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Check Your Steps! Chill: How to Pack a Cooler to Prevent Food Poisoning

Here in Washington, D.C., and probably where you live too, it is hot! This week’s Check Your Steps blog focuses on a timely food safety step—Chill. You may feel like this guy, but in reality we don’t recommend keeping your food cold with fans, no matter how many you can find.

Bacteria grow rapidly between 40 °F and 140 °F, and when it’s above 90 °F outside, cold food heats to those temperatures much faster. Portable coolers can be your best friend during outdoor summer activities or grocery shopping, but pack them correctly to keep food at 40 °F or below so it doesn’t spoil or make you sick. Read more »

Answering the Call: Making Science More Accessible for Forest Planners in the East

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

In forests, climate change ramps up stress already occurring from extreme weather events, disease and insect outbreaks, catastrophic wildfires, and invasive species. Resilient forests are better able to absorb stress without compromising the services they afford. In the same way that good sleep, healthy diet, and regular exercise make a person resilient (though not immune) to illness, forests can be helped towards resiliency by management practices that focus on sustaining or restoring ecological integrity in relation to future conditions. While neither the many threats to forests nor the management approaches available to abate them are new to forest managers, climate change introduces additional pressure and the need for the rapid translation of emerging science into forest management practice. Read more »

Texas City Teams Up With NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to Help End Summer Hunger

RA Ludwig, Texas Department of Agriculture Todd Staples, Deion Sanders and Former NFL Athlete/Hall of Famer review activities that are planned for the children at Sanders’ youth camp.

RA Ludwig, Texas Department of Agriculture Todd Staples, Deion Sanders and Former NFL Athlete/Hall of Famer review activities that are planned for the children at Sanders’ youth camp.

On July 6th, I attended an event to kick-off this season’s Summer Food Service Program in Texas and to celebrate the state’s third annual “Mayor’s Challenge” to end child hunger during the summer. The event was held at NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders’ youth camp in Duncanville, Texas. Read more »

Maine State Director Joins Administration Senior Official for White House Business Roundtable

On July 18, USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel joined Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos for a White House Business Roundtable hosted by local lender Bangor Savings Bank.  Participants in the discussion included 15 leaders from the Bangor region representing a variety of sectors including business, healthcare, medical research, transportation, and energy.

During the Roundtable entitled Winning the Future with American Business, Maine leaders had the opportunity to voice their concerns about economic growth and the challenges they face as business owners/leaders. This Roundtable discussion also provided a chance for the Administration to ensure local business leaders are taking advantage of the resources and programs designed to help them create jobs and compete. Read more »

The Forest Service Feds Feed Families

One in six Americans lives in hunger every day, as millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table for their families.

Traditionally, summer is a time when food banks and charities encounter decreases in donations and increases in the need for assistance. Read more »

Minnesota Resident Achieves Homeownership for the First Time Thanks to USDA Rural Development

After years of paying rent while wishing he could purchase his own home, 29-year-old Adam Brautigan was finally able to do so with the help of USDA Rural Development. Adam found out about Rural Development’s home loan program from his mother, Mary Kay, who works as a realtor in Pine City, Minnesota.

Adam works at a local retail store, and his wages restricted the amount of money available to put toward a house payment. Read more »