Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

US Forest Service partners with Learn to Ski & Snowboard Month Initiative

National forests provide about 60 percent of all ski areas in the United States.

National forests provide about 60 percent of all ski areas in the United States.

The U.S. Forest Service is partnering with the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) initiative, scheduled for January 2012, encouraging Americans to explore winter recreation activities during the upcoming winter season. Read more »

Forest Service Highlights Accessible Trails in Kicking off National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month in October

October has arrived which means cooler days, fall foliage and continued opportunities to hike on Forest Service trails. Families and friends enjoy hiking together, whether a person uses a wheelchair,  is pushing a young child in a baby stroller, or they are looking for more controlled grades to enjoy together on  trails that comply with the Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines.  People with and without disabilities enjoy recreating together. When one person in a group has a need for an accessible facility, the entire group seeks to recreate at that accessible facility together.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Read more »

USDA Hosts 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Food Fiesta

Russell Avalos, Ed Avalos, Undersecretary, Marketing and Regulatory, Max Finberg, Director, Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Al Almonza, Administrator, Food Safety Inspection Service share a laugh at the U. S. Department of Agriculture Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Food Fiesta to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at USDA in Washington, DC, Thursday, October 6, 2011. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.

Russell Avalos, Ed Avalos, Undersecretary, Marketing and Regulatory, Max Finberg, Director, Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Al Almonza, Administrator, Food Safety Inspection Service share a laugh at the U. S. Department of Agriculture Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Food Fiesta to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at USDA in Washington, DC, Thursday, October 6, 2011. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.

Yesterday, hundreds of USDA employees gathered in the Whitten Patio to enjoy a celebratory food tasting in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month.  More than two dozen employees volunteered as chefs to bring their homemade Hispanic cuisine to headquarters for the event. Among them was Under Secretary Ed Avalos, who cooked Red Chile, a traditional red sauce with meat spiced with New Mexico’s chile peppers. The Food Fiesta was truly a USDA family affair—Russell Avalos served portions of his father’s red chile, beans, and tortillas to lines of guests wrapped around the Patio. Read more »

Bountiful Harvest for Area Youth

Winyan Toka Win Garden, a 1.5 acre naturally raised garden, which is a major component of the Sustainable Systems initiative.

Winyan Toka Win Garden, a 1.5 acre naturally raised garden, which is a major component of the Sustainable Systems initiative.

Whether it is youth midnight basketball tournaments or a writing class in the library, the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota is always bustling; serving the youth of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and community.  In the fall however, the CRYP is even busier with fall harvest from their Winyan Toka Win Garden, a 1.5 acre naturally raised garden, which is a major component of their Sustainable Systems initiative. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Trade Deals Create Jobs

This week, Congress will begin to take a look at important jobs legislation: new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama and trade adjustment assistance to help train workers for the 21st century economy.  These agreements will help create jobs and provide new income opportunities for our nation’s agricultural producers, small businesses, and rural communities.

Today, farm exports help support more than 1 million American jobs.  Passage of these three agreements will infuse the American economy with an additional $2.3 billion in farm exports, supporting 20,000 American jobs. In fact, our nation’s economic output is estimated to grow more under the Korea agreement alone than from our last nine trade agreements combined. Read more »

USDA Tree Climber Finishes 12th in World Competition

International Tree Climbing Championship (photos courtest of Bear LeVangie)

International Tree Climbing Championship (photos courtest of Bear LeVangie)

Does your job relate to the activities you enjoy in your personal life?  Mine does.  In fact, no matter what challenges I’ve faced over the years, I’ve been able to stay sane because I am doing what I love to do, and I keep a positive mental attitude. Read more »