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Grillin’ and Chillin’ for National Barbecue Month

AMS Poultry Program employees Mark Perigen (left) and Gerald Brockman (right) prepare filet mignon on a tailgate-style grill.  They prefer a charcoal grill because of the smoky taste it offers.  Photo courtesy Mark Perigen

AMS Poultry Program employees Mark Perigen (left) and Gerald Brockman (right) prepare filet mignon on a tailgate-style grill. They prefer a charcoal grill because of the smoky taste it offers. Photo courtesy Mark Perigen

April showers have passed and barbecues are in full bloom.  Perfect weather and longer days make the month of May the perfect time to celebrate National Barbecue Month.  Whether you think barbecuing requires gas or charcoal, or that ribs should only be parboiled, or if you insist that asparagus must be sautéed with olive oil, it is time to fire up the BBQ.

Quality matters when it comes to barbecue.  The graders at the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) certify that meats and other products are of a desired quality.  Our grades account for factors such as tenderness, juiciness, and flavor. These are major selling points for any good barbecued foods. When shopping for meats, you can easily identify the USDA grade on most packages. Read more »

North Carolina Forest Products Producers get Marketing Help from Recovery Act Funds

A Forest Service Recovery Act grant to the Land-of-Sky Regional Council (LOSRC) to implement the Western North Carolina Forest Products Cooperative Marketing Project has provided the momentum to help local businesses expand and diversify while offering producers and consumers a practical means of finding one another.

LOSRC is a non-profit, voluntary association of local governments that manages regional projects and provides services to its members in the areas of planning, economic and community development since 1966. Read more »

Vote For Your Favorite Video Today!

The public voting period for the Communities on the Move Video Challenge is in full swing!  Browse our video gallery and vote for your favorites daily until Friday, May 11th. These videos showcase some of the innovative approaches community and faith-based groups are taking to encouraging healthier lifestyles for kids.

The Video Challenge encourages faith-based and neighborhood organizations to create one-to-three minute videos highlighting their work to make their communities places of wellness. Participants were invited to show how they are promoting healthy eating, physical activity, and access to healthy, affordable food for children.  Your vote counts: winners will be invited to visit Washington, DC to share their videos with the First Lady at the White House! Read more »

Consumers Find Food Products with Less Trans Fat

Nutrition label on a can indicating amount of trans fats per serving

Nutrition label on a can indicating amount of trans fats per serving

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. Read more »

Shovels of Gold Symbolic of New Fire Protection for the Residents of a South Dakota Reservation

(Left to right) Susan Kary-Parmelee Volunteer Fire Department Secretary, Terri L. Grablander-South Central RC & D, John Spotted Tail-Community Liaison for Rosebud Sioux Tribe President, Elsie M. Meeks-South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director, Marlene Knutson-Central South Dakota Enhancement District Executive Director, Rochelle Rogers-Senator Tim Johnson’s office, and Clark Guthmiller-USDA Rural Development Manager.

(Left to right) Susan Kary-Parmelee Volunteer Fire Department Secretary, Terri L. Grablander-South Central RC & D, John Spotted Tail-Community Liaison for Rosebud Sioux Tribe President, Elsie M. Meeks-South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director, Marlene Knutson-Central South Dakota Enhancement District Executive Director, Rochelle Rogers-Senator Tim Johnson’s office, and Clark Guthmiller-USDA Rural Development Manager.

While the shovels may have all been painted gold, they weren’t just bought off the shelf; some were used, donated, came in different sizes, and had different uses.  It was a metaphor for the day as community members from the small community of Parmelee, South Dakota, located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, gathered.  A project started over four years ago, involving  partnerships with ten different organizations/agencies to bring to fruition, broke ground recently on the long awaited, sought after fire hall. Read more »

25,000 Senegalese Schoolchildren to Benefit from USDA-Supported Project

More than 25,000 at-risk pre-school and elementary students in Senegal will benefit from a new daily lunch initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by the nonprofit Counterpart International.

More than 25,000 at-risk pre-school and elementary students in Senegal will benefit from a new daily lunch initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by the nonprofit Counterpart International.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) partners with a variety of non-profit groups, cooperatives and international organizations to promote food security in developing countries around the world. The following guest blog highlights the successful partnership between FAS and Counterpart International in Senegal. Read more »