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Faith Based Local Outreach Efforts Paying Off in San Luis Valley in Colorado

Written by: Amy Mund USDA Public Information Coordinator, Colorado

Working with local community faith based organizations has provided the Rural Development Office in Alamosa, CO with a substantial increase in single family home loan applications. Taking the approach to leave no stone unturned Ty Coleman, Outreach Initiative Specialist, recently visited with 12 faith based organizations in the San Luis Valley area. Read more »

Yeast Genes Improve Shelf Life of Tomatoes

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.

By Avtar Handa, Purdue University

I don’t know about you, but I find it frustrating to go into the grocery store looking for fresh fruit only to find the selection has already started to shrivel. Shelf life can be a problem all across the United States for regions that need to ship in produce. And it’s an even bigger problem for countries in Southeast Asia and Africa that cannot afford controlled-environment storage. Read more »

The Time to Act is Now

By US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Committee on Education and Labor on the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.  Every five years, Congress considers improvements to the Child Nutrition Act, which provides assistance to feed tens of millions of programs through the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Summer Food Service Programs. Read more »

Town of Peterborough New Hampshire Breaks Ground for Wastewater Improvements Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

By Lori Duff, USDA Public Affairs Specialist New Hampshire

The town of Peterborough, New Hampshire has been working diligently to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility for the town’s 6,222 residents since 2000 – when they learned that Environmental Protection Agency requirements for treatment plants were changing. By 2006 the need was critical. Read more »

Pennsylvania Families Build Their Own Homes with Help From USDA

Written by Dawn Knepp, Pennsylvania USDA Public Information Officer

In a small, quaint housing development in south-central Pennsylvania, families are realizing the American dream of homeownership with the help of a unique government program.  USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program provides mortgage financing to the homeowner and a technical assistance grant to a non-profit agency, in this case, Interfaith Housing Alliance. Interfaith supervises the homeowners who do much of the building of their own homes. To date, 20 families have completed homes and moved into the 39 lot development. Read more »

Apps for Healthy Kids Competition Submission Period Closes

By Jackie Haven, Director, Nutrition Marketing and Communication Division, USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

The Apps for Healthy Kids submission period has officially come to a close yesterday and there was a flurry of entries submitted the last few days and hours! All submissions will now be reviewed for eligibility and qualified entries will be posted in the www.AppsforHealthyKids.com application gallery by July 14. Some entries are already available on the site to try-out; but with more being posted daily, you’ll want to be sure to keep stopping by to try out the latest game or app. Read more »