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Homeownership Month Celebrated With Habitat Volunteer Day in Virginia

Second step from bottom (center) is Ms. Brandy Russell the Homeowner. Surrounding her are all of the Rural Development Staff that helped with the final landscaping and construction duties during the Volunteer Day held June 15th...

Second step from bottom (center) is Ms. Brandy Russell the Homeowner. Surrounding her are all of the Rural Development Staff that helped with the final landscaping and construction duties during the Volunteer Day held June 15th...

With Lucy the Habitat Wonder Dog as our mascot, a large group of Virginia Rural Development staff assisted on June 15th, in the completion of the final construction and landscaping duties for Brandy Russell’s home in Ashland, Virginia. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Meets with Farmers, Tours Flood-Damaged Areas of Iowa and Nebraska

From left: Farmers Steve Roth, Done Rief, Dale Rief, Clifford Dilts discuss topics covered during a town hall meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Glenwood Community High School in Glenwood, Iowa on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Farmers, local and regional media listened and questioned Secretary Vilsack on the cause of the floodwaters along the Missouri River affecting Iowa and Nebraska. Secretary Vilsack offered advice and assistance available through the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

From left: Farmers Steve Roth, Don Rief, Dale Rief, Clifford Dilts discuss topics covered during a town hall meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Glenwood Community High School in Glenwood, Iowa on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Farmers, local and regional media listened and questioned Secretary Vilsack on the cause of the floodwaters along the Missouri River affecting Iowa and Nebraska. Secretary Vilsack offered advice and assistance available through the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met face-to-face last week with about 40 farmers, ranchers and producers from Iowa and Nebraska impacted by flooding along the Missouri River.  The Secretary promised the group he would stay until every question had been answered and every concerned voiced – and he did just that, engaging in a dialogue that lasted more than two hours. Read more »

Deputy Secretary Celebrates Opening of a Non-Profit Pennsylvania Kitchen for Use by Food Entrepreneurs

The crowd applauded as Deputy Secretary Merrigan, YCEDC and local officials cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the YorKitchen shared kitchen incubator in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

The crowd applauded as Deputy Secretary Merrigan, YCEDC and local officials cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the YorKitchen shared kitchen incubator in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

Tucked in the back of York’s historic (circa 1754) downtown Central Market, YorKitchen, a shared commercial kitchen incubator officially opened its doors this morning. The crowd of nearly 40 local supporters applauded as Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, York County Economic Development officials and local officials cut the ribbon at the entrance to the state-of-the-art kitchen.  The kitchen was funded in part through Rural Development. Read more »

Real Men Cook for Kids—on Father’s Day and Year-Round!

Cross-posted from the Let’s Move blog.

Last Father’s Day, President Obama challenged American fathers to take time for their children. He has said that being a father to his two daughters is the most important job he has. In Chicago, one organization of talented fathers is rising to that challenge and using their time to tackle child nutrition issues.

Read more »

My Plate Made Your Way

Since the launch of My Plate, the United States Department of Agriculture’s new food icon, photos of your interpretation of a perfect plate have been filling our twitter feeds.  Many of you have captured pictures of your healthy meal and posted these photos to twitter followed by the hashtag #MyPlate and a delicious description.  Each plate, not only makes our mouths water, but shows how eager Americans have been to  follow a healthy eating plan based on the new USDA symbol.

U.S. Bovine Genetics Help Increase Milk Production in Rwanda

Many countries around the world face challenges when it comes to milk production, particularly in Africa. Over the years, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has helped to address this issue through education exchange programs, benefiting farmers around the world.

Rwanda is among the lowest milk-producing countries in the world, with a mere 3.2 liters produced per cow per day compared to 36 liters in the United States. Of the 1.2 million cattle in the country, only 13.6 percent produce milk. In addition, per capita milk consumption remains low at 31 liters annually compared to 100 liters in Kenya. Read more »