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500 Florida School Kids Adopt New Skills Learned in the Great Outdoors

Natural Resource Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida looks on as a high school student sets his sights on the archery range. Nearly 500 students from area schools attended the recent More Kids in the Woods event. (Photo Credit: Susan Blake, Public Affairs Specialist, National Forests of Florida)

Natural Resource Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida looks on as a high school student sets his sights on the archery range. Nearly 500 students from area schools attended the recent More Kids in the Woods event. (Photo Credit: Susan Blake, Public Affairs Specialist, National Forests of Florida)

What makes 500 middle and high school kids from area schools near Tallahassee, Fla., happy?  Getting outside and embracing the great outdoors during a week-long U.S. Forest Service event known as ‘More Kids in the Woods.’

During the five-day outdoor event , the kids developed new skills related to archery and using BB gun ranges, discovered wild turkey hunting, and immersed themselves in wildlife interpretive and forestry information, including a demonstration of a prescribed burn to learn more about the role fire plays in managing ecosystems. Read more »

USDA Staff in Mississippi Honor the Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King with a Day of Service

On January 12, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack recognized and celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday by declaring a National Service Day for all USDA employees. The National Service Day honored Dr. King’s contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. Events were held simultaneously at all USDA Offices followed by a variety of Service Projects conducted in communities nationwide. USDA Rural Development Jackson, Mississippi state office employees, Michelle Wilkerson, Eliza Garcia, Ericka Butler, and Jennifer Jimerson spent National Service Day volunteering at the Jackson Stewpot Community Center. Read more »

Meet Face (and Hands) of Food Safety Bridgette Keefe-Hodgson

The job of communicating food safety information to deaf and hard of hearing consumers is, literally, in Bridgette Keefe-Hodgson's hands.

The job of communicating food safety information to deaf and hard of hearing consumers is, literally, in Bridgette Keefe-Hodgson's hands.

“Food safety worker” may bring to mind images of scientists in lab coats, inspectors at processing plants, or investigators checking out what’s on supermarket shelves. A crucial but less recognized component of protecting the public from foodborne illness, however, rests on the shoulders of those who alert consumers about potential dangers and actions they should take to keep themselves healthy and safe (Goal 3 of FSIS’ FY 2011-2016 Strategic Plan). And some of those consumers can be difficult to reach. Enter Bridgette Keefe-Hodgson, a top-notch communicator who can make sense out of the most complex language and fashion it so that it is easily understood by consumers. Read more »