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Gardening in Housing Units Yields More than Produce

Kirkendall Heights, located in Ellsworth, Kan., developed new whiskey barrel gardens.  Residents Betty Jo and Eric are proud to show off their new gardens.

Kirkendall Heights, located in Ellsworth, Kan., developed new whiskey barrel gardens. Residents Betty Jo and Eric are proud to show off their new gardens.

Kansas gardening projects and the USDA People’s Garden initiative were featured items during the Rural Rental Housing Association of Kansas (RRHAK) Annual Meeting.  Aimee Omohundro from USDA Rural Development, David Coltrain from Kansas State University Research and Extension, Shari Wilson from the Kansas Association of Conservation and Environmental Education, and Terri Bradshaw from Homestead Affordable Housing discussed how to start a garden, rewards of gardening and how to get the community involved. Read more »

Deputy Secretary Merrigan to Local Virginia Business Leaders: We are Listening

Agriculture Deputy Kathleen Merrigan meets with local Virginia business leaders to discuss growth and job creation in Richmond, VA, on Monday, July 22, 2011.

Agriculture Deputy Kathleen Merrigan meets with local Virginia business leaders to discuss growth and job creation in Richmond, VA, on Monday, July 22, 2011.

President Obama has stressed time and again that the best ideas don’t always come from Washington. It is with that spirit that I met this week with a group of agricultural entrepreneurs in Richmond, Virginia to hear their thoughts on the best ways for the federal government to stimulate economic growth and create jobs. Read more »

People’s Garden Provides a Piece of Home to U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan

USDA employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kaubl, Afghanistan Kathy Gunderman and Mike Ward tend to a lot in the People’s Garden, which was established on the embassy grounds earlier this year.

USDA employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan Kathy Gunderman and Mike Ward tend to a lot in the People’s Garden, which was established on the embassy grounds earlier this year.

After a long workday, there is nothing Kathy Gunderman enjoys more than relaxing and tending to her garden, where brightly colored flowers and green, leafy lettuce is thriving under the hot summer sun. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Brings a New Home to One Rural Mississippian

(Front row, from right to left) State Director George, Ms. Spearman, Ms. Monger, and Grenada Mayor Collins stand in front of Ms. Monger’s new home in Grenada.

(Front row, from right to left) State Director George, Ms. Spearman, Ms. Monger, and Grenada Mayor Collins stand in front of Ms. Monger’s new home in Grenada.

Homeownership Month was truly meaningful to one senior citizen in Grenada, Mississippi who received a new home, thanks to USDA Rural Development’s home loan program and to the pro-activity of State Director Trina George.

Letha Monger lived with her daughter, Betty Spearman, in a small house that built over 50 years ago by her grandfather. Ms. Monger’s home was falling apart, heavily infested with mold and soot, and had become a hazard.

Read more »

Arkansas Home Saved thanks to NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection Program

The stream bank next to Deanna Young’s home after stabilization.

The stream bank next to Deanna Young’s home after stabilization.

Although raging waters had subsided at Deanna Young’s home in Ponca, Ark., a flood of emotions hit her when she found out USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would pay 100 percent of the cost of protecting her home from falling into Adds Creek. Read more »