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

Gardening at 9,500 Feet!

Mark Platten (right) with some of the Junior Master Gardeners of Cripple Creek, Colorado

With gas prices on the rise and the trip to the nearest large grocery store clocking in at 50 miles, Mark Platten realized an opportunity much closer to home. Platten, the Colorado State University Extension Director for Teller County, began brainstorming and came up with the idea for a program that would engage young people in gardening, put fresh food on the table, and facilitate community service opportunities in the town of Cripple Creek, Colorado – a small town situated in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 9,500. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Administrator Tours Rural Maine Public Safety Improvements and Celebrates New Homeowners

USDA Rural Development Administrator for Housing and Community Programs Tammye Trevino presents new homeowners John Barnes and Jennifer Harry with a framed picture of their new home.

USDA Rural Development Administrator for  Housing and Community Programs Tammye Trevino visited Maine to participate in events highlighting a rural police department, new homeowners, and to attend a high-level forum “Housing in America: Innovative Solutions to Address the Needs of Tomorrow” organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission in Partnership with the Jack Kemp Foundation. Read more »

Organic 101: Organic Certification Cost Share Programs

To protect the integrity of the organic industry and its products, farms must certify that their operations are following USDA organic regulations.  The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service offers farms resources to help offset the certification costs. To protect the integrity of the organic industry and its products, farms must certify that their operations are following USDA organic regulations.  The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service offers farms resources to help offset the certification costs.

To protect the integrity of the organic industry and its products, farms must certify that their operations are following USDA organic regulations. The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service offers farms resources to help offset the certification costs.

This is the seventh installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.

 

Annual organic certification fees allow certifiers to carry out their responsibilities. These fees vary according to an operation’s size and other variables. In light of that, the USDA organic cost share programs help to ensure that these costs don’t discourage those wanting to pursue organic certification. The programs make certification more affordable by reimbursing producers and handlers for as much as 75%—up to a maximum of $750 a year—for their certification costs. Eligible costs include application fees, inspection fees, travel for certification inspectors, and even postage. Read more »

From Food Trucks to Text Messages – Fighting Hunger in New York City

Northeast Regional Administrator, James Arena-DeRosa serves a meal from the NYC food truck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.

Northeast Regional Administrator, James Arena-DeRosa serves a meal from the NYC food truck at Orchard Beach in the Bronx.

For most children, summertime means school vacation, family trips and beach days, but for many, it also means losing the two free or reduced-price meals provided at school. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Managing our Forests to Drive Job Growth

Every day, the Department of Agriculture is hard at work to strengthen the rural economy and grow our rural communities.

Right now we continue to focus on responding to the drought that’s impacting much of our nation. My thoughts remain with those who are affected, and President Obama and I will continue doing all we can to help. Unfortunately the disaster programs contained in the 2008 Farm Bill have already expired, leaving us with limited tools – and the House of Representatives still has not passed a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, or any other drought assistance.

The Obama Administration continues to call on Congress to give USDA the tools it needs to help those impacted by drought. Read more »

USDA Support Helps Rosebud Sioux Tribal Community Construct a Key Building

A building that will stand against natural disaster for the safety of the Corn Creek District, Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota, is being partially funded through a grant from USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Economic Impact Initiative (EII).  While providing a safe haven for the residents, the community building will also provide a space for health care and emergency services and a facility for community youth.

If a community building is going to offer so much in integral services for the area, it should also be energy efficient.  The foam forms for the walls will be filled with concrete and will add greatly to the insulation and temperature control of the building. Read more »