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A Catholic School in Harlem Turns MyPlate into a School Musical

Elementary students at Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary turn healthy eating lessons into a school musical about MyPlate

Elementary students at Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary turn healthy eating lessons into a school musical about MyPlate

In the heart of New York City, Mt. Carmel-Holy Rosary School is a beacon of hope for the communities of East Harlem. The Catholic school serves 280 students in Pre-K through 8th grade, and one hundred percent of students qualify for Free Lunch in the National School Lunch Program. According to the New York City Department of Health, more than 4 in 10 elementary school children in East and Central Harlem are overweight or obese. East Harlem currently has the highest rate of childhood asthma hospitalizations in New York City, and over 25% of the area’s children suffer from the condition. Principal Suzanne Kaszynski is taking big strides to address those trends with MyPlate, USDA’s new food icon, in a school-wide effort to prevent childhood obesity and long-term risks for chronic disease. Read more »

Links to the Past: USDA Releases Historic Census of Agriculture Reports

NASS, in partnership with Cornell’s Mann Library, has scanned and digitized thousands of pages of census reports, like this 1840 census publication, to make the historic Census of Agriculture reports available and searchable online for the first time.

NASS, in partnership with Cornell’s Mann Library, has scanned and digitized thousands of pages of census reports, like this 1840 census publication, to make the historic Census of Agriculture reports available and searchable online for the first time.

Did you know that the number of farms in the United States peaked in 1935 at 6,812,350 operations when the average farm size was 154.8 acres? In comparison, the 2007 Census of Agriculture counted 2,204,792 farms with the average farm size of 418 acres. In celebration of 150 years of service to American agriculture, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), in partnership with Cornell University’s Mann Library, are making these and many other historical facts available online at http://agcensus.mannlib.cornell.edu Read more »

Building the Connection between Federal Programs and Job Creation in Rural America

In his State of the Union Address, the President announced a plan for building a strong, successful and lasting economy. He spoke in particular about the need to source jobs domestically in order to bring employment back to the United States and the need for a strong manufacturing base to build our economy upon. Here at the USDA, we are doing our part by supporting rural businesses, building modern, reliable community infrastructure, and working with farmers and ranchers to export products grown in America.

Earlier this week, I participated in a webinar about domestic sourcing and opportunities for partnership between the federal and private sectors back home to America. As the representative for all federal programs, I highlighted many partnering opportunities across agencies like the Small Business Administration and Economic Development Administration, and described in depth the opportunities Rural Development provides to rural residents and businesses. In particular, I spoke about our rural business programs, like the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program which in the last year have assisted over 50,000 small and mid-size rural businesses across the country in creating or saving roughly 266,000 jobs. Read more »