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French Firefighters Learn from California Visit

French firefighters learn from California visit. Capt. Philippe DelQuie talks with Helitanker Superintendent  Rocco Terracciano at the San Bernardino Air Tanker Base. USFS photo.

French firefighters learn from California visit. Capt. Philippe DelQuie talks with Helitanker Superintendent Rocco Terracciano at the San Bernardino Air Tanker Base. USFS photo.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region recently welcomed French fire officials Captain Philippe DelQuie and Major Pierre Bisone. The visit was part of a very successful seven year educational collaboration between France and the U.S. through the Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management’s International Fire office. Read more »

Hunger: A Broken Street Light

Like a broken street light, childhood hunger impacts the well-being of the community and will only be fixed when the local community recognizes it, takes an interest, and decides to address it. When those who care come together, pool their talents, and take advantage of available resources, things start to happen. Things get fixed.

The city of Dallas is getting serious about ending childhood hunger. Just a month after the October kick-off of the No Kid Hungry Texas campaign, local leaders came together for a hunger summit in Dallas in November. The diverse line-up of speakers was inspiring! There were leaders from Congress, all levels of government, faith-based organizations, food banks, non-profit organizations and schools. Every speaker was passionate and convincing about the need and ability to end childhood hunger. Read more »

New Center Provides Animal Health Assistance in Armenia

A man moves his family’s sheep herd down from the mountains for the winter. These sheep are one of many herds of sheep and cattle that will pass by the FVSC on their seasonal herd movements around Armenia and benefit from the center.  Photo credit: Elizabeth Leonardi (USDA/FAS) and Gocha Shainidze (USDA/FAS Georgia)

A man moves his family’s sheep herd down from the mountains for the winter. These sheep are one of many herds of sheep and cattle that will pass by the FVSC on their seasonal herd movements around Armenia and benefit from the center. Photo credit: Elizabeth Leonardi (USDA/FAS) and Gocha Shainidze (USDA/FAS Georgia)

In November, I joined other representatives from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for a dedication ceremony for the Farm and Veterinary Service Center (FVSC) in Armenia. The opening ceremony was attended by more than 70 community members, farmers, veterinarians and government officials from throughout the Syunik Marz region. Prior to the ceremony, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan visited the center to tour the facility and witness firsthand the products and services that will be readily available to local farmers. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Enhancing American Agriculture

This week reminded us that American agriculture continues to be a bright spot in our nation’s economy.  Following strong numbers last year, we learned that farm income is up again in 2011 – with a 28 percent increase in net income.  Our farm exports this year hit a new record high of $137 billion.

This is making a real difference for America’s farm families, whose household income was up 3 percent in 2010 and is forecast to grow again this year. Read more »

At COP-17 in Durban, Agriculture is Playing a Starring Role

Ashley Allen, from USAID, moderated the USDA sponsored agriculture events.

Ashley Allen, from USAID, moderated the USDA sponsored agriculture events.

Each year, high level government officials from the world’s nations gather together under the banner of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to confront the growing challenge of climate change.   This year, the conference COP-17, so named because it is the 17th such conference to take place since the UNFCCC entered into force, is taking place in Durban, South Africa. Read more »

USDA a Leader in Aerial Photography, Mapping for U.S. Agriculture

Roads and Rails dataset layer place on top of NAIP 2006 imagery dataset located in Salt Lake County, UT.  (Photo courtesty of NAIP)

Photo courtesy of the National Agriculture Imagery Program.

Farm Service Agency (FSA) employees from communities across Montana met in the state capitol this month to participate in the first annual Geographic Information System (GIS) Day in Helena. More than 20 FSA employees joined dozens of other GIS professionals from private, state and federal government to learn more about GIS technology and real-world mapping applications that are making a difference in our society. Read more »