Donn Teske, farmer and President of the Kansas Farmers’ Union, is optimistic. He believes that small and mid-sized farms are making successful inroads to improve their market power and these efforts have great potential. Donn himself operates a fifth generation, 2,000 acre organic farm and ranch in northeastern Kansas, and, in spite of increasing difficulties, he has not been deterred from continuing to improve the marketing opportunities for mid-sized farmers.
One of these opportunities has come from the Kansas Organic Producers (KOP), a group of nearly sixty farmers that provides crucial marketing services for its members. Established in 1974 as an education association to help promote the production and marketing of organic products, the group restructured in 1992 to focus on marketing organic grain. One-third of Donn’s farm is dedicated to alfalfa hay, red clover, milo (grain sorghum), corn, soybeans and wheat. With nearly his entire crop production servicing the livestock industry, KOP is his primary marketing channel. His harvest alone would be far more difficult to market effectively, but the services of KOP give growers a shared clout. Read more »
From left: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Congressman Mark Schauer, Center for Family Health Executive Director Molly Kaser and State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner discuss the new health center.
Yesterday I accompanied Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner and Congressman Mark Schauer on a visit to the Center for Family Health (CFH) in Jackson, a city about 30 miles south of Lansing. Read more »
Flyer for USDA Harvest Festival, Friday October 29th, 2010
Please join us for music, food, games and other merriment at USDA’s Harvest Festival this Friday, October 29th, from 10 am to 2 pm in the People’s Garden and Farmers Market at USDA Headquarters on the corner of Jefferson Drive and 12 Street, SW in Washington, DC. Read more »
The farmers and ranchers who use its services are also the owners of the nation's cooperative Farm Credit System. Photo courtesy Farm Credit Council
Today’s farms, ranches and agricultural enterprises are more diverse and more specialized. And today’s farms and related businesses require new financial services, more equity and greater flexibility from their lenders if they are to effectively manage their businesses. Producers and rural entrepreneurs of all types need access to dedicated, specialized lenders to meet their complete credit and financial services needs. Read more »
Cross-posted from the White House Blog.
The estimated number of jobs created or saved through USDA Recovery Act investments in rural America continues to grow. Today, I am in Ohio, where USDA has provided over $59.5 million in loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, innovate and create jobs. You can see economic activity everywhere. Read more »
The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.
Camp Binachi is a Boy Scouts of America camp located in rural Lauderdale County, Mississippi, that focuses on teaching scouts about ecology and the conservation of natural resources. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to Camp Binachi, which is managed by the Choctaw Area Council. But the council was able to get assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reconstruct the damaged areas. Read more »