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Let’s End Beetlemania Together

ALB damage featuring tunneling and exit holes on cut trees

ALB damage featuring tunneling and exit holes on cut trees

Imagining our communities without trees is hard to fathom.  Unfortunately, there is an insect that threatens the trees we love – the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB).  It’s an invasive insect that feeds on certain species of hardwood trees, eventually killing them.  Since its discovery in the United States, the beetle has caused tens-of-thousands of trees to be destroyed in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and most recently in Ohio. Read more »

USDA Announces New Farm to School Program to Improve the Health and Nutrition of Kids Receiving School Meals

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan discovers “Abe Lincoln tomatoes” during her visit to Southern High School in Anne Arundel county, MD.

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan discovers “Abe Lincoln tomatoes” during her visit to Southern High School in Anne Arundel county, MD.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Last week USDA released a new farm to school grant program designed to help give children a sense of where their food comes from and increase the availability of local foods in schools. Joined by students at Southern High School in Harwood, MD, as well as school and elected officials, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement in an on-campus greenhouse. Read more »

Southwestern Fire Boot Camp Hosts Women for the First Time

 

A boot camp participant learns how to use a fire hose.

A boot camp participant learns how to use a fire hose.

The first weekend of the first ever Women in Wildland Fire Boot Camp exceeded the expectations of boot camp organizer, Bequi Livingston.

“The first session of our boot camp programs were beyond incredible and certainly one of the highlights of my career. I think that we have certainly developed a model for future use that is very successful and provides so much ownership at the field level,” Livingston said. Read more »

An End to Toxic Runoff at Abandoned Mine Thanks to Forest Service Recovery Act Funds

Where no clean soil was encountered under the waste pile, removal crew cleaned the site down to within 1/2" of bedrock. USFS photo.

Where no clean soil was encountered under the waste pile, removal crew cleaned the site down to within 1/2" of bedrock. USFS photo.

For over a century, toxic runoff from the Blue Ledge Mine destroyed  aquatic life and fisheries in Joe Creek, a tributary to the world-famous Rogue River in Oregon. Read more »

Food and Nutrition Service Heeds the Blueprint for Cost Savings

In the three months since Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service,” the Food and Nutrition Service has continued to develop cost-saving and efficient strategies that will save taxpayers money and streamline operations.

The “Blueprint for Stronger Service” was designed to modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through the use of innovative technologies and business solutions. When the plan was announced Jan. 9, it called for USDA to close 259 domestic offices and facilities, as well as consolidating, standardizing or centralizing a number of other products and services. Read more »

Forecasting Supply and Demand for World Agricultural Markets

U. S. food is stored in cargo holds on freighters at Lake Charles, Louisiana waiting to be shipped overseas on May 1972. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.

U. S. food is stored in cargo holds on freighters at Lake Charles, Louisiana waiting to be shipped overseas on May 1972. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.

USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber and his staff advise the Secretary on economic issues but are also charged with producing official USDA supply and demand projections and forecasts.  The Office of the Chief Economist’s (OCE’s) monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that is  recognized globally as the benchmark report for world agricultural commodity markets.  The WASDE report provides valuable planning and decision-making information to U.S. farmers, commodity traders, the agricultural industry, and USDA policymakers. Read more »