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Funding Helps Farmers’ Markets That Want to Participate in SNAP

Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide.

Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide.

Promoting access to fresh and nutritious foods for the millions of Americans who participate in nutrition assistance programs is a top priority for USDA. We’re happy to announce that we’re emphasizing our commitment to promoting healthy food choices by giving more SNAP participants the ability to spend their benefits at farmers’ markets. Starting this month, we are making $4 million dollars in funds available to equip farmers’ markets with wireless point-of-sale equipment. Read more »

El Cinco de Mayo Somos Uno: We’re One USDA

Dándoles la bienvenida a nuestro kiosko Somos Uno: We’re One USDA

Dándoles la bienvenida a nuestro kiosko Somos Uno: We’re One USDA

Este sábado pasado, el Departamento de Agricultura (USDA por sus siglas en inglés) participó en la celebración del vigésimo aniversario del Festival Nacional del Cinco de Mayo® ¡Salud en Cinco de Mayo! patrocinado por la Liga de Ciudadanos Latinoamericanos Unidos (LULAC, por sus siglas en inglés) y la compañía de danza Maru Montero.  USDA unió esfuerzos con LULAC, con quienes trabajamos en el reclutamiento de profesionales hispanos, en el tema de nutrición en la comunidad y a través de la iniciativa de la Primera Dama Let’s Move!

Al lado de otros representantes del gobierno federal, nuestro Subsecretario de Mercadeo y Programas Regulatorios Ed Avalos brindó palabras de bienvenida y resaltó un mensaje de herencia cultural y de salud durante esta celebración. Sam Kass, Chef de la Casa Blanca y Asesor de la Primera Dama en materia de alimentos saludables también estuvo presente. Read more »

On Cinco de Mayo Somos Uno: We’re One USDA

Welcoming visitors to our Somos Uno: We’re One USDA booth

Welcoming visitors to our Somos Uno: We’re One USDA booth

This past Saturday, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) participated in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the National Cinco de Mayo Festival® ¡Salud en Cinco de Mayo!, sponsored by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Maru Montero Dance Company.  USDA partnered with LULAC, with whom we work on the recruitment of Hispanic professionals, promoting nutrition in the community, and on the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.

Along with other representatives of the federal government, our Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Ed Avalos, gave welcoming remarks and emphasized a message of cultural heritage and health during this celebration.  Sam Kass, White House Chef and Senior Advisor Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives for the First Lady, was also present. Read more »

Energy Stakeholders Comment on USDA Energy Roadmap

During the previous 18 months, a team of USDA multidisciplinary experts reviewed, analyzed, and synthesized almost 1,000 responses from stakeholders about its June 2010 report that put forth a roadmap for the United States to produce advanced biofuels.  The roadmap report provided a basis for continued conversations about moving forward with producing more domestically grown fuels and reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, improving the environment, and revitalizing rural communities.

Following the roadmap report, USDA held 57 stakeholder workshops in 41 States and Puerto Rico.   The workshops succeeded in gathering numerous and helpful comments from farmers, industry groups, biorefinery executives, and academia.   Stakeholder comments, as a whole, successfully broadened the view of the roadmap by providing additional information and insights.  The majority of comments echoed USDA’s conclusion that this nation has the natural resources to produce enough domestically grown biofuels.  The key to success, according to the comments, lies in a few critical areas that include: consistent policy support from the public sector, greater consumer awareness, utilization of a wide variety of feedstocks, sustainable conservation and cropping practices, and more recognition and use of forestry and wood products. Read more »

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 »