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Volunteering Through the Camera’s Lens

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (left) and Ohio Earth Team volunteer Alex Snyder in Zanesville, Oh., in Sept. 2009.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (left) and Ohio Earth Team volunteer Alex Snyder in Zanesville, Oh., in Sept. 2009.

Graduate student Alex Snyder finds inspiration through the lens of his camera. While completing his graduate degree at Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability, Snyder found time to volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through its volunteer program, Earth Team. Read more »

Volunteers Offer Helping Hands on the Bankhead National Forest in Alabama

Wild South Helping Hands volunteers work together to remove fallen trees from the Bankhead National Forest.

Wild South Helping Hands volunteers work together to remove fallen trees from the Bankhead National Forest.

For numerous years, the Bankhead National Forest has worked in partnership with a group of dedicated volunteers known as the Wild South Helping Hands Volunteer Group.

Every year, more than 50 volunteers return to the Bankhead National Forest to help protect and restore the native ecosystem of the southeast. Read more »

USMC Vet and Earth Team Volunteer Timothy Bennish Visits with Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan recently visited Viroqua, Wisc. to promote USDA’s new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. While she was there, she took the time to meet with Timothy Bennish, a volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Earth Team volunteer program.

NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to implement voluntary conservation practices that will not only protect the nation’s natural resources, but also maintain or increase the productivity of the land. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Healthy Markets for American Agriculture

Healthy markets play a critical role in the strength of American agriculture. To help maintain strong, transparent markets USDA gathers and provides up-to-the-minute information from around the country on price, supply, demand and movement.

That way, farmers and ranchers – no matter how big or small – can operate on a level playing field and take a look at the same information as they evaluate market conditions, make purchasing and selling decisions, monitor price patterns, and work to identify market opportunities and project future trends.

USDA started reporting on markets for agricultural products nearly 100 years ago. Today, our employees around the country are building relationships with sellers and buyers, verifying and analyzing prices and releasing reports to help ensure that agricultural markets run smoothly. Read more »

Safer Skies for Navy Fliers and Vultures

Windscreen damage to a training helicopter.

Windscreen damage to a training helicopter.

Bringing USDA expertise into a cooperative effort with the U.S. Navy and a telecommunications company recently made flying safer for hundreds of vultures and Navy aviators near Milton, Fla. Read more »