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The President’s Jobs Plan

I just went to the Capitol to hear the President address Congress about the way forward to grow the economy and create jobs.

There is no doubt that these have been tough times.  And it’s very tough for the many Americans who are looking for work.  So we’ve got to keep finding ways to help the unemployed in the short term and rebuild the middle class over the long term.

The American Jobs Act that President Obama laid out this evening will have an immediate impact.  It will create jobs now.  And it is based on bipartisan ideas that both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past. Read more »

Brothers Continue Family Legacy of Caring for Forests

Jim Guldin is supervisory ecologist and project leader at the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Research Station in Hot Springs, Ark. His research focuses on silviculture, the art and science of sustainably growing trees to meet needs – human or ecological. The Guldin brothers are part of a family with a personal and professional connection to natural resources. They are featured in the agency’s Faces of the Forest project at www.fs.fed.us.

Jim Guldin is supervisory ecologist and project leader at the U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Research Station in Hot Springs, Ark. His research focuses on silviculture, the art and science of sustainably growing trees to meet needs – human or ecological. The Guldin brothers are part of a family with a personal and professional connection to natural resources. They are featured in the agency’s Faces of the Forest project at www.fs.fed.us.

Brothers Richard and Jim Guldin both went to Penn State, both eventually joined the U.S. Forest Service and both ended up in forest research.You might say their professional path continues their family’s legacy. Read more »

Critical Irrigation Systems Restored for Montana Farmers

Dale Bilyeu, manager for the Huntley Irrigation Project, and Nick Vira, NRCS district conservationist in Billings, look out over the repaired Pryor Creek channel.

Dale Bilyeu, manager for the Huntley Irrigation Project, and Nick Vira, NRCS district conservationist in Billings, look out over the repaired Pryor Creek channel.

Only a month after spring floods ravaged the Huntley Irrigation Canal near Huntley, Montana, and temporarily halted irrigation, over 30,000 acres of crops are receiving water. Read more »

FAS Market Development Programs Help Bring the U.S. Livestock Industry Closer to Russia

Cattle ranchers and their herds tough it out during the cold winter. (Photo Credit: Ryan T. Bell)

Cattle ranchers and their herds tough it out during the cold winter. (Photo Credit: Ryan T. Bell)

U.S. cattle ranching has evolved over time to bring together the cultural traditions of the West with new technology to produce quality U.S. livestock products. But did you ever think that these ways of the west could benefit a new frontier halfway around the world?

In 2007, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) worked with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to negotiate health certificates for the export of U.S. livestock and genetic material to Russia. The protocol was signed in 2008, allowing first-time U.S. exports of live cattle, semen, embryos, horses and swine. U.S exports of cattle, bull semen and cattle embryos to Russia were valued at nearly $12 million in 2010.  From January to May 2011, trade increased nearly fivefold compared to the same period last year. Read more »

APHIS Veterinarian Turns a Childhood Dream into Reality

Hi, I’m Dr. Shanna Siegel, a Veterinary Medical Officer with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).  I have been working for APHIS for the past 3 years on import and export matters here in Georgia.  After finishing vet school I worked as a small animal practitioner in a semi-rural practice while earning my Master’s of Public Health (MPH) degree. Upon completion of my MPH, I worked as a laboratory researcher. My current job allows me to follow my passion for helping both animals and people.

When I was young, I wanted to spend time with animals but my mother was allergic to them.  When I turned 12, I began volunteering at a local vet clinic.  I continued to work in clinics through college with the intention of going to vet school.  A specific class I took during my undergraduate years, entitled “People, Plagues and Parasites,” refocused my career ambitions on working with animal diseases and public health. Read more »

Food Donation Drive Finishes Strong

The USDA Scottsbluff Service Center, local Agri-businesses and local producers delivered on September 2nd,  more than 6,150 pounds of food to the Community Action Partnership of Western Nebraska (CAPWN) in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.  The food was collected through the “Feds Feed Families”.  CAPWN’s local programs provide a natural partnership for the “Feds Feed Families” campaign because they have an established avenue to distribute to people who are in need.

While Nebraska is known as the “Cornhusker State”, agricultural production in western Nebraska also includes dry edible beans and sugar beets.  Kelley Bean, New Alliance Bean and Grain, Stateline Bean Producers Cooperative, Trinidad Benham Corporation and individual producer Leo Hoehn combined to donate 5,700 pounds of navy, pinto and mixed dry edible beans.  Western Sugar, a grower owned cooperative, donated 160 pounds of granulated sugar.

When Phillip Mitchell heard about the effort, he brought in 15 dozen ears of locally grown, organic sweet corn from his one and one-half acre plot.  Phillip also participates in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Read more »