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Powerful Partnerships Feed Hungry Milwaukee Kids in the Summertime

An African proverb holds that it takes a village to raise a child. And what’s a village? Well, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s the Milwaukee Hunger Task Force (the State’s largest food bank and anti-hunger advocacy organization), Kohl’s Department Stores, Milwaukee Public Schools, the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Social Development Commission and the Milwaukee Park System.

When the school year ends, many children and teens who rely on USDA school meals are at a higher risk of going hungry during the summer when school is not in session. USDA’s Summer Food Service Program can make sure that kids don’t go hungry summer, but the program can’t work without sponsors and supportive communities. Read more »

Upstate South Carolina Community is Safeguarded from Flooding

The finished dam.

The finished dam.

Residents who live in the Whitewater Lake Watershed in upstate South Carolina are now protected from dangerous flood waters after heavy rain events, thanks to the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. Read more »

California Wine Industry Celebrates 35th Anniversary of the ‘Judgment in Paris’

If we’ve learned anything from the ‘Judgment in Paris,’ it is that competition is a good thing and it pushes producers to improve their products overtime. On May 20, the Wine Institute of California partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Berlin to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the ‘Judgment in Paris’.

The tasting in Germany took place at the picturesque U.S. Embassy in Berlin, overlooking Berlin’s Brandenburg gate. It was led by sommelier Gunnar Tietz from Berlin’s Palace Hotel and Christine Berthold from the Wine Institute of California. U.S. Ambassador Philip D. Murphy kicked off the event, noting that global competition has made good wines available to more people than ever before. Participants included German wine trade journalists, bloggers, and culinary press. Read more »

A Renewable Energy Program Helps a Wisconsin Farm Family Conserve and Make a Profit

View of the Priske Farm, with USDA funded wind generator, from the restored prairie field.

View of the Priske Farm, with USDA funded wind generator, from the restored prairie field.

Last week I had the opportunity to witness, firsthand, a good example of how rural farm families can overcome the challenges of a changing rural economy and create a promising and sustainable future on the land. Read more »

South Dakota USDA Staff Unites to Fund Fight Against Cancer

The USDA Rural Development, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff in Rapid City, South Dakota, combined efforts to raise money for Relay for Life in memory of a former co-worker and friend, Rural Development Specialist Jim Jirsa.  He was diagnosed with cancer in June 2010 and died on October 31, 2010.  In memory of Jim, local staff donated food and served lunch at the USDA office earlier this month.  The staff also participated in a variety of other fundraising events.

The staff raised approximately $4,200 for the event and the funds will go toward cancer research and cancer patient services.  The USDA staff was awarded a silver medal for their efforts in fund raising. Read more »