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USDA, Helping to Increasing the Number of Flex Fuel Pumps in Nebraska

Flexible fuel pump

Flexible fuel pump

USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul joined the Nebraska Ethanol Board, Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Energy Office on May 6, 2011 in York, Nebraska at the Aurora Cooperative for a media conference to discuss the need for flexible fuel pumps.  Also, the importance of the use of ethanol blended gasoline in Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFV) was discussed with gasoline retailers. The Obama Administration has set a goal of establishing 10,000 more flexible fuel pumps in the next five years along with a national security goal (RFS 2) of using 36 billion gallons of biofuel per year by 2022.  Local residents and fuel retailers pulled FFV cars up at the Coop’s flex fuel pumps to fill their tanks with the ethanol blended fuels gas. Read more »

USDA Participates in Meetings Intended to Assist Missouri Flood Victims

USDA staff in Missouri joined Governor Jay Nixon on May 10 and May 11, 2011, at five Flood Recovery Resource Meetings to an estimated 600 people in Southeast Missouri.  The meetings were held in the cities of Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, Charleston, New Madrid and Caruthersville which are located in the counties devastated by the recent flooding along the Black, Current, Mississippi and St. Francis Rivers, the cresting of Lakes Clearwater and Wappapello and the removal of the Birds Point Mississippi River Levee Plug.

The meetings were sponsored by Governor Nixon in an effort to respond to the needs of individuals, families and businesses affected by the flooding.  The National Guard and the Highway Patrol started each meeting began with an update on the flooding situation. Representatives of state and federal agencies were introduced and attendees encouraged visiting informational booths concerning specific issues and learning of resources available. Read more »

Happy Anniversaries: Conservation Reserve Program Turns 25, 100 Years Since President Reagan’s Birth

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which has protected the nation’s natural resources since 1985, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

CRP was signed into law by former President Ronald Reagan – who’s centennial is being celebrated this year – as part of the 1985 Farm Bill that was reported to be one of the most massive agricultural reform bills in the nation’s history. It was touted by then Agriculture Secretary John Block as the “agricultural recovery program to put this industry back in the business of prosperity in the years to come.” Read more »

AMS to Host an Introduction to PACA Webinar — In Spanish

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is excited about one of our upcoming webinars.  To date, AMS Fruit and Vegetable Programs has delivered nearly ten free online webinars for fruit and vegetable growers, handlers, and distributors of all sized operations.  The webinars have been a big success, with an average of nearly 200 attendees benefiting from the extensive knowledge of AMS employees.  So what’s got us so excited this time?  On June 23, AMS will deliver our first ever Spanish language webinar.

The demographics of the U.S. agriculture industry are changing.  According to the 2007 U.S. Census of Agriculture, there has been a 14 percent increase of farm operators reporting their ethnicity as Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin.  This segment is the second highest of all ethnic groups operating in agriculture.  To meet the needs of our Spanish speaking customers in the U.S. and abroad, Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) employee Pat Romero will deliver “An Introduction to PACA – In Spanish.” Read more »

California Chef Helps Schools Go for Gold!

Salida Union School District’s Child Nutrition Services Director, Chef Billy Reid (right), Tammy Zeiger (left), a member of his team, and several students demonstrate how to cook a healthy school lunch using USDA Foods.

Salida Union School District’s Child Nutrition Services Director, Chef Billy Reid (right), Tammy Zeiger (left), a member of his team, and several students demonstrate how to cook a healthy school lunch using USDA Foods.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Chef Billy Reid, manager of child nutrition services at Salida Union School District, is an advocate of the Chefs Move to Schools initiative. Chef Reid has been using his expertise to make sure students in his District eat meals that are both healthy and tasty. Read more »

Supporting the Next Generation of Agriculture

All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation’s more than 100 land-grant colleges and universities, have a third critical mission—extension.  “Extension” means “reaching out,” and—along with teaching and research—land-grant institutions extend their resources, solving public needs with college or university resources through non-formal, non-credit programs.

These programs are largely administered through thousands of county and regional extension offices, which bring land-grant expertise to the most local of levels.  And both the universities and their local offices are supported by NIFA, the federal partner in the Cooperative Extension System (CES). Read more »