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Making Dreams Come True

Actress Betty White holds the certificate and Forest Ranger badge presented to her by US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell (left) and Deputy Chief Hank Kashdan, as Smokey Bear looks on. White was named an Honorary Forest Ranger in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the performing Arts in Washington DC November 9. (US Forest Service photo by Karl Perry)

Actress Betty White holds the certificate and Forest Ranger badge presented to her by US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell (left) and Deputy Chief Hank Kashdan, as Smokey Bear looks on. White was named an Honorary Forest Ranger in a ceremony at the Kennedy Center for the performing Arts in Washington DC November 9. (US Forest Service photo by Karl Perry)

It isn’t part of the agency’s mission statement to make childhood dreams come true – but it became our privilege today at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell had the honor of making a childhood dream come true for actress Betty White. Read more »

Cooking Up Change Heats Up a Chilly November Night in Chicago

Chicago high school student chefs-in-training compete to create the healthiest, tastiest school meals at the fourth annual Cooking Up Change event held on November 4th.

Chicago high school student chefs-in-training compete to create the healthiest, tastiest school meals at the fourth annual Cooking Up Change event held on November 4th.

Last week I attended a rollicking event on Chicago’s West Side.  Healthy Schools Campaign’s Cooking Up Change event—a benefit and competition between students to create healthy and tasty school meals—was attended by over 600 enthusiastic high schoolers, community leaders, local government leaders and Chicagoans with an interest in improving school meals. Read more »

USDA Teams up with Horton’s Kids to Fight Childhood Obesity

Cross-posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

In the ongoing fight against childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama started the Let’s Move! campaign to help children be more physically fit and conscious of the food they eat. To help promote this initiative, employees from USDA and other federal agencies recently teamed up with the local non-profit Horton’s Kids, an organization recognized for its programs aiming to improve the lives of Washington D.C. kids. Read more »

FSA Participates in Hispanic Higher Education Recruitment Event

The Farm Service Agency was proud to lead the way recently for USDA representation at a major national Hispanic educator’s event. The occasion was the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Annual Convention, held this year in San Diego. The FSA California State Office was asked to coordinate our attendance and I was detailed to set up and staff our booth alongside other California staff with FSA and Rural Development. FSA’s booth seemed to be the focal point for student attention and several other USDA agencies were also successful in sharing information with those attending. Read more »

Protecting Paradise

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 profile.

It seems that even Paradise on Earth requires a bit of pest control once in a while. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) researchers working in Hawaii know the tropical island state can look like a gigantic Garden of Eden to invasive insects, including the Erythrina gall wasp that’s been wreaking havoc on native wiliwili trees as well as an introduced favorite, the coral bean tree. Read more »