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¡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 »

USDA Administrator Visits GM Fort Wayne Assembly Plant Discuss Flex-Fuel Pump Funding

Earlier this week, Judith Canales, Administrator for Rural Business and Cooperative Programs for USDA Rural Development, stopped by the GM assembly plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to discuss Flex-Fuel opportunities available to American business owners. Canales’ visit was part of a three-state tour in the Midwest, where she and other representatives of USDA Rural Development promoted the installation of flexible fuel pumps and a program that retail fuel outlets may qualify for to help pay for these pumps.

The USDA chose to include Fort Wayne Assembly on its list of stops because the plant makes pickup trucks that have Flex-Fuel engines as options. Read more »

No Bones about It – Barbecue Sauce a Hit Overseas

Pat Ford of Ford’s Gourmet Foods shares the company’s signature Bone Suckin’ Barbeque Sauce with visitors to a food show in Australia. Thanks in part to support from FAS market development programs, Ford’s now exports to more than 50 countries and 35 percent of their sales come from international markets.  (Photo courtesy of FAS)

Pat Ford of Ford’s Gourmet Foods shares the company’s signature Bone Suckin’ Barbeque Sauce with visitors to a food show in Australia. Thanks in part to support from FAS market development programs, Ford’s now exports to more than 50 countries and 35 percent of their sales come from international markets. (Photo courtesy of FAS)

This holiday weekend, grills across the country will be fired up, bringing family and friends together to enjoy traditional, finger-licking American barbeque and celebrate the unofficial start of summer. Read more »

A Colorful Celebration of Confetti Soup

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Historical Charleston, S.C., blends the traditional Southern American, English, French, and West African elements into a celebration of its colorful and rich culture.  Burke Middle & High School in Charleston celebrated this mix of colorful culture with its semi-finalist recipe, Confetti Soup, making a history all its own through nutrition.  The rich wintery soup made with black-eyed pea dots, mixed together with savory smoked ham and dashes of greens, was the center piece at a judging event in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, held at the school on May 25.

Burke has a record of making history, founded in 1910, it was the first public high school for African-Americans in Charleston. And the school is looking to make history once again as the winner of the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition with its delicious recipe. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Provides Support to Improve Medical Facilities in a Minnesota Region

Access to quality healthcare in Northeastern Minnesota received a major boost on May 20. That’s when officials broke ground on an expansion project that will add over 80,000 square-feet to Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) in Cloquet, Minn.

During the ceremony, officials also highlighted how the project will create and save jobs in the region during the construction phase and once the expansion is finished.

About 300 local jobs are expected to be created during construction. CMH also employs about 400 people and contributes about $40 million annually to the regional economy. Read more »

Faces of the Forest Celebrates Dave Kretschmann

You might say that Dave Kretschmann has engineered his way into Major League Baseball’s history books. Kretschmann’s work as a research general engineer led him to figure out why so many bats used by Major League Baseball were shattered.

“Since late in the 2008 season, we’ve seen video of every shattered bat in Major League Baseball,” said Kretschmann, who is assigned to the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wis., “We’ve tested hundreds of bats and recorded the who, when, and how of every shattered bat in 2009 and 2010. As a result of the implementation of our recommendations and the work of TECO, an independent certification and testing agency for wood products, there’s been a 50 percent reduction in the rate of multiple piece failures since the 2008 season.” Read more »