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Community, Natural Resources Focus of National Day of Service

Maya Kwok, 3, helps during a planting project at the Richmond, Calif., Edible Forest as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Maya is the daughter of Alfred Kwok, director of operations for the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station. (US Forest Service photo)

Maya Kwok, 3, helps during a planting project at the Richmond, Edible Forest as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Maya is the daughter of Alfred Kwok, assistant station director, business operations, for the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

From planting fruit trees in a Richmond, Calif., edible forest to laying 32 feet of boardwalk to make an Atlanta urban forest accessible to everyone, U.S. Forest Service employees across the country joined their communities to make a difference as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service. Read more »

NRCS Helps Choctaw Tribe Keep Hominy Tradition Alive & Profitable

A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians removes the kernels from a corn of cob, one step in the hominy-making process.

A member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians removes the kernels from a corn of cob, one step in the hominy-making process.

For special meals like those on birthdays and Christmas, members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians include hominy on the menu—but hominy, essentially dried corn kernels, is expensive to purchase. Read more »

Eating Out Poses a Challenge to Improving Our Diets

Christopher and Natasha Goetz preparing dinner in their home in Garnett, Kansas. By 2005-08, total fat accounted for 30.5 percent of calories in foods prepared at home, compared with 37 percent in away-from-home foods.

Christopher and Natasha Goetz preparing dinner in their home in Garnett, Kansas. By 2005-08, total fat accounted for 30.5 percent of calories in foods prepared at home, compared with 37 percent in away-from-home foods.

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 profile.

With restaurant and take-out meals an everyday occurrence for many, the choices we make when eating out can have a big impact on our health. Federal surveys find that Americans, on average, get 32 percent of their calories from foods ordered from restaurants, fast food places, and other away-from-home sources, up from 18 percent of calories 30 years ago. Read more »

Colorado Resident Achieves Homeownership Dream Twice with Support From USDA

Colorado native and local business owner Bruce Longwell at his Durango, CO home on July 17, 2012. Mr. Longwell financed the single-family house with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) Housing Assistance loan. This provided lower monthly payments than his prior rental home. Homeownership provides potential gains through home equity. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

Colorado native and local business owner Bruce Longwell at his Durango, CO home on July 17, 2012. Mr. Longwell financed the single-family house with a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development (RD) Housing Assistance loan. This provided lower monthly payments than his prior rental home. Homeownership provides potential gains through home equity. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

Homeownership became a reality twice for Bruce Longwell, thanks to USDA Rural Development.  Twice has Longwell been able to purchase a home through the USDA Direct Home Loan Program. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Tells Nebraska Stakeholders about Revolving Loan Opportunities

USDA Rural Development and partners held a revolving loan fund stakeholder roundtable in Lincoln, Nebraska via videoconferencing at the Nebraska sites of Kearney, Chadron, Norfolk and Scottsbluff.  Thirty-six stakeholders attended, learning about the various revolving loan fund programs that USDA Rural Development offers.

Partners who contributed to the roundtable included Executive Director Jen Wolf of Dawson Area Development, Business Loan Officer Craig Eberle of Southeast Nebraska Development District and Business Loan Specialists Jeff Christensen and Holly Quinn of Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District. Read more »

US Mint Releases Quarter Honoring White Mountain National Forest

The U.S. Mint released a quarter honoring the White Mountain National Forest that covers approximately 750,852 acres in the northeastern U.S.

The U.S. Mint released a quarter honoring the White Mountain National Forest that covers approximately 750,852 acres in the northeastern U.S.

The wind-whipped peaks that tower above the tree-filled valleys of the White Mountain National Forest have been a symbol of wild America since well before the first New England colonies were established. Now, the natural beauty that has drawn visitors for centuries is featured on an America the Beautiful Quarter released recently by the U.S. Mint. Read more »