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With USDA Help, Rural African Farming Comes to Rural Massachusetts

World Farmers Inc. and some of the farmers it serves. (Left to right) Fabiola Nizigiyimana, Lucia Ngatia, Maria Mbonimpa, Maria Moreira (Executive Director World Farmers), and Virginia Apraiari.

World Farmers Inc. and some of the farmers it serves. (Left to right) Fabiola Nizigiyimana, Lucia Ngatia, Maria Mbonimpa, Maria Moreira (Executive Director World Farmers), and Virginia Apraiari.

What do immigrant farmers from Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, and Liberia have in common with central rural Massachusetts?

The Answer:  World Farmers Inc. or WFI. Read more »

How Corned Beef and Cabbage Became a Holiday Staple

Infographic highlighting the history, anatomy and market of corned beef & cabbage.

Infographic highlighting the history, anatomy and market of corned beef & cabbage. Click to enlarge image.

For most of us in the U.S., corned beef and cabbage is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. But its association with the holiday isn’t an Irish tradition.  It is a uniquely American tradition, a blending of both history and opportunity. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Generational Change to Improve Childhood Nutrition

This week, we are renewing our efforts at USDA to encourage a generational shift to improve childhood nutrition.

Today, too many of our children aren’t getting the nutrition they need.  One-third of today’s children are at risk for preventable health problems because of their weight. Only a quarter of our 17 to 24 year old young people are eligible for military service, in part because many of them are overweight or obese. Read more »

Ski with a Ranger a Breathtaking Adventure

Amy Teeters, Forest Service volunteer, describes how geological processes formed the Lake Tahoe Basin. (Photo courtesy Tom Schaefer, U.S. Forest Service volunteer)

Amy Teeters, Forest Service volunteer, describes how geological processes formed the Lake Tahoe Basin. (Photo courtesy Tom Schaefer, U.S. Forest Service volunteer)

For many skiers, it’s up the lift, down the hill and back again.

But a new program pairs U.S. Forest Service rangers and guests at the Lake Tahoe Heavenly Mountain Resort for an hour-long, free, guided ski and snowboard tour. Read more »

Sun Ranch Helps Protect Sage Grouse in Wyoming

Dennis Sun on Sun Ranch, west of Casper, Wyo., with NRCS intern Meghan McPhaden. Photo credit: Haley Lockwood/NRCS

Dennis Sun on Sun Ranch, west of Casper, Wyo., with NRCS intern Meghan McPhaden. Photo credit: Haley Lockwood/NRCS

Dennis Sun, owner of the Sun Ranch west of Casper, Wyo. and publisher/owner of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup, is making his ranch friendlier for a small bird that he can neither sell nor hunt. That’s because he wanted to help ensure that the sage grouse doesn’t get listed as an endangered species.

The sage grouse is a ground-dwelling bird native to the sagebrush ecosystem of the American West. Once numbering 16 million, it has dwindled to as few as 200,000 birds. About 40 percent of all sage grouse are found in Wyoming. Read more »

Missouri Community Foundations Find Common Ground and Make a Stand

Collaboration, cooperation and coordination are good words, especially when all three can be used to describe an action.  Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri (CFNWMO) and nine other Missouri community foundations are collaborating, cooperating and coordinating in the funding and creation of a Transfer of Wealth (TOW) study.

On March 5, 2013, USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director Janie Dunning hosted an event announcing the funding of a Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) to complete the TOW study.  The impetus for submitting the RBOG application came when Secretary Tom Vilsack attended the foundation’s annual meeting in January 2012. Read more »