A new publication by the USDA Forest Service, Private Forest, Public Benefits, explains how privately held forests in the U.S. are under substantial stress from the effects of climate change, wildfire, insects, pathogens and urban development. And since 55 percent of all national forested lands are privately held, how we address these stresses will affect the vitally important role private forests play in America. Read more »
August 5th marked the opening of the Wisconsin State Fair, an event that brings in over 800,000 visitors, and perhaps more impressively, donates 180,000 pounds of food to the Hunger Task Force, a community supported organization that has fed hungry Milwaukeeans for over thirty years.
I had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremonies to celebrate Hunger Task Force Day alongside Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. After the ceremonies, I enjoyed a tour of the fairgrounds with Farm Service Agency State Director Brad Pfaff, where we saw educational exhibits, cooking demonstrations using healthy foods you can buy on a budget, and vast displays of Wisconsin agriculture. Everywhere we turned, the fair was abuzz with hunger and nutrition education. Read more »
Would you leave corporate America to work for a non-profit? Jim Hires did when he became the Executive Director of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. How did I meet him? We met when I accompanied Illinois Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan to drop off the state office’s donation to the food bank. And why were we there? To support the Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families food drive, of course! Read more »
This week, I traveled to Ottawa to meet with Canadian trade group leaders as well as Gerry Ritz, the minister of agriculture in Canada. As part of these meetings, we discussed agricultural trade issues that both of our countries face and opportunities for collaboration. In between meetings, I had the opportunity to participate in the tasteUS! Culinary Showcase. This event took place at Ambassador Jacobson’s residence and guests included Canadian media, buyers from Canadian grocery chains and food establishments, and U.S. cooperator representatives in Canada. Read more »
Ambassador Ron Kirk, U.S. Trade Representative, visits Maine to Highlight Job Creation through Agricultural ExportsPosted by
Ambassador Ron Kirk, the US Trade Representative, who is traveling across the country to meet with local business leaders, workers and farmers, visited Maine earlier this month. The Ambassador spoke at several venues, including a Maine International Trade Center roundtable with Maine business leaders involved in international trade, about how fair trade can support well-paying jobs right here at home. He addressed a second roundtable with union representatives, fair trade activists, and agriculture associations, hosted by Rep. Michael Michaud of Maine’s Second District. He finished his visit by meeting Rural Development and Farm Service Agency staff in the Bangor State Office, a wonderful treat for our teams in Maine.