President Obama and Secretary Vilsack have developed a national strategy for job creation and economic vitality through investment in green energy technology and businesses. USDA Rural Development can now help finance flex-fuel pumps through its Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP). Administrator Judy Canales saw those two initiatives intersect when she toured the new ICM pilot cellulosic ethanol facility in St. Joseph, Missouri. Read more »
Across our communities, young farmers are taking out loans, rolling up their sleeves and taking part in the American Dream in hopes of becoming future farmers with the ability to own a farm of their own one day.
Rebecca Hatcher and Jake Broadway are members of the Grundy County High School Future Farmers of America. When they decided to participate in the 4-H market steer project they contacted the Winchester Farm Service Agency (FSA) office about a youth loan. After receiving the loan, each purchased a market steer to show in 4-H shows in the area and the nearby county fair. Their plan is to market and sell the steers this summer and save the profit for college. Rebecca’s father, Wade Hatcher, is sponsoring both steers at his farm. Read more »
Today USDA opened the annual updating of the National Farmers Market Directory. The Directory captures information about where and when farmers markets operate, if they participate in federal nutrition benefit programs, and detailed information about their seasonality and location. It is a great tool for markets to make sure people in their community can find them; in addition to helping people find the closest farmers market, they are included in maps, mobile apps and other stats. Read more »
Earth Team volunteer Steve Eckstein’s computer work is helping North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council (NJRC&D) improve water quality in a big way. He’s also helping farmers get conservation funding needed to improve their land.
Earth Team is the name given to USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service volunteers. Earth Team volunteers work side by side with Natural Resource Conservation Service employees on conservation projects to improve their local environment. Read more »