Back in 1947, nearly one-third of the labor force worked on farms. In those days if you didn’t have a relative who worked on a farm, you knew someone who did. As time and technology progressed and jobs moved from farms to factories, generations began to lose their connection to agriculture and the land as the source of their food. Currently, there is too much distance between consumers and those who produce their food.
But, there is also hope for those of us working to rebuild this critical connection. Last Friday I presented a $175,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) to provide critical access to credit to a group of small family farmers who are building a bridge to consumers and stimulating the local economy through local foods. This project is a great example of how USDA Rural Development programs can advance the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative. Read more »
By Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan
On Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to meet with some inspiring African businesswomen who are visiting the United States for the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This unique group of 36 successful women is here to participate in a two week fellowship training program that will introduce them to American trading partners and investors, expose them to American advocacy, and business models and will offer extended support to them when they return to their countries. Read more »
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 Tara Weaver-Missick, Branch Chief, with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
Summer field sports are under way, and sports fans around the world are having spirited discussions on their favorite team’s chances of winning. A key factor of sports success is the condition of the field, and USDA scientists are just as interested in those field conditions—but from the angle of fighting the bugs that could be eating the field! Read more »