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Revitalizing Agriculture, Empowering Women in Afghanistan

Maggie Rhodes, pictured in Afghanistan, has been a USDA agricultural advisor there since December 2009.”

Maggie Rhodes, pictured in Afghanistan, has been a USDA agricultural advisor there since December 2009.”

For the last 26 years, I have proudly worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 2009, I made a life- and career-altering decision to leave my job as the team leader in Program Allocations and Management Support with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)  in Washington D.C. and volunteered to help support USDA’s efforts in Afghanistan. Read more »

Cooking Meat? Check the New Recommended Temperatures

Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer, then allow the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming.

Cook pork, roasts, and chops to 145 ºF as measured with a food thermometer, then allow the meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming.

Cross posted from the FoodSafety.gov blog:

On May 24, USDA made some important changes in their recommended cooking temperatures for meats. Here’s what you need to know: Read more »

Honoring the Past With a Recipe that Looks to a Healthy Future

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Every now and then we come across a great story of people making change in their communities and so it was on the next stop in the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. Tribal communities are focusing a lot of attention on ending the epidemic of childhood obesity in Indian Country and attention and credit is due to Monument Valley High School in Kayenta, Arizona.  Located on the Navajo Nation, they are the only school district in Indian Country to make it to the semi-finals of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition.

The team at Monument Valley is making its contribution to a healthy community by designing a nutritious recipe that will be served to their classmates and with a bit of luck, students across the country. Our judges, score cards at the ready, could not wait to take that first bite. Read more »

USDA Tribal Relations Advisor Addresses National Tribal Conference with Message of Continued Consultations

Janie Hipp is passionate about her work.

Hipp, a Senior Advisor to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, delivered the keynote address at the National American Indian Housing Council national conference going on in Phoenix, Arizona, this week. She noted that one of the first things that Secretary Vilsack did when he walked in the door was to create an Office of Tribal Relations—a move that impressed the straight-talking Hipp.

“Historically, we have had maybe one person trying to work across 17 agencies scattered in just about every county across the country…and around the globe,” she told the nearly 500 attendees. Read more »

A Michigan Community to Get a Better, Bigger Library, Thanks to USDA Support

USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner speaks at the groundbreaking for Morton Township Library.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner speaks at the groundbreaking for Morton Township Library.

Recently Morton Township, Michigan held the groundbreaking ceremony for its library expansion.  Located in the Village of Mecosta on the western side of the Lower Peninsula, the event was a wonderful example of how a rural community can come together to support a project. Read more »

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center: Gone to the Dog

To celebrate its 13th anniversary this year, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana, has gone to the dog – one dog in particular that served as an integral part of the Lewis & Clark expedition more than 200 years ago.

The Center historically interprets the importance and relevance of the expedition that opened up the western portion of the growing Unites States to other exploration and expansion. It is part of the Lewis & Clark National Forest. Read more »