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The DREAM Act for Our Rural Communities and Our Nation

Cross-posted from the White House Blog where you can also find posts from other top Administration Officials on the importance of the DREAM Act.

From 2000 to 2006, while I was Governor of Iowa, approximately 60 percent of the total population increase in the state was directly attributable to immigrants.  Our economy thrived.  The new population contributed to local economies, paid taxes, became valued and productive members of their communities and helped lead an economic revitalization in the state. Read more »

Oklahoma Food Co-op: From Buying Club to Food Hub

One afternoon in the fall of 2003, 36 consumers and several volunteers gathered in the basement of an Oklahoma City church to sort and purchase products from twenty local producers.  They generated $3,500 in sales, and the opening day of the Oklahoma Food Coop (OFC) was determined to have been a great success.

Today, seven years later, OFC has over 3,000 members and processes up to 700 orders monthly. The participating producers – all two hundred of them – generate about $70,000 in monthly sales from 4,000 locally produced products.  The organization manages storage space, a warehouse and owns several trucks. It has transformed from a small buying club to a formal food hub. Read more »

Florida Farmers Market Pilot Provides Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to SNAP and WIC Clients

SERO Regional Administrator Don Arnette assists SNAP client Maria Salgado with bagging the fresh fruits and vegetables she purchased at the Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market, Miami, Fla., with her SNAP benefits.

SERO Regional Administrator Don Arnette assists SNAP client Maria Salgado with bagging the fresh fruits and vegetables she purchased at the Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market, Miami, Fla., with her SNAP benefits.

I was recently able to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony with community partners and Florida state and city officials at the Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market in honor of the farmers market now accepting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT cards and the Womens, Infants and Children (WIC) Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers, in Miami, Fla.  The Jackson Green Market is currently the only farmers market in Florida authorized to accept the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable WIC vouchers.  Shoppers were also able to use their SNAP EBT cards to purchase fresh produce at the discount of $5 off their total purchase compliments of a grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida. Read more »

Oklahoma Food Co-Op: From Buying Club to Food Hub

Oklahoma Food Co-op’s distribution range

One afternoon in the fall of 2003, 36 consumers and several volunteers gathered in the basement of an Oklahoma City church to sort and purchase products from twenty local producers.  They generated $3,500 in sales, and the opening day of the Oklahoma Food Coop (OFC) was determined to have been a great success. Read more »

The Holiday Harvest from Christmas Tree Farms

Nine days til Christmas.

Many of you already have your trees up, I’m sure, but for just as many, if not more, your tree will be making it’s way home sometime over the next week. Read more »

Bailey’s Elementary School Students Bring Holiday Cheer

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” Talented fifth graders from Bailey’s Elementary School in Falls Church, VA caroled to Forest Service employees in the Yates Building at the Chief’s annual Open House on Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The students cheerfully sang a holiday mix of carols including Let It Snow, Here We Come A-Wassailing and a compilation medley. Read more »