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Improving Mississippi River Water Quality, One Farm at a Time

Terry Bachtold (left), Livingston County SCWD, and Richard Hungerford, Illinois NRCS MRBI coordinator, talk before presenters begin the next stop.

Terry Bachtold (left), Livingston County SCWD, and Richard Hungerford, Illinois NRCS MRBI coordinator, talk before presenters begin the next stop.

Terry Bachtold is proud of what the Indian Creek Watershed Project is doing for water quality in north central Illinois. Read more »

More States Added to Biomass Production Program; 3,400 New Jobs Expected

Switchgrass is a potentially important source of biomass (Photo Courtesy of NRCS)

Switchgrass is a potentially important source of biomass (Photo Courtesy of NRCS)

USDA recently named additional states that will participate in the Biomass Crop Assistance Program, designed to expand the availability of non-food crops to be used for liquid biofuels. Read more »

The Most Important Partner in the Fight Against Invasive Plant Pests and Diseases

Tiny to the naked eye, the adult Asian citrus psyllid is no bigger than a common gnat and feeds with the posterior of its body raised.  This invasive insect causes serious damage to citrus plants and citrus plant relatives through its feeding activities (photos are by R. Anson Eaglin, NRCS).

Tiny to the naked eye, the adult Asian citrus psyllid is no bigger than a common gnat and feeds with the posterior of its body raised. This invasive insect causes serious damage to citrus plants and citrus plant relatives through its feeding activities (photos are by R. Anson Eaglin, APHIS).

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has declared August as Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.  Invasive plant pests and diseases are not just a concern of scientists, farmers or horticulturalists; they concern us all.  Invasive pests and diseases of plants—such as Asian citrus pysllid, European grapevine moth, Mediterranean fruit fly, and sudden oak death—can transform communities, harm our economy, and impact human health. Read more »

Forest Service Program helps Protect 10,000 Acres of Montana Wildlands

The Clearwater Project provides critical habitat for Canada lynx, grizzly bears, and bull trout, all federally listed endangered species. The Forest Legacy Program supports state efforts and has helped to protect more than 2 million acres of environmentally sensitive forest lands across the U.S.

The Clearwater Project provides critical habitat for Canada lynx, grizzly bears, and bull trout, all federally listed endangered species. The Forest Legacy Program supports state efforts and has helped to protect more than 2 million acres of environmentally sensitive forest lands across the U.S.

The U.S. Forest Service‘s Forest Legacy Program, working with Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks, the Trust for Public Land, and the Nature Conservancy, and local groups helped permanently protect more than 10,000 acres of Montana forest land on Wednesday, July 27, protecting it for wildlife habitat and future generations of Americans. Read more »

USDA Council of Chefs Whip up Tasty Dishes with a Touch of Indonesian Flair

Chef Ucu Sawitri invited one of the participants to work with her to prepare an "Apple Banana Roll" recipe using dehydrated potato flake, Washington apples, California raisins, and Washington apple juice.

Chef Ucu Sawitri invited one of the participants to work with her to prepare an "Apple Banana Roll" recipe using dehydrated potato flake, Washington apples, California raisins, and Washington apple juice.

Take a large amount of U.S. fruits and vegetables, mix in a group of chefs with a flair for Asian cuisine, add a dash of creativity and what do you get? An amazing array of dishes created as part of the annual USDA Council of Chefs (CoC) Train the Trainer Program in Jakarta, Indonesia. The training was conducted by Chef Mike Fleming, director of the School of Baking Technology at CerealTech in Singapore. The CoC is a group of Indonesian chefs with different culinary backgrounds including nutritionist and author Edwin Handoyo Lauwy (Chef Edwin Lau), hot kitchen chef Muchtar Alamsyah (Chef Tatang), and baking and pastry chefs Ucu Sawitri and Haryanto Makmoer. Read more »

North Dakota Food and Agriculture Council Focuses on Local Food Collaboration

North Dakota produce at a local farmers market.  Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.

North Dakota produce at a local farmers market. Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.

A growing consumer appetite for foods grown in their region was the focus of a recent Food and Agricultural Council (FAC) meeting in Valley City, North Dakota.  FAC Chairman, Jasper Schneider, also state director of USDA Rural Development, invited healthy food activists to share the ups and downs of this growing movement. Read more »