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FSA Livestock Programs Help Producers Recoup Losses from Winter Storms

The massive snow storm that covered half of the United States, producing two feet of snow in some parts of the Midwest and bringing a wintery mix of ice and snow in the Northeastern parts of the nation, could  also cause serious harm to livestock.

With some pasture and forage areas destroyed with the remnants of what has been labeled “Snowmageddon,” many producers also are losing their animals to cold and hypothermia, and are seeking ways to help recuperate their losses. Read more »

Hunger Doesn’t Take a Summer Vacation, and neither does the Riverside Unified School District

Riverside kids enjoy a free summer BBQ

Riverside kids enjoy a free summer BBQ

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Nutrition Services Director, Rodney Taylor, knows the face of hunger in his community.  On a daily basis, Rodney’s team serve lunch to about 34,000 RUSD kids, 61 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced price meals.  While the RUSD staff offer these students a fresh, healthy, nutritious meal during the school year, where do students eat during the summer?  In previous years, many students ate lunch at summer school.  However, steep budget cuts in 2008 and 2009 forced many school districts, including RUSD, to drastically reduce their summer school sites to only three schools, leaving about 25,000 kids without a place to eat.  Without the summer school program, where would those kids eat?  That is where the RUSD’s summer barbeques come in. Read more »

Land Conservation Program Celebrates 25 Years of Creating and Protecting Wildlife Habitat Protection

Secretary Vilsack announced there will be a CRP sign-up beginning March 14, with a goal of enrolling 4 million acres.

Secretary Vilsack announced there will be a CRP sign-up beginning March 14, with a goal of enrolling 4 million acres.

It’s not every day that a civil servant gets to feel like a rock star.

But at the 2011 National Pheasant Fest in Omaha, Nebraska this past weekend, employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) were a bit like celebrities to thousands of hunters and land managers who love pheasants. Pheasant Fest is a trade show that focuses on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting and wildlife habitat management and restoration. Read more »

USDA Official Delivers Keynote Address at 2011 American Sheep Industry Conference

Recently I had the honor to participate in the 2011 American Sheep Industry Conference.

It made me feel proud to participate as a representative of USDA, as a public servant; talking, listening and learning from sheep and goat producers as well as other stakeholders in the food, livestock and agricultural sectors. Read more »

Recovery Act Funds Help a South Dakota Region Improve Water Service

Kingbrook Rural Water System, Inc. in Arlington, South Dakota, (KBRW) is spread over a service area of nearly 3,000 square miles, larger than some states.  The distances involved create opportunity for failures of equipment or facilities due to natural or man-made causes. Any calamity can cause ripple effects on the Kingbrook system that would adversely affect water service for hours, days, or weeks.

KBRW operates an eleven-county water system which includes three water treatment plants, distribution pipeline, and pumping stations to distribute water to over 4,000 customers.  The operation requires significant capital investment as individual system components require replacement. Read more »