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Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Partners Break Ground On a New Health Center and Multi-Family Housing

Before partners broke ground on two important community projects on November 15, tribal member Dayna Boyce performed a sacred blessing over the Maliseet tribal land, offering tobacco to bless the earth and giving thanks to the earth for the land to build upon. The Tribe will soon have a brand new state-of-the-art health center and six units of much-needed affordable family housing, thanks to its own contributions and assistance from USDA Rural Development and partners. Read more »

It Gets Better

If you have ever been bullied, Secretary Vilsack wants you to know that it gets better. Read more »

Faith and Community Leaders and members: Join the First Lady to launch Let’s Move Faith and Communities!

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

On Monday, November 29th at 2:30 PM EST, First Lady Michelle Obama will join faith and community leaders on a conference call to launch Let’s Move Faith and Communities, as part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. Read more »

Vermont Shelter Completes Energy-Efficient Expansion before Winter

With USDA funding support, Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro, Vermont, recently completed an expansion to provide more space for people with children, while improving energy efficiency. Support to residents includes job training, nutrition, health services, parenting and child care services and skills to move them into permanent housing.

With USDA funding support, Morningside Shelter in Brattleboro, Vermont, recently completed an expansion to provide more space for people with children, while improving energy efficiency. Support to residents includes job training, nutrition, health services, parenting and child care services and skills to move them into permanent housing.

It’s dark and damp November, Vermont’s least welcoming month. The brilliance of autumn is gone and the dazzle of snow is still around the corner. Brattleboro is no different than most other communities in Vermont, or just across the river in New Hampshire, where people are worried about jobs, paying for heat and groceries, or worse, finding a place to live. Just in time for winter, with help from USDA in Vermont, Morningside Shelter has completed an expansion project that will allow a 30 percent increase in residents. The homeless shelter’s Executive Director Paul Capcara noted, “We’ve been operating at full capacity year round for the last several years. We’ve been getting more calls than ever from people with children.” Read more »

USDA Rural Development in Puerto Rico Kicks-off A Campaign to Raise Funds for Charities

Earlier this month, José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico held a kick-off campaign activity in the Puerto Rico State Office. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the only authorized solicitation of Federal employees in their workplaces on behalf of approved charitable organizations. Read more »

USDA Works with the Farm Foundation to Help Producers Develop Renewable Energy and Biomass

Earlier this month, I joined colleagues from several USDA agencies in Knoxville, Tennessee to discuss biomass production and renewable energy opportunities with producers.  The event was sponsored by the Farm Foundation. Read more »