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How to Get Summer Food PSAs on Your Local Radio Station

Most kids cannot wait for school to let out in June.  However, for some parents and other caretakers, when school is out for summer, they begin to worry about how they will feed their children a nutritious breakfast or lunch.  USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) fills this summer meal gap for many low-income families by feeding children when school meals aren’t available.  Although USDA funds SFSP, local organizations all over the country make the program work by becoming sponsors that serve nutritious meals and snacks at schools, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, churches, day camps, summer camps, housing projects, and Indian reservations.

To help get the word out that the program is available to school-age children and in need of more sponsors, we’ve created free radio public service announcements (PSAs) that you can air in your community. There are 4  under 30 second PSAs to choose from— 2 that focus on recruiting summer meal sponsors and volunteers and 2 that let families know where they can go to receive summer meals. Read more »

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 »