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  • Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Patrice Kunesh recently visited Lily PADS Resale Boutique in Peru, IL, a community-supported funding vehicle for two Illinois Valley “Public Action to Deliver Shelter” (PADS) homeless shelters. Rural Development’s 2009 partnership with Hometown National Bank secured a loan guarantee, which PADS used to construct a new retail facility that enabled the organization to warehouse and sell goods from one location. The store has been so successful that Lily PADS recently expanded its storerooms and retail space again. “This project exemplifies the...
  • A Virginia Tech student participates in the online animal breeding graduate program. Credit: Ron Lewis, Virginia Tech. 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 the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. Imagine a graduate school that combined the faculty expertise of seven universities throughout the United States. Imagine this program focused on animal genetics, using the latest research data to teach students.  Best of all, students can attend with the click of a mouse. It’s not some futuristic...
  • With summer winding down and school starting soon, there’s just enough time for one last trip! No matter where your travels take you, be sure to bring back lots of photographs, souvenirs and memories—but one thing you don’t want to bring home with you is citrus. Moving citrus may seem completely harmless, but it can come with huge consequences. One little tiny bug, the Asian citrus psyllid could be hiding on citrus fruit, trees, clippings or nursery stock. It can carry citrus greening disease, or Huanglong Bing (HLB), a certain death sentence for infected trees. Pests carrying the disease can...
  • 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. When I look at tree leaves, the stems always strike me as remarkable.  Although typically slender, they’re pretty resilient, firmly anchoring the leaves to the branches to withstand the extreme whims of Mother Nature. In the same way that stems provide a sturdy foundation so that the leaves can make food for the tree, science, technology, education, and math (frequently referred to as STEM) education provides a strong...
  • Last week’s cover of TIME magazine featured a story about the rapid rate of decline of honeybee populations across the globe. The article focuses on the question of the price we’ll pay if we don’t figure out what is killing the honeybee. A daunting thought when you think about the fact that one-third of all food and beverages are made possible through pollination and pollinators are valued at $15 billion annually. This morning, Jim Jones from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), author Hannah Nordhaus and I joined TIME journalist Bryan Walsh on Twitter to discuss the topic and what is...
  • Screenshot of the ASI Market News mobile app. For nearly 100 years, USDA Market News has been collecting market information on behalf of those working in American agriculture to provide current, unbiased price and sales information. Covering both domestic and international markets, the data is disseminated within hours of collection to help market and distribute farm commodities.  It is all provided publicly and free of charge via the Internet and other electronic means, in printed reports, by telephone recordings, and through the news media.  The agricultural industry relies on the...
  • When the sign-up window opened for USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in 2012, the five-member NRCS Alpine Resource Team was ready. The team is responsible for more than nine million acres of the Trans-Pecos region of Texas, and protecting the region’s natural resources comes first. CSP is a voluntary conservation program that encourages producers who are already participating in NRCS conservation programs to take their efforts to the next level. Participants address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner with financial and technical...
  • It’s a big deal when you’ve just graduated from a small town high school in Western Nebraska to make a trip to Washington, D.C.  It’s especially a big deal when you get to sit in the office of the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency while in D.C. and share your thoughts. Spencer Hartman made the trip recently.  He sat with FSA Administrator Juan M. Garcia and Deputy Administrator for Farm Loan Programs Chris Beyerhelm.  He was joined by colleague Bryce Doeschot, also a Nebraska native but from the opposite side of the state.  They talked about farming. Hartman and Doeschot, both 19, are...
  • Puff and Fluff, the baby owls that Forest Service firefighters saved during the Carstens Fire in June, are finally home. Terri Williams of the Fresno Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Service released the Western Screech-Owls on July 24 near where they were found over a month ago in a downed tree in the Sierra National Forest. The birds were weak and dehydrated when Williams first received them from the Forest Service on June 20.  But under her care, Puff and Fluff tripled in weight, enjoying a steady diet of mice, day-old chicks and crickets. They grew strong and healthy and soon began...
  • Earlier this month, volunteers from USDA Rural Development (RD) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) joined hands with representatives from the Six Nation Agricultural Society’s Indian Village to assist in preparations for the grounds use during the 2013 New York State Fair in Syracuse. The afternoon’s activities included painting, planting, raking and a tour of the grounds. Cultural Transformation is a USDA initiative that strives to improve community relations, outreach opportunities, and encourage employees to achieve high standards. The initiative highlights how USDA is the People’s...

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Last Modified: 03/21/2012