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Forest Service Helps Restore Fish to Oregon Stream

After nearly a century, a five-mile stretch of the Lower Oak Grove Fork of Oregon’s Clackamas River will have native fish swimming year-round in this restored stream once again.

Early in the 20th century, the growing communities around Portland needed hydroelectric power. The Oak Grove Fork dam, located in the foothills of the Cascade Range some 30 miles east of the city, was one of several in the region built to help fill that need.

Unfortunately, by impounding the steam’s water and diverting it for power generation, the river was denied its natural seasonal rise and fall which hindered the movement and spawning of fish. Read more »

Opening Doors to Natural Sciences

A portrait of Anna Botsford Comstock - a leader in nature studies and the first female professor at Cornell.

A portrait of Anna Botsford Comstock - a leader in nature studies and the first female professor at Cornell.

March is Women’s History Month, a time to pay tribute to the contributions of women and the significant role they’ve played in agriculture and beyond. This year’s celebration focuses on “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.” Read more »

A Statistician’s Work is Never Done

Barbara Rater visited the Republic of Georgia to assist with Georgian Census of Agriculture.

Barbara Rater visited the Republic of Georgia to assist with Georgian Census of Agriculture.

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.

2013 is the International Year of Statistics. As part of this global event, every month this year USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will profile careers of individuals who are making significant contributions to improve agricultural statistics in the United States.

March is National Women’s History Month, celebrating women’s many accomplishments throughout history. And 2013 is the International Year of Statistics, in which countries and organizations around the world mark the power and impact of statistics. Together, these two celebrations touch me on a personal level.   After all, only several decades ago, there were virtually no female statisticians, while today, more than half the staff at the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), where I work, is female. Read more »

Under Secretary Takes a Walk Down Memory Lane at a Wisconsin Cheese Plant

On a recent trip to Wisconsin, USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager had an opportunity to revisit a specialty cheese plant in Montfort, Wis. that he had helped to establish about ten years ago.

In 2002, the Wisconsin Farmers Union hired a cheesemaker and took steps to begin the start-up of a specialty cheese plant in Montfort, Wis. to add value to milk produced by Wisconsin dairy farmers and to create the WI Farmers Union Specialty Cheese Company. To ensure success of the endeavor, the Wisconsin Farmers Union sought assistance from Golden Plains Ventures, an organization founded by Under Secretary Tonsager. Read more »

USDA StrikeForce: Expanding Partnerships and Opportunity in Rural Communities

Cross posted from The Huffington Post:

Rural Americans face many unique challenges – and every day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides assistance to help grow American agriculture and increase opportunity for rural communities. Unfortunately, 90 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties are in rural America–and we can’t allow these areas to be left behind. This week, USDA is further expanding a program to partner with rural communities and regions on projects they support to promote economic growth. Through this initiative, known as the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, USDA helps communities leverage their resources to access programs, promote economic development and create more jobs. Read more »