Blog

Last Modified: 03/21/2012
  • 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...
  • Volunteers distribute sack lunches to children at the New Freedom Park Summer Food Service Program site in Aurora, Colorado. The lunches are delivered in a school bus by an organization called Lunch Box Express. Colfax Avenue in Denver, Colorado, is known for its diversity of businesses and residents.  It is home to establishments ranging from upscale restaurants to motels housing low-income and homeless families. However, the upscale scene doesn’t tell the whole story. Within a two-mile stretch of Colfax, there are an estimated 15,000 children who qualify for free and reduced school meals...
  • This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced more than 630 new projects across the country under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  These new projects will help producers and businesses boost their bottom line, while increasing America’s energy security and protecting our environment. Energy efficiency programs are a key part of the President’s overall plan to mitigate the impacts of a changing climate, while building our renewable energy capacity to support an all-of-the-above approach to America’s energy future. Under the Obama Administration, USDA has used this...
  • Quinoa is a grain with high protein content, making it an important food crop in alleviating hunger and food security in impoverished areas of the world. In February of this year, the United National declared 2013 the International Year of the Quinoa. Yet, I’m sure not many people have even heard of quinoa, let alone know about its nutritional qualities. Originating from Bolivia, Chile and Peru around 5,000 years ago, quinoa is a grain that is growing in popularity across the country. Consumed like rice and used to make flour, soup, cereals or alcohol, quinoa is very nutritious due to its...
  • School cafeterias across the country are at the heart of offering great nutrition for our kids. As we continue to combat childhood obesity in America, I am proud to say that this Back to School season our school cafeterias are at the heart of offering great nutrition for our kids. Students and schools are embracing the healthier lunches offered through the National School Lunch Program that, together with the healthier breakfasts offered through the School Breakfast Program beginning this school year and the recently announced “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards that kick in next...
  • FSIS Consumer Safety Inspectors (CSIs) Anthony Carson, Rick Toot, and Rosalinda Curb are just a few of the exemplary FSIS employees who work hard every day to protect public health and ensure the humane treatment of livestock presented for slaughter. Anthony Carson, a CSI in the Dallas district, contributes greatly to enforcing humane handling policy at the cull cattle plant where he works. The oldest son of a small-town veterinarian, Carson has worked with cattle for as long as he can remember. Carson’s father has been his greatest influence. “Dad gave me that love of animal husbandry,...
  • The Lake Holcombe High School in Holcombe, Wisconsin recently upgraded its science classroom as a result of a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative Grant.  Holcombe is a small rural community in the northwest area of the state.  The science classroom was outdated, making it difficult for the teachers to keep pace with new curriculum requirements and for students to conduct the necessary science experiments for that curriculum. The newly redesigned science classroom is now compliant with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and is similar to...
  • The front entrance of Anderson Public School in rural Gallatin County, Montana. USDA photo. Back to school means a fun and exciting way to learn for students of Anderson Public School in rural Gallatin County, Montana. Using a Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant from USDA Rural Development, Anderson Public School and nine other rural schools in Montana installed the necessary equipment to connect their students to share and expand learning opportunities. Through the web-based portable videoconferencing equipment, the students in this community southwest of Bozeman, Montana have already...
  • Do you work at a port or international border where identifying potentially destructive agricultural pests is part of your job? Are you a student or teacher interested in learning more about potential and existing agricultural pests? Have you ever seen a creepy crawly thing in your backyard and wondered if it might be an invasive species? If you fit any of these descriptions, then ID Tools may be just what you need. Created by USDA-APHIS’ Identification Technology Program (ITP), ID Tools helps agency staff to quickly identify pests, including insects, diseases, harmful weeds, and more,...

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