a Bronze Smokey Bear Award to Pennsylvania State fire wardens for their “Wardens Helping in Prevention” program. Since 1968, the fire wardens have volunteered their time to make presentations at schools, malls, fairs, and other events as part of their...
  • Shane Kerner used an FSA Rural Youth Loan to purchase cattle, including her ‘best show’ heifer shown here. From that point, she built a thriving commercial herd. Shane Kerner applied for her first USDA Farm Service Agency Rural Youth Loan at age 14. Now, at age 20, she not only reached adulthood, but financial independence to grow what was once a 4-H project into a thriving cattle operation. “I never thought I would get as far as I am today with my cattle,” said Shane. “It is truly a privilege to have the opportunity to start at a young age and see the growth of your animals from seed stock ...
  • During the North American Indian Days Celebration in Montana, Under Secretary Ed Avalos (foreground), witnessed the pride and commitment of youth as they celebrated their cultural and agricultural roots. Agricultural producers in rural America represent less than 1% of the U.S. population, yet they produce almost 75% of the food we eat in this country and much of the food eaten throughout the world. Among that 1%, the average age of the American farmer is 57 years old—making it imperative for us to engage and encourage young people to pursue agricultural careers. Earlier this summer, while...

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Last Modified: 03/21/2012