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The People’s Garden Initiative Celebrates 3 Years of Growth

Three years ago this week, on February 12, 2009, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commemorated President Lincoln’s 200th birthday by creating  the first USDA People’s Garden at the “People’s Department.”  This People’s Garden at Department headquarters in Washington D.C., initially started as an opportunity to showcase what we do at USDA, and to unite communities, raise awareness about sustainable agriculture practices, connect people with where their food comes from, and educate on protecting our environment and conserving resources. It was USDA’s way of walking its talk by providing an example to the rest of the country.  We’ve grown quite a bit in a short period of time. Thousands of USDA employees and over 700 local and national organizations are participating in over 1,500 gardens.

Last night, the People’s Garden along with Abraham Lincoln, in honor of our namesake and USDA’s 150th Anniversary, recognized employees, agencies and partners for their contributions to the Initiative at The People’s Garden ‘Golden Shovel’ Award Ceremony and Reception.  And the categories are… Read more » Helps Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Get Started

We know that America’s farmers and rural communities are vitally important to our nation’s economy, producing the food, feed, fiber and fuel that continue to help us grow. There are hundreds of programs and resources available to help meet these efforts.  However, sometimes it’s hard to know where to look.  To overcome this challenge, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Library, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, has created ,an online database connecting beginning farmers and ranchers with available programs and resources. Read more »

U.S. Forest Service goes Hollywood with The Lorax

What is the Lorax?

And why do we care?

And why had the U.S. Forest Service taken us

from the far reaches of the forests to the carpets of Hollywood?

Ask the Chief. He will be there.

He knows. Read more »

Redefining Agricultural Marketing

The Market News Room at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in February 1947. USDA Market News reporters have provided almost a century of insight for farmers and commodity trading.

The Market News Room at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in February 1947. USDA Market News reporters have provided almost a century of insight for farmers and commodity trading.

Over the years, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has changed and evolved to meet the regulatory, statutory and market demands of U.S. agriculture.  The agency’s role, its name and place within the structure of USDA have all evolved over the years.  What hasn’t changed is the commitment to helping U.S. farmers successfully compete domestically and worldwide. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Productive Farmers and Good Rural Jobs

Last week, President Obama and I announced our proposal for USDA’s budget next year. We are focused on building a strong American economy that will maintain a basic promise for middle class: if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement.

USDA plays a key role in that effort, supporting farmers, ranchers and growers enjoying record farm income, providing nutrition assistance to families struggling to get by, and creating jobs and building a foundation for future economic growth, especially in rural America. The USDA budget will help us to continue this progress, supporting robust farm income and good jobs in rural communities. Read more »

USDA Announces 2012 Ag Outlook Forum Luncheon Speakers

USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum on Feb. 24 will present five choices for outstanding speakers at the Friday luncheons.  Donnie Smith, President and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc. will address “Perspectives on U.S. Meat and Poultry Production;” Thomas Dorr, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council, will speak on the topic of “Food 2040.”  Gary Matteson, Vice President, Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, The Farm Credit Council, will address “Farming’s Future: The Next Generation of Farmers.”  José A. Orive, Executive Director, Association of Azucareros Central American (Central American Sugar Association), will speak on “Sugar Trade in Central and North America.”

To learn more and register for the Forum, please go to: