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Golden Smokey Award Honors 50 Years of Partnership

On Mary 27, Vaibhavi Patankar of Woodland Hills, Calif., was named the top winner in the 2011 Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest.

On May 27, Vaibhavi Patankar of Woodland Hills, Calif., was named the top winner in the 2011 Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest.

What better way to celebrate wildfire prevention education than saluting a 9-year-old girl and an organization that has roots dating back to 1891. Read more »

This Recipe Will Make the Competition Green with Envy

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

Dr. Seuss wrote about green eggs and ham but McDougle Elementary School didn’t stick to the script. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina school stirred its way into the semi-finals of the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge by adding added nutritious brown rice. They also used chopped spinach to give the dish a vibrant green color.

Stir Fried green rice, eggs and ham

Stir Fried green rice, eggs and ham

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The Worst U. S. Tornado in 60 Years Hits Joplin, Missouri

The devastation in Joplin is unbelievable, heartbreaking and hard to describe. I have never seen anything like it and hope to never again. The twister tore a path a mile wide and six miles long through the main part of town. It impacted hundreds of businesses and destroyed over 2,000 homes. More than 120 people lost their lives and over 800 people were injured. Scores remain missing or unaccounted for. Read more »

New Mexico School Puts a Dash of Southwest in Recipe Competition

Chef Roland Schaeffer and students cooking "Cougar Power Lentils" for the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition

Chef Roland Schaeffer (American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame) keeps a keen eye on student chefs cooking up Sweeney Elementary “Lentils of the Southwest, aka Cougar Power Lentils” recipe in the Recipes for Healthy Kids semi-finals competition.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

With a name like “Lentils of the Southwest aka Sweeney Cougar Power Lentils,” who says a healthy elementary school lunch can’t be exciting? On Wednesday, May 18th, students at Sweeney Elementary School in Santa Fe, N.M., served judges a spicy and delicious side-dish in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. Read more »

USDA Administrator Visits the “Show Me State” to Review Business, Telecom and Broadband Investments

Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director, and Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator (center), painting the Ralls County PWSD No. 1 water tower

Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director, and Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator (center), painting the Ralls County PWSD No. 1 water tower

A three day visit to Missouri, the “Show Me State” allowed me to join Janie Dunning, Rural Development State Director, to see how rural areas benefiting from infrastructure investments made possible through USDA Rural Development programs and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) financing. Read more »

¡Si Por Favor! We’ll Take Another Serving of Spanish Chickpea Stew

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

The bay area of California is home to some celebrity chefs but it is the lesser known student chefs at Skyline High School that are making the bulbs flash and the critics swoon.  Well before the official judging team arrived at Skyline High School in Oakland, California, the local entry, Spanish Chickpea Stew, had already passed the toughest test of all — winning high marks from Skyline students in a cafeteria taste test.

California is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the world and so it produces some the best fruits and vegetables available. It is fitting that the student chefs would go local and include California grown specialties such as spinach, tomatoes and raisins to create this savory and healthy stew. Read more »