Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

In Recipe Competition, Ohio School Puts a Healthy Twist on a Tasty Dish

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Who says a delicious classic can’t also make a healthful lunch?  On Tuesday, students at Van Buren Middle School in Kettering, Ohio served judges in the First Lady’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition their Chicken Alfredo with a Twist, an updated take on Fettucine Alfredo that leaves out extra fat and boosts nutrition with whole grain pasta.  Van Buren students Graham, Jonathan, Shawnrica and Savannah worked with chef Rachel Tilford and Kettering school professionals to create a great dish – one of 15 semi-finalist recipes nationwide in the R4HKwhole grain category.

The team went through a serious development process, beginning in December 2010 by developing nine different recipes.  They selected their five favorites to be prepared and served to approximately 500 students during a taste test at Van Buren Middle School. Students were asked to vote for their favorite two recipes.   The team submitted the top two recipes to the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition – and this twisty pasta dish sprung them to the semifinal round. Read more »

Tenth-Generation South Carolina Farm Family Raise Organic Livestock

Paxton Pegues and his sixteen-year old daughter, Rachel, lay out temporary fencing to facilitate their rotational grazing plan. This plan allows vegetation in previously grazed pastures to regenerate, encourages an even distribution of grazing throughout the field and allows rest periods in between rotations to  improve the health of the grass.

Paxton Pegues and his sixteen-year old daughter, Rachel, lay out temporary fencing to facilitate their rotational grazing plan. This plan allows vegetation in previously grazed pastures to regenerate, encourages an even distribution of grazing throughout the field and allows rest periods in between rotations to improve the health of the grass.

On a spring day in Chesterfield, South Carolina, a family works in unison to manage cattle, sheep and goats. This is a daily routine and a way of life for Paxton Pegues, his wife Olivia, and their four children Rachel, Marcellus, Spencer, and Lanier. Read more »

Minnesota City Uses USDA Recovery Act Funds to Upgrade Water and Wastewater Systems

Travelers on Interstate 94 in central Minnesota are greeted by a smiling face whenever they pass through the city of Freeport. For years, the city has been known for the smiley face painted on its water tower. Unfortunately, due to the tower’s age, it no longer meets the needs of the community of 450 people.

Using loan and grant funds from USDA Rural Development, Freeport will build a new water tower, replace water mains, make water main looping improvements and replace old sewer lines. The loan portion of the Rural Development funds come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama in February of 2009. Read more »

Down on the Farm with Indonesia’s Vice Minister of Agriculture

On Monday, I had the honor of hosting Indonesia’s Vice Minister of Agriculture Bayu Krisnamurthi at my 1,700-acre corn, soybean, and wheat farm in Smyrna, Delaware. This opportunity is a direct result of my visit last month to Jakarta where I led 18 U.S. companies on an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission. When Vice Minister Bayu told me he would be traveling to the United States this month, I invited him to visit my farm. He warmly accepted my invitation.

The United States and Indonesia are strong allies and trade between us continues to grow. In November 2010, President Obama and President Yudhoyono formally launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership. Through this partnership, both of our countries are looking to expand trade and investment and commercial relationships, creating tremendous possibilities for economic development and cooperation. Read more »

A Recycling Trailer Makes a Nebraska Community Environmentally Friendly

USDA Rural Development in Nebraska celebrated with the City of Pawnee City last month in honor of Earth Day, the recent delivery of a multi-bin recycling trailer.  City officials, school children and those instrumental to the project attended.  The ribbon was cut signifying the community dedication to this project and a plaque from Rural Development was presented applauding the City for securing the funds needed.  Rural Development assisted with a grant of $8,000 leveraged with $6,555 from the City.  A host of children took part in the event and poster contest winners were announced.

The recycling trailer establishes a stable, sustainable recycling connection for all citizens of Pawnee City.  A City staff member shuttles the trailer to a regional recycling center at least twice a month.  The Pawnee City Student Council leaders volunteered to assist in the oversight and maintenance of the trailer and were present at the event to give a demonstration. Read more »