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

Forest Service International Programs Leads Study Tour for Chileans

During an eight-day trip, Toby Bloom, Forest Service International Programs specialist, led four delegates from the Chilean Forest Commission to the Southwest Region to learn ways to involve indigenous groups in public use planning and environmental outreach.  The group visited the Jemez Pueblo Visitor Center, Zuni Pueblo, and several national forests and reserves with significance to Native American tribes. The visitors met with the Kaibab National Forest Cooperative Management team to discuss their roles in collaborating and communicating with the seven tribes bordering the forest.

Local and regional Forest Service staff shared with the Chileans the types of conflicts or concerns they deal with on a daily basis, such as how to manage sacred sites and cultural resources/plants within the forest, how to keep tribes informed about Forest Service activities, and how to solicit feedback on management activities including fuel reduction, concession infrastructure, hunting and other permits. Read more »

New York USDA Staff Steps Forward to Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

It will take months for New York to recover from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. (photo credit: W.M. Shelley).

It will take months for New York to recover from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. (photo credit: W.M. Shelley).

When the state first heard the news about a storm possibly hitting the East Coast, many people in New York did not know what to expect. Would it make landfall before New York? Would it take a turn and dissipate over the Atlantic Ocean? Forecasters had predicted that the storm would deliver “severe winds, rain and even the potential of life-threatening flooding throughout the Eastern seaboard.” As New York City began widespread evacuations and shuttered the City’s transit system, the state collectively held its breath. Read more »

USDA Urges Holiday Shoppers to Sample Local Businesses

The Reading Terminal Market offers produce fresh from the field to the people of Philadelphia, PA.

The Reading Terminal Market offers produce fresh from the field to the people of Philadelphia, PA.

Saturday, November 24, 2012 is Small Business Saturday.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, in partnership with the White House and the Small Business Administration, proudly supports this important effort by asking everyone to shop at small businesses whenever possible.  Presently, there are 28 million small businesses throughout the United States, representing 44 percent of U.S. private sector payroll.  These small businesses also create 2 out of every 3 new American jobs. Read more »

Bringing Federal Partners to the Local Foods Table

Three years ago this fall, Secretary Vilsack and I launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative (KYF2).  Since then, we’ve seen interest and participation in local and regional food systems grow beyond anything we expected: whether I’m meeting with buffalo ranchers from the Great Plains or with members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, I hear about efforts to connect producers and consumers locally and interest in how USDA can help.

In meetings of the White House Rural Council, which has representatives from across the federal government, regional food systems have been a key part of discussions. Read more »

2012 Census of Agriculture Provides Producers Thanks and Hope this Holiday

Nearing the end of cranberry harvest in New Jersey, one week prior to Hurricane Sandy.

Nearing the end of cranberry harvest in New Jersey, one week prior to Hurricane Sandy.

As our nation’s farm families gather this Thanksgiving to count their many blessings and reflect on this year’s harvest, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) urges producers to ensure their farm or ranch is also counted in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The Census is a crucial tool that provides farmers with a voice in the future of their community and operation. Read more »

Giving Thanks for Research

The Beltsville Small White turkey, developed by USDA scientists in the 1930s, met the American homemaker’s needs and secured turkey’s starring role on holiday tables

The Beltsville Small White turkey, developed by USDA scientists in the 1930s, met the American homemaker’s needs and secured turkey’s starring role on holiday tables

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.

When you sit down to your Thanksgiving feast and reflect on the bounty on your table, you might want to say a quiet “thank you” to the agricultural researchers who have made your holiday favorites so plentiful and so good for you, too.

Let’s start with the Thanksgiving star: the turkey.  This Native American bird was rapidly slipping in popularity in the 1930s because smaller family size and smaller iceboxes meant there were too many unwieldy leftovers from the big birds. Read more »