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A Treasure to be Remembered: USDA Support Turns a Historic Church into a Museum

Rural communities carry with them a long line of history.  St. John’s Catholic Church in Table Rock, Nebraska was built in 1877 and is one of the oldest churches in Southeast Nebraska.  The church has large murals covering the interior that were painted by a displaced immigrant from Russia in appreciation for refuge in the small community.  He used his artistic talents to create on plain wallboard an illusion of marble walls, pillars, and curtains.  Most striking is the large mural behind the altar.  Some of the original pews and church furniture remain and the Church’s interior is as it was when used for religious services.

The Table Rock Historical Society and Museum, Inc. wanted to preserve the church’s history with the creation of St. John’s Catholic Church Museum where the art and beauty of the church could be admired. Read more »

Apache Youth Grows Food for His Community

Millie Titla, NRCS district conservationist in San Carlos, Ariz., and her nephew Noah Titla work at the San Carlos 4-H Garden Club’s community garden.

Millie Titla, NRCS district conservationist in San Carlos, Ariz., and her nephew Noah Titla work at the San Carlos 4-H Garden Club’s community garden.

An Apache youth, Noah Titla, 13, has chosen to follow in the footsteps of generations of San Carlos Apaches by growing and harvesting his own food. His passion for reconnecting growing food with tribal traditions has been a catalyst for increasing awareness of the benefits and availability of fresh food on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in southeastern Arizona.

Through his hard work at the San Carlos 4-H Garden Club’s community garden, Noah is making a difference in a state included in the USDA’s StrikeForce Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity. The initiative addresses high-priority funding and technical assistance needs in rural communities in 16 states, including Arizona, with a special emphasis on historically underserved communities and producers in areas with persistent poverty, such as the San Carlos Apache Reservation. Read more »

Time To Do Something About Food Waste

On June 4th, 2013, in advance of World Environment Day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge.  Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe announced their agencies’ commitments to reduce, recover and recycle food waste – and called on others to join in the effort.  At the event were representatives from private-sector partners and supporters, including Rio Farms, Unilever, General Mills, the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, Feeding America, and Rock and Wrap It Up!. Read more »

Usted, la Bacteria Listeria moncytogenes y la Listeriosis

Los Centros para el Control y Prevención de Enfermedades (CDC, por sus siglas en ingles) han publicado un reporte llamando Signos vitales (“Vital Signs”) enfocado en los riesgo de salud relacionados con el patógeno Listeria monocytogenes, causante de enfermedades a través de los alimentos.  Algunos alimentos tienden a presentar un mayor riesgo de contaminación con la Listeria monocytogenes. Así se demuestra en la evaluación de riesgos Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens, recientemente publicada por el Servicio de Inocuidad e Inspección de Alimentos (FSIS, por sus siglas en inglés) del Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos y Nutrición Aplicada del FDA, han hecho que recientemente la Listeria moncytogenes sean el centro de atención. Read more »

Listeria Monocytogenes, Listeriosis, and You

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s June issue of Vital Signs focuses on the health risks associated with the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.  Certain foods are more likely to pose of higher risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, as outlined in a recently published risk assessment,  Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens, by USDA’s, Food Safety and Inspection Service and the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Read more »

Corn Cobs on the Job

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.

If you’re of a certain age, you might remember General Douglas MacArthur’s famous corncob pipe, or the one sported by “Granny” on the hit TV show “The Beverly Hillbillies.” But aside from those picturesque examples, corncobs have tended to mostly be considered a waste product left over from the harvest of the golden, juicy kernels of corn.

That’s in the process of changing, thanks to the scientists of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).  For starters, they’ve shown that corn cobs left in the field after harvest can boost soil quality.  Beyond that, those tough cobs can be used to make a whole host of products. Read more »