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  • While rural Americans have already waited too long for passage of a new Food, Farm and Jobs bill, this week brought a promising new development. Conferees from the Senate and House met to begin work on the creation of a bipartisan, long-term Farm Bill. Their work could not be more timely – and they are in the spotlight now more than ever before. The Farm Bill is crucial to America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. It provides a necessary safety net for producers centered around a strong crop insurance program and a dependable set of disaster assistance programs. The last two years of drought...
  • The Director of USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Norah Deluhery, eats lunch with kids at a Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Nutritional Development Services (NDS) summer food service site. The Center maintains integral relationships with partners like NDS to ensure disadvantaged children don’t go hungry when school is out. The City of Brotherly Love puts its motto into practice. I saw this firsthand when I travelled to Philadelphia to meet with a network of community leaders who partner with USDA through its Summer Food Service Program. With this program, USDA...
  • A Missouri Coteau wetland near Bismarck, N.D., in the heart of the Prairie Pothole Region. Credit: Jim Ringelman, Ducks Unlimited, used with permission. The Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana provides sanctuary to millions of nesting waterfowl each summer. With an innovative partnership led by Ducks Unlimited (DU), USDA is helping to provide new opportunities for agricultural producers in the region to sequester carbon while cultivating new revenue streams. With the help of a grant from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, these partners have created a...
  • An infographic highlighting facts and figures about Fall harvests and Halloween trends. Click to see a larger version. Whether its an abundance of fresh farm crops at the local grocery store, farmers market or fall festival, the fruits (and vegetables) of the growing season are all around us. About 158 million Americans will get into the Halloween spirit this year, spending an estimated $7 billion to celebrate Halloween. Just over 44 percent will carve pumpkins for the holiday, but that won’t be the only starring role the big orange squash will play this season. To meet the demand for all...
  • RISE Volunteers with the People’s Garden national leadership team at Grandview Elementary School In 2011, Washington State University won a USDA People’s Garden School Pilot Project grant. The University used the funds to start the “Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth” project, a multi-year research project that engages elementary students in creating edible gardens in schools across the country.  School gardens are an effective way to introduce kids to healthy foods and create a passion for agriculture and Washington State is helping lead the way.  We’re excited to provide an update on how the...
  • (left to right) Chief Tom Tidwell, former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Smokey Bear at today’s ceremony. (Photo by Bob Nichols, USDA) Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger received a U.S. Forest Service badge and jacket during a special ceremony in Washington, D.C., naming him an Honorary Forest Ranger for his work on climate change issues. “I know you understand what we need to do as a nation to reduce the level of carbon in the atmosphere — after all, you have helped lead the way,” U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said to Schwarzenegger during the ceremony at the U.S....
  • The recent multistate outbreak of Salmonella has served as yet another reminder of the importance of a modern, effective food safety system in the United States. That’s why USDA has undertaken a comprehensive effort to modernize poultry slaughter inspection in ways that will reduce the risk for American families. A recent story in the Washington Post shared claims by some that this new effort would compromise humane handling. The fact is, this proposal will better position our inspectors to ensure humane handling standards are being met – all while protecting American families from illness...
  • Stanley Lee has put more efficient light bulbs in his chicken houses and made other updates that lower his carbon footprint. It can take a lot of energy to raise chickens as farmers have to control the temperature and lighting in houses, meaning high costs and high energy use. But with help from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, poultry producers can cut their costs while conserving energy. One Benton County, Ark. producer is cutting his gas and electric bills while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Stanley Lee did this by installing radiant heaters, light-emitting diode...
  • Undersecretary Robert Bonnie (second from left) is briefed by NRCS Soil Conservationist Don Graffis. Graffis discussed NRCS recovery efforts in the wake of a 2013 flood near Lyons Colorado. NRCS photo. Recently, Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie visited Colorado to connect with USDA employees in the wake of the government shutdown.  On the morning of Wednesday, October 23rd Undersecretary Bonnie traveled to Fort Collins to host a USDA “family meeting” and listen to nearly 100 employees as they shared comments, asked questions, and voiced concerns. The...
  • Sec. Tom Vilsack visited the grain grading laboratory of GIPSA's Board of Appeals and Review (BAR) and the Grading Service Laboratory (GSL) on October 23, 2013. BAR staff explain their grading review process while BAR Chairman Jim Whalen looks on. The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration’s (GIPSA) National Grain Center (NGC) was proud to host Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday, October 23.  The NGC, located in Kansas City, MO, is home to the Federal Grain Inspection Service’s (FGIS) Technology and Science Division along with staff from FGIS’ Quality Assurance...

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Last Modified: 03/21/2012