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A Pennsylvania Family Celebrates June Homeownership Month with USDA Officials

Pennsylvania Rural Development  State Director Tom Williams (far left) and Acting Administrator for Rural Business Services John Padalino (far right), celebrated National Homeownership Month with Rural Development Housing Loan Recipient Willie Hall and his family at their new  home in Chambersburg.

Pennsylvania Rural Development State Director Tom Williams (far left) and Acting Administrator for Rural Business Services John Padalino (far right), celebrated National Homeownership Month with Rural Development Housing Loan Recipient Willie Hall and his family at their new home in Chambersburg.

Willie Hall and his family are enjoying the American Dream and USDA Rural Development has been with him along the way. Willie was a tenant at Roxbury Ridge Apartments, a Rural Development Multi-Family Housing complex in Shippensburg for many years. He recently accepted a full time position and took the step forward from rental housing to homeownership with the help of a Rural Development Direct low interest home loan. Willie and his family of five are now settled into a 3-bedroom home in a quiet Chambersburg suburb. Read more »

Forest Products Lab Hosts Important Wood-to-Energy Roundtable with Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer

Arthur “Butch” Blazer, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, paid a visit to the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) in Madison, Wis., recently to convene an important roundtable discussion on wood-to-energy concerns in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Among the participants were wood scientists and technology transfer authorities from FPL and Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, representatives from the logging and paper industries, academics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Resource Center, state natural resources officials, and other national and regional Forest Service officials. Read more »

Barley’s Biofuel Bang

ARS chemical engineer Akwasi Boateng (right) and mechanical engineer Neil Goldberg (center) adjust pyrolysis process conditions while chemist Charles Mullen (left) loads the reactor with bioenergy feedstock.

ARS chemical engineer Akwasi Boateng (right) and mechanical engineer Neil Goldberg (center) adjust pyrolysis process conditions while chemist Charles Mullen (left) loads the reactor with bioenergy feedstock.

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.

Although corn is perhaps the most familiar player on the American biofuel scene, scientists with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) say in the long run, barley and its byproducts could prove to be a viable renewable fuel option. Read more »

USDA and Habitat for Humanity Partnership Builds Home for Rural Minnesota Family

A unique partnership between USDA Rural Development and Habitat for Humanity of Douglas County, Minn., (HFHDC) has helped make Cassandra Braford a proud new homeowner.

Braford, a waitress, recently moved into her home in Alexandria, Minn., with her children, Ramsey and Riyada, and her mother, Jean. The home was financed through USDA Rural Development’s direct home loan program. Braford built her home in partnership with HFHDC. Read more »

Children in the Rio Grande Valley Enjoy Summer Food and Fun

As summer time begins, I think of children playing with their friends and having a great time as they enjoy their vacation from school.  I am also very aware that some children may go hungry during the summer months.  Fortunately for children in the Rio Grande Valley on June 1, Catholic Charities began their second year providing meals to children up to age 18 through USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.  Catholic Charities is now providing summer meals in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties in South Texas.

Children select a few healthy options for lunch.

Children select a few healthy options for lunch.

Read more »

Dummy Power Lines Attract Doves to Sumter National Forest Dove Fields

High above the ground in a bucket truck, Blue Ridge Electric Co-op Lineman David Brown attaches a power line to a newly erected pole above the green fields of the Sumter National Forest’s Long Creek dove field. But instead of providing electric service to an outbuilding or an adjacent housing development, Brown’s hard work is aimed at improving the forest’s dove field.

Blue Ridge Electric Co-op is partnering with the forest to install “dummy” power lines at the dove field to make the area more attractive to doves, creating conditions for hunters to be more successful at bagging their game. Read more »