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On its 150th Anniversary, USDA Upholds Abraham Lincoln’s Vision

Over the coming weeks, the landscape in Oklahoma will change dramatically as state-of-the-art combines comb meticulously through fields of golden wheat, allowing Oklahoma farmers to deliver an estimated 150 million bushels to their local grain elevators. The varieties harvested were exhaustively developed to maximize yield and minimize susceptibility to pests, while improving milling and baking qualities.

Such innovation allows today’s farmer to feed over 150 people, each farmer producing five times as much as our grandparents, and doing it with less land, water, energy, and fewer emissions. Agriculture has advanced significantly over the 150-year history of the department charged with its support. Read more »

Seeing Football Through Urban Trees

When most people think about football they’re not likely imagining urban forests—or planting trees for that matter. But that’s exactly what the U.S. Forest Service and Green Bay Packers through their First Downs for Trees program, wants you to think: Plant trees and lots of them.

In fact, last year through the program’s successful initiatives, more than 400 trees were planted in 22 communities. This year the program, which includes the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division, is expanding with the planting of more than 850 trees in 26 communities. Read more »

Hawaii Education Program Seeks to Increase STEM Education through Gardening

More than 100 teachers attended the Statewide School Garden Teacher Conference in Ho 'Aina O Makaha, Oahu, last year as part of the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network. Photo Credit: The Kohala Center

More than 100 teachers attended the Statewide School Garden Teacher Conference in Ho 'Aina O Makaha, Oahu, last year as part of the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network. Photo Credit: The Kohala Center

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.

Many teachers use creative methods to keep their students engaged in the curriculum they are teaching. Some methods work far better than others. For one group in Hawaii, teachers are using gardening to boost their science, technology and math classes, while placing an emphasis on Hawaii’s need for more experiential science learning related to agriculture and sustainability. Read more »

Pennsylvania State Senator Introduces Resolution Honoring USDA on its 150th Anniversary

In early May, USDA agency directors appeared before the Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. The Committee, chaired by Pennsylvania Senator Elder Vogel, Jr., heard agency heads discuss various USDA programs. Senator Vogel recently introduced a resolution honoring the USDA on its 150th Anniversary.

Bill Wehry, State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency, discussed the Conservation, Price Support, Disaster and Farm Loan Programs available through his agency. Denise Coleman, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, discussed the Working Lands for Wildlife and Water Quality Initiative, while Thomas Williams, State Director, Rural Development, discussed the various Energy and Disaster Aid Programs, Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program, and Value Added and Community Facilities Programs. Read more »

Lincoln’s Legacy: Ripe for the Picking

Baldwin County People’s Garden in Baldwin, Alabama is growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ to celebrate USDA’s 150th Anniversary. Are you growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ in your garden? Share photos with us via twitter #LincolnTomato

Baldwin County People’s Garden in Baldwin, Alabama is growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ to celebrate USDA’s 150th Anniversary. Are you growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ in your garden? Share photos with us via twitter #LincolnTomato

Today USDA commemorates its much talked about 150th Anniversary and there is no better way for the People’s Garden Initiative to celebrate than to plant history.

Throughout 2012, in conjunction with the Department-wide celebration, People’s Gardens around the globe are growing Tomato ‘Abraham Lincoln’ as a living tribute to our founder – Abraham Lincoln. It’s an effort which reminds us that for generations, Americans have joined together to garden for a cause. Read more »