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Feeding More Marylanders by Stretching Federal Dollars

Benjamin Taylor of Taylor’s Produce in Preston, Maryland loads a bin of sweet corn destined for the Maryland Food Bank.  Taylor’s produce donated nearly seven thousand pounds of freshly picked produce to the Food Bank including sweet corn, squash and cucumbers.

Benjamin Taylor of Taylor’s Produce in Preston, Maryland loads a bin of sweet corn destined for the Maryland Food Bank. Taylor’s produce donated nearly seven thousand pounds of freshly picked produce to the Food Bank including sweet corn, squash and cucumbers.

Recently I had a great opportunity to attend a meeting of Maryland’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger.  Led by Governor Martin O’Malley’s Office for Children, the Partnership “table” brings together state agencies, USDA, local non-profit organizations such as food banks, advocacy groups, and the private sector.  Since November of 2008, the Partnership has focused its efforts on connecting individuals to federal nutrition programs and bridging the gap between eligibility and participation. Read more »

USDA in Arizona Partners with the Department of Education to Help Rural Students Obtain College Aid

USDA in Arizona has joined the national partnership effort with the Department of Education (ED) to get the word out about federal student aid resources.

Arizona Rural Development (RD), Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)—the three USDA agencies that comprise most of the service centers across Arizona—are sending information packets to their staff in local offices across the State. In a joint statement, the agencies noted that “This is a great opportunity for the many students in areas who may not have easy access to the information. Field office locations in rural communities across the state make it a logical partner to help spread the word about all the kinds of help available for students who want to further their education.” Read more »

Discover Fun Ways to Grow Healthy, Eat Healthy & Be Healthy

USDA Farmers Market Opening Day Flier

USDA Farmers Market Opening Day Flier

Kids and families are invited to join staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture People’s Garden Initiative on Friday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the opening of the USDA Farmers Market as well as discover fun ways to Grow Healthy, Eat Healthy & Be Healthy! It will be a day filled with hands-on activities that will help enhance your commitment to healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Read more »

Need Ag Data Options? We Have You Covered from Beans to Sheep.

In our never-ending quest to satisfy the agricultural community’s and general public’s thirst for information, USDA Market News is collaborating with data.gov to add custom reports to our portal websites

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) collects and publishes a high volume of market information for five major commodity areas.  With the addition of the custom reports feature, we are offering tools that will help farmers, ranchers, and businesses be able to manage, sort, and view our data in a more meaningful way. You can drill down and generate tailored historical reports that include only the data points you need and also download it in a variety of standard formats, like XML or plain text. Read more »

Pacific NW Ski Area Association Honors Forest Service Scientists

In recognition of their nearly 70 years of combined service to the Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association, Garth Ferber, Kenny Kramer, and Mark Moore are sharing the group’s 2012 Partner of the Year awards.

The three are meteorologists employed by the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center– a unit of the U.S. Forest Service located in National Weather Service Forecast Office in Seattle, Wash.

The Partner honor is reserved for a Forest Service employee who significantly and decisively helps to improve the quality and safety of Pacific Northwest winter sports facilities. This year the Association broke with tradition and presented three awards. Read more »

MyPlate Celebrates Its First Anniversary; Prompting People to Eat Healthy

MyPlate Food Icon

MyPlate Food Icon

June 2, 2012 will mark the first anniversary of the release of MyPlate food icon.  At ceremonies a year earlier, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government’s new food icon to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate, which replaced MyPyramid, is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.  The new MyPlate icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.  On September 30, MiPlato, a Spanish version of MyPlate was released by Secretary Vilsack, U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and White House Chef Sam Kass to reach the Hispanic population in the United States.  Today, MyPlate and MiPlato are among the most recognized food images developed by the government. Read more »