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USDA Helps Prevent South Dakota Firm’s “Goose” From Being “Cooked”

Memories of a good home cooked meal…. Mom’s in the kitchen…Dad’s snatching tidbits when Mom’s back is turned….wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen.   As the family joins together for dinner, the table is laden with scrumptious food, and Mom brings the crowning jewel to the table… a beautiful golden brown goose, roasted to perfection.

Are you wondering where you’d find a goose today to enjoy any time?  Did you know that 85-90 percent of the geese on the American market come from Schiltz Foods in Sisseton, South Dakota – a family business that grew from 5 geese in 1944 to over 200,000 birds today.  Brothers Richard and Jim Schiltz took over for their dad, Marlin, several years ago and oversee everything from production to marketing and beyond. Read more »

USDA APHIS Blueprint for Savings

Today’s reality is that Federal budgets are declining and agencies must address the change without sacrificing quality service to the American people.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as part of USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, is committed to making the best use of available resources to provide a high level of service for its customers.  APHIS is in the process of streamlining both our operations and our processes to benefit producers, stakeholders and the American public. Read more »

New Forest Service Program Encourages Growth of Community Forests and Economies

The Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, which encourages the creation of community forests and fosters rural economies. The application deadline is May 15 for submitting applications to the State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe and June 14 for State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe submitting the applications to the Forest Service.

The program provides financial assistance grants to local governments, American Indian tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations to establish community forests with a focus on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation opportunities. Read more »

Dramatic Image Captures California Firefighters at Ocean’s Edge

Los Padres firefighter Kevin Poyner (facing camera) and John Knight of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade appear to have one foot “in the black” and the other in the Pacific Ocean. In reality, the two men have ample room between their position and the cliffs leading down to the beach.

Los Padres firefighter Kevin Poyner (facing camera) and John Knight of the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade appear to have one foot “in the black” and the other in the Pacific Ocean. In reality, the two men have ample room between their position and the cliffs leading down to the beach.

Along Monterey’s Big Sur coast in California, the job of responding to “fire starts” rests on the shoulders of Los Padres National Forest firefighters and their partners at the Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade as Monterey County doesn’t have a fire department. When a coastal landowner’s pile burn project went awry Feb. 7, firefighters from the forest and volunteer fire brigade led the initial attack that quashed what became known as the Alder fire at less than five acres. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Biobased Jobs, Grown and Made in America

USDA works everyday to help create jobs in rural America – without waiting for others in Washington to act.

Last week, as a part of President Obama’s White House Rural Council, we announced efforts to spur economic growth by helping businesses take advantage of the productivity of America’s farmers and ranchers.

Today, there are more than 3,000 companies producing more than 20,000 so-called bioproducts made from grasses, grains, oilseeds, and agricultural waste rather than petroleum. They range from cleaning supplies and personal care products to food packaging and turf for football stadiums. Read more »

New Website Showcases the Opportunities of U.S.-Korea FTA

The USDA Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Seoul recently launched a Web page to showcase potential opportunities to be created by the soon-to-be-implemented U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS). KORUS will take effect on March 15, 2012.

The Foreign Agricultural Service recommends that U.S. agricultural exporters and those interested in expanding sales to international markets visit the page, called What U.S. Exporters Need to Know about the KORUS Agreement, to learn about the agreement, understand new tariff schedules, and gain valuable information about the fifth-largest market for U.S. farm products. Read more »