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High Tourism Area in Pennsylvania to Benefit from New USDA-Funded Wastewater System

A herd of elk, part of the largest wild elk herd in the Northeastern United States, can continue to graze in their natural habitat due in part to to a new Rural Development funded wastewater treatment system that will clean up two watersheds.

A herd of elk, part of the largest wild elk herd in the Northeastern United States, can continue to graze in their natural habitat due in part to to a new Rural Development funded wastewater treatment system that will clean up two watersheds.

USDA Rural Development officials and Congressman Glenn Thompson celebrated Earth Day this week in Benezette Township, Elk County, Pennsylvania.   Benezette Township, home of the largest wild elk herd in the Northeastern United States, lacks public sewer, preventing economic growth and damaging two watersheds with run-off from malfunctioning on-lot septic systems. Read more »

Farm Service Agency Disaster Assistance Available for Producers Affected by Flooding, Fire and Tornadoes

The Farm Service Agency is reminding crop and livestock producers throughout states that have recently experienced severe damage from flooding, wildfires and tornadoes that FSA programs may be available to assist with recovery.

According to Acting FSA Administrator Val Dolcini, whether it’s wildfires in the Southwest, flooding or tornados in the Midwest, Plains, and Southeast, learning about our FSA disaster programs is an important first step for producers in the recovery process. Read more »

Let’s Move! to grow more Community Gardens

Young people from the non-profit Jubilee Housing organization’s after school youth services program help U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee’s plant vegetables and herbs in the People’s Garden on Friday, Apr. 9, 2010. The Jubilee Youth Services offers a safe place for learning and fellowship for young people through a supervised after-school program. The after-school program provides academic support, enrichment activities, healthy life skills, teen leadership development and community service opportunities. The young people at Jubilee Housing have their own garden on site.  USDA photo 10di1300-132

Young people from the non-profit Jubilee Housing organization’s after school youth services program help U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee’s plant vegetables and herbs in the People’s Garden on Friday, Apr. 9, 2010. The Jubilee Youth Services offers a safe place for learning and fellowship for young people through a supervised after-school program. The after-school program provides academic support, enrichment activities, healthy life skills, teen leadership development and community service opportunities. The young people at Jubilee Housing have their own garden on site. USDA photo 10di1300-132

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Spring is here and that means it is time to get your hands in the soil and start gardening!  As part of Let’s Move! Faith and Communities, First Lady Michelle Obama has challenged congregations and neighborhood organizations to plant gardens in their communities. Read more »

Sharing the Benefits of KORUS in North Carolina

This week, I traveled to North Carolina and partnered with Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others in support of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement or KORUS.

The Obama Administration recognizes that exports are vital to the health of the agricultural sector and our nation’s economy as a whole. That’s why we’re working hard to ensure passage of the KORUS agreement, as well as the pending free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Read more »

Add Your Market to the 2011 USDA National Farmer’s Market Directory Today!

Recently, Velma Lakins, our dedicated Manager for the USDA Farmers Market, joined thousands of other farmers markets around the country in updating her market listing for the 2011 National USDA Farmers Market Directory.  “It was so easy!” she said.  “In less than 10 minutes I was able to update our listing so that USDA employees, neighbors, and visitors can know when and where our market is open, and have it counted among the nation’s 6,100 plus farmers markets.  ”

Even though the USDA Farmers Market has been listed in previous USDA Farmers Market Directories, Velma needed to update her listing this year to take advantage of some of the Farmers Market Directory’s new fields.  For the first time, the USDA Farmers Market Directory will allow Market Managers, such as Velma, to indicate multiple locations for their markets.  In Velma’s case, the USDA Farmers Market actually has two locations during the year – in the parking lot at 12th and Independence Aves NW, just steps away from the Smithsonian metro stop, operating between June – November, and inside the USDA’s South Building, at wing three, operating from December – May.  In addition to updating her locations, Velma was also able to specifically note that the USDA Farmers Market operates on government property (as opposed to a street, a church, a park or a school) and has extended its market season through May. Read more »

NFL Quarterback Sam Bradford, Secretary Vilsack Urge Native Children to Get Outside and Get Active

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (at podium) and St. Louis Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford (blue shirt, left) met at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, to encourage Native American Youth to pursue a healthy  lifestyle. More than 30 Students from Eastern and Western Tribes, Southeast Alaska, and Tuba City, Arizona came to the Nation’s Capitol to plant vegetable seeds that are indigenous to North America.  Bradford is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.  The garden is called The Roots of American Agriculture, and is part of the Headquarters’ People’s Garden. Also speaking at the event was the Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign Robin Schepper (center); Director of the Bureau of Indian Education. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (at podium) and St. Louis Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford (blue shirt, left) met at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, to encourage Native American Youth to pursue a healthy lifestyle. More than 30 Students from Eastern and Western Tribes, Southeast Alaska, and Tuba City, Arizona came to the Nation’s Capitol to plant vegetable seeds that are indigenous to North America. Bradford is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The garden is called The Roots of American Agriculture, and is part of the Headquarters’ People’s Garden. Also speaking at the event was the Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign Robin Schepper (center); Director of the Bureau of Indian Education. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

St Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford joined Secretary Vilsack in the USDA People’s Garden yesterday to urge Native American youth to spend the summer pursuing healthy outdoor activities.  About 30 Native youth from across the Nation, including Tuba City, Arizona and Southeast Alaska, planted a Native American Garden (part of the USDA People’s Garden) as Bradford, Vilsack and other dignitaries spoke. Read more »