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Appreciating Rural Teachers

Today, on Teacher Appreciation Day, we have an opportunity to say “thank you” to America’s educators.   In particular, I’d like to send a brief message of thanks to our teachers working in small towns and rural communities across the United States.

A quality education is imperative to the lives of children in every corner of our country, no matter where they live. This can be more challenging in smaller rural schools that face unique geographical challenges, tight budgets and barriers to technology in the classroom. Read more »

A Healthy Future for Kids in the Hispanic Community

On my recent trip to Miami, Florida, I had the opportunity to hold a White House Business Council roundtable, hosted by the South Florida Hispanic chamber of Commerce.  The roundtable discussion focused on challenges and accomplishments within the Hispanic community, including access to credit, broadband, small business, agricultural markets, plant pests, and community outreach.

While in Miami I was also invited to speak at the Latino Health and Wellness Expo in Miami.  “La Exposicion de Salud” was well attended with over 800 participants. Read more »

A Paradox: Cooling Streams in a Warming Climate?

A recent study by the USDA Forest Service, Oregon State University, and the U.S. Geological Survey identified trends in stream temperatures at sites like Mack Creek near the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.

A recent study by the USDA Forest Service, Oregon State University, and the U.S. Geological Survey identified trends in stream temperatures at sites like Mack Creek near the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.

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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Recent warming of terrestrial climates combined with decreased stream flows has raised concerns about possible increases in stream temperatures in the Pacific continental United States. Loss of cold, clean water in the region has major implications for human use and for sensitive coldwater fishes, such as salmon and trout. In a joint project, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research (PNW) Station, and Oregon State University (OSU) researchers assessed the climate effects on cold water in low and high human-influenced sites using long-term stream temperature data from the USGS and the Forest Service. Read more »

Connecting Farmers Markets to a New World of Opportunities

A young boy looks over the fresh fruits and veggies with his mother at a farmers market in Mississippi.  By listing their market in the National Farmers Market Directory, market managers open their market up new customers. Photo courtesy Natalie Maynor

A young boy looks over the fresh fruits and veggies with his mother at a farmers market in Mississippi. By listing their market in the National Farmers Market Directory, market managers open their market up new customers. Photo courtesy Natalie Maynor

Spring is in the air and it’s time to gear up for the outdoor market season. People are looking for fresh fruits, veggies and other goodies from their local farmers markets, and with a couple clicks of the mouse, the USDA National Farmers Market Directory makes the search easy. Read more »

Rural Development Funds Effort to Give Local Louisiana Growers and Customers a New Market

Ford’s Food Center - Winnsboro Pictured from left are: Quinon and Gretchen Ford, the owner's of Ford's Fine Food, admiring the affordable cabbage for sale at 39 cents each that was grown and purchased from a local producer.

Ford’s Food Center - Winnsboro Pictured from left are: Quinon and Gretchen Ford, the owner's of Ford's Fine Food, admiring the affordable cabbage for sale at 39 cents each that was grown and purchased from a local producer.

Recently, I was afforded the opportunity to travel with Jared Hicks, USDA Rural Development’s Business and Cooperative Specialist, to attend the grand opening of a new 19,500 square-foot grocery store in Winnsboro, Louisiana.  It was an exciting and happy day for the community residents on the south side of Winnsboro and surrounding towns. Local residents, Chamber of Commerce representatives, and community leaders all were out to celebrate the impressive day-long opening of Ford Food Center. Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) a retailer-owned cooperative and one of the largest wholesale grocery distributors in the United States had staff on-hand to provide assistance for this occasion. Read more »