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USDA and Hawai’i public charter school partner for local, traditional foods

With the help of a Community Facilities loan from USDA Rural Development, Kona Pacific Charter School will construct new classroom buildings and develop a traditional field system.

On the southwest coast of the big island of Hawai‘i, USDA is partnering with Kona Pacific Public Charter School on a project to restore eight acres of land to the ancient Kona Field System of agriculture and then use traditional cultivation techniques to produce traditional foods for students and the community. Read more »

The Sweet Scent of Economic Progress in Tillamook, Oregon

A yellow pipe transports the methane from the digester to the 1MW generator in the mechanical building.

A yellow pipe transports the methane from the digester to the 1MW generator in the mechanical building.

Tillamook County, located on Oregon’s northern coast, is home to a concentration of dairy operations and with them, plenty of cow manure. Advances in the renewable energy industry have proven that an abundance of livestock waste is opportunity for sustainable economic development through domestic energy production. Read more »

Washington Company Uses USDA SBIR Grant to Develop Erosion Control Material

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

In recent years, wildfires have become larger and more severe. After the fires, large areas are without protective vegetative cover, making them prone to soil erosion when rains come. The forest soils contain many plant seeds, but the soils need to be stabilized until these seeds have a chance to germinate and re-establish plant cover that can stabilize the soil. Read more »

Mount St. Helens Videos Receive National Awards

A Forest Service scientists searches for signs of aquatic life in a lake within the 1980 blast zone of Mount St. Helens. Photo from the video, “Mount St. Helens: A Living Laboratory.”

A Forest Service scientists searches for signs of aquatic life in a lake within the 1980 blast zone of Mount St. Helens. Photo from the video, “Mount St. Helens: A Living Laboratory.”

Two new Forest Service films have been honored with prestigious Silver Telly Awards for excellence in non-fiction filmmaking. Read more »

Working to Reduce the US Forest Service Carbon Footprint

The U.S. Forest Service is making strides in monitoring energy and water consumption at several of the Agency’s facilities by installing software called the Advanced Metering Program, which accurately reports water and energy consumption.

The project is being lead by the U.S. Forest Service’s National Sustainable Operations Team. In the near future, monitoring devises will be installed at most Forest Service facilities that are larger than 10,000 square feet, or have electrical energy costs that exceed $40,000 per year. Software will collect the data and make it available for viewing online. Read more »

Wisconsin Engineer’s Work Gets Top Recognition

Becoming a nationally recognized federal engineer is an accomplishment that did not happen overnight for John Ramsden. The engineer has devoted several years to protecting surface and groundwater resources while working for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

During his 18 years as the Wisconsin State Engineer, Ramsden has led a number of federal engineering efforts for water quality, watershed and flood protection, dam safety, and wetland and floodplain restoration. Read more »