Blog

Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • 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...
  • As the Federal agency responsible for carrying out the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s mission, we are constantly taking actions to improve program integrity. In 2012, we enacted tougher financial sanctions to punish those who abuse the program; sent letters to the CEOs of Ebay, Facebook, Twitter and Craigslist to engage their help in preventing the [...]
  • USDA’s 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 21-22, in Arlington, Va., will host a morning of plenary session speakers on the opening day followed by 25 breakout sessions.  The “Food Price Outlook” breakout session for 2013 will offer perspectives on food price inflation, the factors contributing to food prices, and the consumer implications. In this session, [...]
  • 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. Chances are that among many of the Americans who made a New Year’s resolution, nutrition figures somewhere in their goal. They may be aiming [...]
  • After an exciting and successful year reaching well over a million users, SuperTracker celebrates its first birthday! With growing public interest in nutrition and health, we found that SuperTracker is the online tool many people have been waiting for to help them adopt healthful eating habits; something that is top of mind this time of [...]

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