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The Word on Healthy Birds: A Backyard Poultry Webinar

People all over the country are raising backyard poultry these days.  Some raise birds to have a steady supply of fresh eggs, some as part of their commitment to eating locally, some to sell eggs to their friends and neighbors at the local farmers market. Read more »

Partnerships Critical to Ending Hunger – A Look Back at Hunger Action Month

FOX-Chicago News reporter Patrick Elwood reported live on the efforts of Greater Chicago Food Depository, Jewel food stores, and dozens of volunteers to raise food and money for Hunger Action Month.

FOX-Chicago News reporter Patrick Elwood reported live on the efforts of Greater Chicago Food Depository, Jewel food stores, and dozens of volunteers to raise food and money for Hunger Action Month.

At USDA Food and Nutrition Service, partnerships are critical to our success in reducing hunger in America. From school lunch to food banks, FNS programs operate more effectively with strong partnerships. Read more »

A Rural Mississippi Community Gets a New Library with USDA Recovery Act Support

When almost half a million dollars for a new library comes to Fayette, Mississippi, it brings the whole community to the event, as seen in this photo.

When almost half a million dollars for a new library comes to Fayette, Mississippi, it brings the whole community to the event, as seen in this photo.

Jefferson County in Mississippi, a rural county with a population of almost 10,000, was the site of an event last week commemorating a USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant and loan combination that will bring a modern, state-of-the-art library to that county. Read more »

“A Personal Impact to Climate Change”: Preserving the Northwoods Landscape for Future Generations

A striking sunset crowns the trees surrounding this northern Wisconsin lake, whose impacts from climate change are reflected in the blog by Leslie Brandt, US Forest Service, below."

A striking sunset crowns the trees surrounding this northern Wisconsin lake, whose impacts from climate change are reflected in the blog by Leslie Brandt, US Forest Service, below.

Every summer since I was four years old, I’ve been returning to a small glacial lake in Northern Wisconsin where my family had summer cottages. As a child, I’d spend all day swimming in the lake that was darkened by the tannins secreted by the surrounding hemlock trees. The lake was often so cold that my lips turned purple, but not enough to break a determined child’s spirit. Read more »

Report Shows The Recovery Act Creates Jobs and Changes Lives for the Better

Secretary Tom Vilsack  with USDA Rural Development employees who administered Recovery Act expenditures: (Left to Right) Nancy House, Genevieve Sandoval, Cheryl Gamboney, Secretary Vilsack, Assistant Administrator Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk, and Greg Caramanica.

Secretary Tom Vilsack with USDA Rural Development employees who administered Recovery Act expenditures: (Left to Right) Nancy House, Genevieve Sandoval, Cheryl Gamboney, Secretary Vilsack, Assistant Administrator Jacqueline Ponti-Lazaruk, and Greg Caramanica.

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a driving force in job creation and economic renewal in rural America. Read more »

USDA Plants the Seeds to Help Mississippi Grow

This September we announced the 2010 awards for our Specialty Crop Block Grants (SCBG), a program geared toward increasing access to fresh fruits and vegetables by offering grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which administers the program, funds projects across a broad spectrum of activity, such as research related to increasing crop yields, state marketing campaigns like “Minnesota Grown,”  and improving supply chain management for emerging local and regional food systems.  These grants can propel burgeoning projects to the next level and help drive local economies and assist farmers.  In many cases producers have benefited by diversifying their farms to include specialty crops, such as blueberries and pistachios, to meet consumer demand. Read more »