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

APHIS Veterinarian’s Love of Animals Starts at a Young Age

Hello, I’m Dr. Jack Shere, the Eastern Regional Director for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services program.

As a kid, we had a German Shepherd mix puppy. My dad brought her home from a shelter and we took her to the veterinarian for shots. After a time, she got sick, displaying a series of symptoms that turned out to be distemper. She’d contracted it when she was too young for the puppy shots. The symptoms got worse until one Friday when she had a seizure in the kitchen. We called the vet to ask about bringing her in to be humanely put to sleep and the vet said he would. Watching this puppy die was heartbreaking for my entire family. I decided then to become a vet and to never turn down emergency calls so no one had to go through what my family did with this puppy. I’ve kept that vow in years since I graduated vet school. Read more »

Restored Ranch Provides Recreation to Disabled Vets

Wood duck boxes were placed throughout the property to encourage nesting on the ranch.

Wood duck boxes were placed throughout the property to encourage nesting on the ranch.

For disabled military veterans who used to be sportsmen but thought they no longer had the same access to the great outdoors, the 2,000-acre Barker Ranch in West Richland, Wash. provides the opportunity to rekindle that experience. Read more »

Youth Education Blooming at Poland’s People’s Gardens

Zenon Rzymski, the  4H “Horizon” leader from Wrzesnia, Poland, stands in the People’s Garden his 4H club grows and tends as part of the School Garden Project, which was initiated by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Warsaw, Poland. In all, 30 4-H club including 520 children throughout Poland participated in the project. (Photo By Witold Rzymski.) *He gave the photo to FAS Warsaw and gave permission for it to be used and distributed by USDA. *Zenon Rzymski, the  4H “Horizon” leader from Wrzesnia, Poland, stands in the People’s Garden his 4H club grows and tends as part of the School Garden Project, which was initiated by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Warsaw, Poland. In all, 30 4-H club including 520 children throughout Poland participated in the project. (Photo By Witold Rzymski.)

Zenon Rzymski, the 4H “Horizon” leader from Wrzesnia, Poland, stands in the People’s Garden his 4H club grows and tends as part of the School Garden Project, which was initiated by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Warsaw, Poland. In all, 30 4-H club including 520 children throughout Poland participated in the project. (Photo By Witold Rzymski.)

Thanks to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Warsaw, children in Poland are learning about health and nutrition and are helping preserve the environment – all while perfecting their gardening skills. Read more »

The Food Safety Discovery Zone Reaches 2,000 Visitors at USDA’s 2011 Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival visitors of all lined up outside the Food Safety Discovery Zone to tour the exhibit, ask food safety questions about their purchases, and win prizes.

Harvest Festival visitors of all lined up outside the Food Safety Discovery Zone to tour the exhibit, ask food safety questions about their purchases, and win prizes.

It was a chilly but beautiful Friday when the Food Safety Discovery Zone joined vendors at the USDA Harvest Festival to celebrate the end of a successful growing season for the People’s Garden. Even among the jazz band, petting zoo, and the smell of kettle corn in the air, the giant yellow Food Safety Discovery Zone was impossible to miss. Designed to make food safety education fun for kids, the 40-foot long mobile exhibit attracted masses of visitors of all ages who wanted to know how to safely prepare the food they were buying at the festival or for the upcoming holidays. Read more »

A Day to Honor Our Heroes

Cross posted from the White House blog.

This Friday, as on Veterans Days past, we stand with the men and women who have served this nation in uniform and commemorate their achievements. As preparations are made for a week of USDA events and celebrations, I am reminded of the everyday courage and strength these men and women display, and without whom our great country would not be what it is today. While we can never fully repay our debt of gratitude to the service members who have been wounded and died while protecting our country, we should take time to recognize the more than 20 million living American veterans and offer special thanks to them for all they’ve done for us throughout the years. Read more »

How Are You Adding Fruits and Vegetables? Your Plate Could Win $1,500!

How are you putting more fruits and vegetables to your plate? USDA is challenging you to show how you’re adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet without straining your budget. Speaking of your budget, the challenge is offering cash prizes for creative videos! All you have to do is create a short video (approximately 30 seconds) showing how you build a healthy plate with fruits and veggies on a budget. What does YOUR MyPlate look like? Share your most inspiring tips, tricks, and how-tos. Get creative with your video! It can be a song, a skit, or a how-to in action, as long as it includes the message “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.” Read more »