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USDA Celebrates North American Indian Days

Ross Racine, Intertribal Agriculture Council executive director, and Undersecretary Ed Avalos, attend the 60th Annual North American Indian Days Celebration on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana on July 8.

Ross Racine, Intertribal Agriculture Council executive director, and Undersecretary Ed Avalos, attend the 60th Annual North American Indian Days Celebration on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana on July 8.

The view of teepees and campers across the countryside, the enticing aroma of food and the distant beat of the drums were all part of the North American Indian Days celebration.  I was in Browning – home of the Blackfeet Nation to listen and learn about agriculture in Indian Country.  On the Blackfeet Nation there are 22,000 cows, 300,000 acres of grain crops, 17,000 acres of irrigated hay and grain, and over 360 Indian producers. Read more »

Missouri USDA Rural Development State Director Pitches in for Feds Feed Families Effort

USDA Rural Development State Director for Missouri Anita J. (Janie) Dunning with food donation to Feds Feed Families.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Missouri Anita J. (Janie) Dunning with food donation to Feds Feed Families.

The Feds Feed Families (FFF) drive is a great opportunity for all of us to give something to those who are less fortunate.  I accepted the challenge and went out Saturday morning and did some shopping and loaded up 285 pounds of food.   It was actually quite fun to think about what someone might like to have but even more importantly the smiles it will put on their faces when they have some food in their tummies. Read more »

USDA Tests New Bird Detection Technology

Recently, USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) scientists at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) tested two new scare devices developed by private companies that include species recognition technologies─the Sonic Dissuader® and the Goose Guardian. The devices focus on pileated woodpeckers and Canada geese, aiming to prevent the damages caused by these two bird species. Read more »

Small Plant News: Rural Development Stands Ready to Assist Small Meat and Poultry Plants with Loans

[Editor's note: a version of this article was originally published in the Food Safety and Inspection Service's Small Plant News.  This post covers Rural Development loan programs available to small plants; an upcoming post will cover Rural Development grant programs.]

If you are a small packinghouse or processor and you want to expand, upgrade, or update your facility, assistance is available. As covered in the Volume 1, Number 3 issue of Small Plant News, USDA’s Rural Development is ready to offer assistance in the form of loans and grants, which this two-part series will examine. Read more »