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The Best Day Ever

Having two small active kids who are happily prone to drinking water and low-fat milk 99% of the time and who also love to eat nutritious foods (not quite like their mom), I was particularly excited to celebrate opening day of the USDA Farmers Market.

Bronson in the People’s Garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC. On the opening day of the USDA Farmers Market on June 1, 2012, kids had the opportunity to participate in  a day filled with hands-on activities to help enhance their commitment to healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Bronson in the People’s Garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC. On the opening day of the USDA Farmers Market on June 1, 2012, kids had the opportunity to participate in a day filled with hands-on activities to help enhance their commitment to healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

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Calling All Champions of Change

Hunger is an issue that touches the lives of people all around us. Whether it’s the single mother struggling to feed her family of four while simultaneously making ends meet or a person living in rural America who has to drive 50 miles to the closest grocery store, hunger affects us all.

That is why I am calling upon all community leaders who have committed themselves to ending this struggle to apply to the “White House Champions of Change:  Alleviating Hunger at Home and Abroad” program.  The purpose of this program is to recognize individuals who are using innovative community-based approaches to reduce hunger and ensure that people have access to enough food both in the United States and internationally. Read more »

NASS Reaches Out to Farmers for its Mid-Year Surveys

The first few weeks of June are always some of the busiest weeks for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Our agency reaches out to more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers across the country as we conduct three major surveys: June Area, Crops/Stocks and Hogs and Pigs Inventory surveys.

Having worked in management positions in NASS’s Georgia and Washington offices, I can honestly say that conducting these surveys is not an easy task. We dedicate the first two weeks of the month to gathering the information and process it in the next two. The data has to be ready to go by the last Friday of June (June 29 this year), when NASS publishes its June Acreage report, setting the first official estimates for the upcoming harvest. Read more »

Helping Veterans Succeed in Farming

 

Edward Avegalio transformed his farm into a hydroponic haven that expanded his acreage and made the land accessible to his needs.

Edward Avegalio transformed his farm into a hydroponic haven that expanded his acreage and made the land accessible to his needs.

Edward Avegalio fought for his country in Operation Desert Shield in the early 1990s. Today, he serves his country by providing locally grown, fresh produce to area schools, local restaurants and stores through the first hydroponic farm in American Samoa that was redesigned to allow him to actively work the land. Read more »

Accessible Fishing Opportunities Abound in National Forests

National Fishing and Boating Week, a part of the June celebration of Great Outdoors Month, will be celebrated again this year June 2 – 10. It’s a time when fishing fanatics and amateur anglers will visit national forests and grasslands across the country to try their hands at landing the big one.

On the National Forests in North Carolina, anglers with physical disabilities who visit the Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests will have a number of accessible piers to choose from. Some of these piers provide access to premier trout fishing destinations.

“For more than 20 years, the National Forests in North Carolina and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission have been committed to providing anglers of all abilities with the opportunity to go fishing on public lands,” said Sheryl Bryan, the forests’ fisheries and wildlife biologist. Read more »