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Big Day in the Big D – 154 schools receive HealthierUS School Challenge awards

Students from Thomas A. Edison Middle Learning Center perform the dance/exercise routine they did during the recent Let's Move! national event.

Students from Thomas A. Edison Middle Learning Center perform the dance/exercise routine they did during the recent Let's Move! national event.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

May 25 was a fabulous day in Dallas as I presented 154 HealthierUS School Challenge awards to schools of the Dallas Independent School District – the greatest number to a single school district thus far. 78 schools received gold awards and another 76 earned bronze level awards.  And, Texas leads the nation with 228 out of 1155 schools in 42 states that have earned awards. Read more »

Farmers Market Promotion Program: Expanding Food Access Through Direct Marketing

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack rings the bell opening the 2011 Farmers Market located at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Friday, Jun. 3, 2011.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack rings the bell opening the 2011 Farmers Market located at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Friday, Jun. 3, 2011.

As the opening of this season’s USDA Farmers Market occurs today in Washington, D.C., Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced approximately $10 million is available to expand direct marketing opportunities and help to eliminate food deserts and increase food access in low-income communities in the United States through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). By funding projects that increase access to healthy and affordable food while expanding market opportunities for farmers and ranchers, the Farmers Market Promotion Program continues to contribute to the economic and physical health of communities around the country. Read more »

New Jersey Charter School Funded By USDA Educates the Leaders of Tomorrow

Recently I attended a dedication ceremony along with members of my staff held at the Sussex County Charter School for Technology in the New Jersey community of Sparta.  Also in attendance for the dedication were local and school officials as well as Real Estate Advisory Development Services (READS).

This Charter School received funding through USDA’s Community Facilities Program and the result was 20,000 square feet of educational space consisting of three separate buildings.  Two of the three buildings were built using modular units helping to keep the costs down.  The Charter School had shared space with the County Vocational School since 1997. Read more »

Earth Day Meets Veterans Day in Mississippi

USDA Rural Development State Director Trina George and numerous local officials and leaders were in two Mississippi counties this spring to commemorate Earth Day and highlight USDA’s commitment to good environmental practices.

State Director George met with officials of the Tallahala Water Association in Bay Springs, Mississippi to mark a recent loan and grant from USDA Rural Development to the water association for improvements to their existing system. The event was held at the office of the water association in Bay Springs. Read more »