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Construction Begins on South Dakota Wind Project

Today, November 18, 210, Basin Electric Power Cooperative based in Bismarck, ND, will receive a USDA Rural Development Rural Utilities loan guarantee for $153,396,000 for two wind projects in Mina, ND.  Together these projects will provide 120 MW of renewable electricity.  Combined with Basin’s previous wind investments, they are expected to represent over 600 MW of wind generation – enough to power the average annual needs of 175,000 homes. Read more »

USDA Offers Funding To Help Farmers Turn Manure into Energy

Right now, across the country, innovative agricultural producers are turning farm animal manure into renewable energy through a process called anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is a proven technology – available to farmers today – that represents a huge economic opportunity for rural America, while simultaneously addressing our nation’s energy and climate challenges.  This technology utilizes bacteria that breakdown waste and produce a biogas that contains methane and carbon dioxide. The biogas is then captured and used as a source of renewable energy, primarily by combusting the gas to generate electricity. Read more »

A Nudge in the Right Direction: USDA Sponsors Behavioral Economics Research to Promote Healthy Eating at School

Drs. Brian Wansink (left) and David Just will head the new USDA-funded Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. The Center will help researchers, Food Service Directors and policy makers develop and implement sustainable, research-based strategies for guiding children to make healthy food choices at school. Researchers visit with  students at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca, NY.

Drs. Brian Wansink (left) and David Just will head the new USDA-funded Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. The Center will help researchers, Food Service Directors and policy makers develop and implement sustainable, research-based strategies for guiding children to make healthy food choices at school. Researchers visit with students at the Beverly J. Martin Elementary School in Ithaca, NY.

Across the nation, schools are responding to the Let’s Move! initiative by providing students with a wide range of healthy food choices.  But making the healthy option available is not enough—it’s not nutrition unless children select it and eat it. So the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is complementing these efforts with research on how to encourage children to make healthful food choices at school, drawing on the new field of behavioral economics.  We recently announced a $1 million USDA-funded award to establish the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Program. Headed by David Just and Brian Wansink, the Center will lead, coordinate and disseminate research that applies behavioral economics to child nutrition program operations and activities. Read more »