Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Dairy Farmers: Stewards of a Healthy Planet

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan with Victor Orlowski President of Professional Engineers for the Dairy Industry as he demonstrates new equipment on the Zimmerman Dairy in Queen Creek, Arizona, on Tuesday,  March 27, 2012. USDA Photo by Aaron Lavallee.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan with Victor Orlowski President of Professional Engineers for the Dairy Industry as he demonstrates new equipment on the Zimmerman Dairy in Queen Creek, Arizona, on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. USDA Photo by Aaron Lavallee.

Cross posted from the DairyGood.org blog:

This month we celebrate National Dairy Month and honor dairy producers across the nation who work day and night to make sure that we have a safe, affordable and healthy dairy supply. Read more »

In Pursuit of Answers to Thwart Threatening Invaders

An APHIS employee at the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology Otis Lab prepared an agarose gel for electrophoresis of DNA.  The Otis Lab’s mission is to identify, develop, and transfer technology for the survey, exclusion, and control of plant pests and diseases.

An APHIS employee at the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology Otis Lab prepared an agarose gel for electrophoresis of DNA. The Otis Lab’s mission is to identify, develop, and transfer technology for the survey, exclusion, and control of plant pests and diseases.

It’s at that first alarm, when an invasive species is discovered within U.S. borders, that scientists at USDA APHIS’ Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST) power up to solve a biological puzzle and protect American resources. Read more »

Milwaukee Self-Service Center Improves Latino Access to SNAP

Hunger Task Force FoodShare Assistant Elizabeth Leister helps a client access benefits online at the Robles Center. Established in the 1970’s, the Robles Center located in Milwaukee Wisconsin, was the first social services office serving Milwaukee’s predominantly Latino south side.

Hunger Task Force FoodShare Assistant Elizabeth Leister helps a client access benefits online at the Robles Center. Established in the 1970’s, the Robles Center located in Milwaukee Wisconsin, was the first social services office serving Milwaukee’s predominantly Latino south side.

Here at USDA, we’re always looking for great ideas and best practices that improve access to our programs. Access to USDA’s SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program) by Hispanics/Latinos is a special concern because our data show that many low-income Latinos simply don’t apply for SNAP even though they’re eligible. Language and cultural differences, confusion and fear about immigration status of family members are very real roadblocks for many Latinos. That’s why we’re encouraged by a new and exciting social services model in Milwaukee – the Robles Center – that is reducing those barriers and empowering Latino customers. Recently I talked with Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force (HTF) in Milwaukee, to learn more. Read more »

Oregon Forest Camp Gives Kids a Week-Long Outdoor Experience

It was chilly and wet when they arrived in western Oregon, but that didn’t dampen the excitement of the 165 sixth-grade students from six small schools who arrived via yellow buses, pick-up trucks, vans and even a horse trailer at this year’s Forest Camp Outdoor School near the small town of Lebanon.

They kicked off the first day with an all-camp meeting where students were introduced to staff, sang songs and learned camp rules. Campers met their counselors (one parent and one high school student) and moved into one of the 19 cabins. Then they spent the afternoon at challenge courses, cabin development classes and listening to encouraging stories to help gear them up for a successful week away from home. Read more »

Rural Development’s Key Partnerships Promote Economic Development on the Pine Ridge Reservation

USDA Rural Development has a long history of collaboration with the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota.  I’ve seen the power of these collaborations first-hand, both in my current role as Under Secretary for Rural Development, as well back in the 1990s when I had the opportunity to serve as Rural Development’s State Director in South Dakota.

I recently returned to the tribe’s Pine Ridge Reservation, accompanied by twelve Midwestern USDA Rural Development state directors.   We traveled across the reservation, seeing both cultural landmarks and projects that have been impacted by USDA. Read more »

Longest Timber-Truss Pedestrian Bridge in the U.S. Will Link Recreation Visitors with Adventures

The longest, single-space timber truss bridge in North America is currently under construction on the Chugach National Forest in Alaska.  Photo Credit: Forest Service photo

The longest, single-space timber truss bridge in North America is currently under construction on the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. Photo Credit: Forest Service photo

A construction project will literally bridge the gap between dreams and real-world adventure on the Chugach National Forest. Read more »