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

In DC for the Inauguration? Come Say #HelloUSDA!

Planning to be in town for the 2013 Presidential Inauguration?  USDA will open its doors on the National Mall for a USDA open house on Friday, January 18 from 10am – 2pm. The open house is a special opportunity to learn more about USDA’s important role in the lives of every American – helping to provide an abundant and safe food supply, natural resource conservation, groundbreaking research, clean energy, and much more. Read more »

Mississippi Landowner Nurtures Healthy Forest, Helps Wildlife

Variano Suarez (right) worked with NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Kelvin Jackson and other staff members to plant native legumes on his land, providing food and shelter for dove and other wildlife.

Variano Suarez (right) worked with NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Kelvin Jackson and other staff members to plant native legumes on his land, providing food and shelter for dove and other wildlife.

Variano “Chino” Suarez manages four restaurants in Mississippi. You could say that he appreciates his free time more than most. When it’s time to unwind, Suarez retreats to his forest acres in the red clay hills of eastern Mississippi. Here, wildlife thrives and ponds are filled with bream and bass. Read more »

Ag Census Demonstrates Value of Agriculture, Data Critical for Programs and Policies

Today, farmers and ranchers have less than three weeks to return their Census of Agriculture – and at USDA, we hope that everyone who can get their response back to us as soon as possible.

Currently underway by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, the Census collects detailed data covering nearly every facet of U.S. agriculture. It’s the only source of uniform, comprehensive and impartial agricultural data for every county in the nation, and this year’s Census will provide USDA current information as we work to support American agriculture and build up the rural economy.

Accurate statistical data regarding our rural areas is important as we work hard at USDA to design effective programs and deliver quality service, even as we work to streamline operations and reduce our budget footprint. Read more »

Timber Thief in Washington Cuts Down 300-Year-Old Tree

Jeff Penman, an area measurement specialist from the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Regional office, stands atop the stump of an old-growth tree felled illegally in Olympic National Forest. The tree was estimated to be at least 300 years old. Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington.

Jeff Penman, an area measurement specialist from the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Regional office, stands atop the stump of an old-growth tree felled illegally in Olympic National Forest. The tree was estimated to be at least 300 years old. Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington.

Thanks to a lengthy investigation led by U.S. Forest Service law enforcement personnel, a Washington man has been convicted of stealing timber and damaging trees worth more than $250,000 from the Olympic National Forest in Washington state. Read more »

On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation: The People’s Plan for Regional Sustainability

Federal partners working with Thunder Valley CDC:  Left to right: Guadalupe M. Herrera,HUD Region VIII Sustainability Officer; Scott Moore, Thunder Valley CDC Project Coordinator & Architect; Nick Tilsen,Thunder Valley CDC Executive Director; Shelley Poticha, Director of the HUD Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, and Christine Sorensen-South Dakota USDA Rural Development staff.

Federal partners working with Thunder Valley CDC: Left to right: Guadalupe M. Herrera,HUD Region VIII Sustainability Officer; Scott Moore, Thunder Valley CDC Project Coordinator & Architect; Nick Tilsen,Thunder Valley CDC Executive Director; Shelley Poticha, Director of the HUD Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, and Christine Sorensen-South Dakota USDA Rural Development staff.

South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director Elsie Meeks joined the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC), and other consortium members recently on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of southwestern South Dakota to discuss next steps for the Oyate Omniciye | Oglala Lakota Plan.   The regional planning process and the collaboration of a broad cross-section of regional stakeholders have created a regional plan for sustainable development and acts as a tool to begin implementation.  One of the 12 initiatives identified in the Plan includes the creation of a Regional Planning Office.  State Director Meeks attended the recent consortium meeting regarding the Regional Planning Office, stating “The planning team assembled by Thunder Valley CDC and diverse membership of the consortium have created a framework for sustainability; a regional plan that will allow for a coordination of resources and support.” Read more »

Resolving on a Healthier Future

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.

Chances are that among many of the Americans who made a New Year’s resolution, nutrition figures somewhere in their goal. They may be aiming to shed a few pounds, or opt for a healthier diet, or perhaps they’re going for the whole package of a healthier lifestyle encompassing both diet and exercise.

While it’s not exactly a New Year’s resolution, a group of federal agencies is making a fresh start this month with the Interagency Committee on Human Nutrition Research (ICHNR), co-chaired by Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, and Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee was chartered in 1983 and will be reestablished in 2013. Read more »