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This Local Food is for the Birds

Annual sunflowers are now grown in New Jersey by local farmers to supply NJ Audubon’s annual birdseed sale. Sale proceeds support wildlife conservation education and research.

Annual sunflowers are now grown in New Jersey by local farmers to supply NJ Audubon’s annual birdseed sale. Sale proceeds support wildlife conservation education and research.

With an increased demand for locally grown food, many farmers are finding new markets for their products that are closer to home. But what some New Jersey farmers are doing to expand their market base is strictly for the birds! Read more »

Champions of Change: Chefs Move to Schools

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

It is an honor to be named a Champion of Change by the White House for my work with school nutrition programs in the Pacific Northwest.  Last Friday I joined a roundtable meeting with Administration officials and five other chefs from around the nation to discuss best practices for working with schools and teachers through the Chefs Move to Schools program.

We have an extraordinary opportunity in this country to influence a lifetime of healthy eating habits beginning with children and teens.  Schools provide a perfect setting, both in the classroom and in the cafeteria.  Chef volunteers with Chefs Move to Schools are ready to share their expertise to get kids excited about tasty, healthy foods. Read more »

US Forest Service Reforestation Efforts a Win-Win for Healthy Forests

Every year across the country, the U.S. Forest Service plants trees on thousands of acres of land. These efforts help to restore valuable ecosystems and helping to combat the effects of climate change.

“Planting trees is a win-win investment,” said Dave Cleaves, Climate Change Advisor for the Forest Service. “Not only do trees store carbon, making them one of our most effective tools for climate change mitigation, they provide many other benefits – from watershed protection, to wildlife habitat, to shading houses and reducing cooling costs.” Read more »

Project Will Help Improve Our Chesapeake Bay

Farm owners Kurt and Frank Dill speaking to Buddy Hance at a Maryland Earth Day event that was held to highlight the completion of the improvements made to the Worton wastewater system.

Farm owners Kurt and Frank Dill speaking to Buddy Hance at a Maryland Earth Day event that was held to highlight the completion of the improvements made to the Worton wastewater system.

A few scattered showers didn’t dampen spirits at a Maryland Earth Day event to highlight the completion of the improved Worton Wastewater Treatment Plant, Tuesday April 19. Read more »

Working Together to Preserve Soil, Water

At Monty Collins’ cattle operation near Pleasantville, a rotational grazing system helps protect soil and water quality. A few miles away near Prairie City, Gordon Wassenaar has used no-till farming and a precision sprayer for years to minimize pesticide use and runoff from his soybean fields. We visited both of these Iowa farmers last week, to discuss the collaboration between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and farmers, ranchers and growers all across America.

American farmers are among our nation’s first and finest conservationists. They understand better than anyone that clean water, clear air and healthy soil are the raw materials for agricultural production. From generations of experience, they know that you cannot continually take from the soil without giving back, and they have made incredible strides to protect the land they rely on. Read more »

Tin Town Arizona Residents Celebrate Earth Day by Trading Cesspools for a Safe Water System

The Bisbee, Arizona Fire Station #81 was brimming with “officials”—the mayor, city council members, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ staff representative, and the acting state director for USDA Rural Development—but the attention was all on the rest of the crowd. Most of the residents of Tin Town, a small Colonia within Bisbee, Arizona, were sitting in the audience among the officials and they rocked!

Tin Town residents had been waiting a long time for this day. USDA Rural Development (RD) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are jointly funding a $1.4 million wastewater collection system to connect the people of Tin Town to the Bisbee wastewater facility. Currently, the residents rely on failing septic systems and cesspools, a health risk for the residents and the environment they share with the rest of the area. Read more »