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USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service Employees Overcome Risks to Contribute to Stability and Development in Iraq and Afghanistan

When you hear about two employees dedicating their time to an important issue such as this one, the least one can do is acknowledge the level of commitment and importance of the roles they play for the agency and USDA.

Dr. Jaroslaw Fabis, a Supervisory Veterinary Medical Officer in Raleigh, North Carolina, volunteered in Maysan, a town near the Iranian border, from February to October 2009. Dr. Fabis joined the American Embassy in Iraq as an agriculture advisor for the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) to contribute to the goal of stability and development of the Iraqi agricultural community. Part of the U.S. mission in Iraq is to strengthen this particular sector of the community to facilitate their economic autonomy and Dr. Fabis took time out of his regular duties to accomplish just that. As the first veterinarian to visit Maysan, Dr. Fabis worked closely with the Maysan Veterinary Hospital to improve livestock health and productivity.  He also trained 125 veterinarians and veterinary technicians and renovated the Amara City slaughterhouse. For his efforts, Dr. Fabis received letters of appreciation from the U.S. Embassy Agriculture Counselor, the Provincial Directory of Veterinary Hospital and Congressman Joseph Courtney of the Armed Services Committee. FSIS is extremely proud of his dedication, commitment and sacrifice in support of our country, the military and civilian operations in Iraq. Read more »

FSA Provides Help to Kewa Pueblo Destroyed by New Mexico Storms

Farmers and ranchers from Kewa Pueblo affected by three major storms this past summer received much needed information on Farm Service Agency programs from the staff of New Mexico’s FSA.  A workshop was held last month to provide information and answer questions from producers who lost their crops and cattle as a result of these storms.

The workshop was in response to the Pueblo’s request for assistance.  A team of state and county employees provided information and signed up about 40 producers for programs such as Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program, Livestock Indemnity Program, Emergency Conservation Program and Non-Insured Assistance Program. Read more »

Giving: The true spirit of Christmas

Capitol Christmas Tree lit December 7, 2010

Capitol Christmas Tree lit December 7, 2010

Do you have any idea how many ornaments it takes to decorate a 67-foot-tall Christmas tree? Do you ever count your ornaments? For this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree Wyoming did. Read more »

Nos Unimos con La Raza para Promover la Nutrición Hispana

Como Administradora Diputada del Programa SNAP, tuve el gran honor de acompañar a nuestro socio, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (CNLR), a líderes comunitarios, familias y a un representante de la campaña ¡Vamos a Movernos! (Let´s Move!) de la Primera Dama durante una conferencia de prensa para promocinar prácticas prometedoras y políticas que pueden ayudar a cambiar la situación relacionada con el hambre y la obesidad infantil, y también a mejorar el acceso de los niños hispanos y sus familias a alimentos nutritivos. La conferencia de prensa fue realizada el día siguiente que el USDA publicó el Informe de Seguridad Alimenticia de Unidades Familiares en los Estados Unidos para 2009 (2009 Household Food Security Report in the United States). La conferencia de prensa del CNLR se hizo para llamar la atención a la población de mayor crecimiento y más joven de los Estados Unidos, a la que se le dificulta llevar comidas sanas a la mesa debido a la falta de acceso a alimentos nutritivos. Los niños hispanos están entre los que corren más riesgo de tener sobrepeso y obesidad; aunque, a la misma vez, tienen la mayor probabilidad de pasar hambre. Tanto la obesidad como el hambre tienen efectos graves sobre la salud y el bienestar de los niños – los cuales representan grandes prioridades del gobierno del Presidente Obama. Read more »

Hillside Farmers Co-op Awarded Grant to Develop Latino-Owned Poultry Production

Hillside Farmers Co-op in Minnesota is helping Latino farmers plan farm businesses and cooperatively market pastured poultry and other products.

The Hillside Farmers Co-op has some big goals for Latino farmers in southeastern Minnesota. With the help of a Small, Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant (SSDPG) from USDA’s Rural Development, Hillside Farmers Co-op has taken another step toward reaching some of those goals. Read more »

Partnering with the National Council of LaRaza on Good Nutrition

As Deputy Administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), I was honored to join our partner, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), community leaders, families and a representative from the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative at a press briefing to promote promising practices and policies that can help turn the tide on child hunger and obesity and improve access to nutritious foods for Hispanic children and their families.  The press briefing took place the day after USDA’s release of the 2009 Household Food Security Report in the United States.   NCLR’s press conference was an effort to draw attention to the fastest growing and youngest population across the United States who have difficulty putting healthy meals on the table, due to inadequate access to nutritious food.  Hispanic children are among those at greatest risk for overweight and obesity and, at the same time, are the most likely to be living with hunger.  Both obesity and hunger have serious implications for children’s health and well-being — all of which are  priorities of the Obama administration. Read more »