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Forest Service Partners with Local Town to Increase Tree Canopy

Frogtown homeowner Renee Taylor stands proudly next to her newly planted tree thanks to the tree planting partnership. (U.S. Forest Service/Teri Heyer)

Frogtown homeowner Renee Taylor stands proudly next to her newly planted tree thanks to the tree planting partnership. (U.S. Forest Service/Teri Heyer)

Residents of the Frogtown neighborhood in St. Paul, Minn., will soon enjoy a burst of green throughout their neighborhood and breathe easier, thanks to a newly formalized partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and a local environmental nonprofit organization, Tree Trust.

Through its Urban Connections program, the Forest Service’s national forests in the Eastern Region, Tree Trust, and other local organizations planted 50 trees (tamarack, Princeton elm, Regal Prince oak, and River birch), in May and October, in the historic Frogtown neighborhood. Read more »

MyPlate Holiday 10 Tips – Make Healthier Holiday Choices

10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Make Healthier Holiday Choices

10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Make Healthier Holiday Choices

The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th.

This holiday season, the nutritionists at the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion have shared some of their favorite holiday recipes during our MyPlate Holiday Makeover Series. Today, we offer a new tip sheet, Make Healthier Holiday Choices to help you improve a few of your favorite recipes and stay healthier during this festive season.  The new tip sheet includes special ways to celebrate with family and friends such as making exercise part of the fun, enjoying all the food groups during your holiday meal, and giving some of your time to help others. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: A New Farm Bill to Carry On America’s Record Agricultural Trade

Over the course of 2013, we’ve seen yet another banner year for U.S. agricultural exports. Exports of U.S. farm and ranch products reached a record $140.9 billion in 2013 and supported about a million U.S. jobs. In fact, compared to the previous five-year period from 2004-2008, U.S. agricultural exports from 2009-2013 increased by a total of nearly $230 billion.

All told, the past five years represent the strongest five-year period in our nation’s history for agricultural exports.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has focused on two key factors in recent years to help make this success possible. First, an unprecedented effort by USDA and our Federal partners to expand and grow markets around the world. Second, a commitment to make sure our farmers and ranchers have the tools to grow more, even in the face of uncertainty. Read more »

Organic 101: Organic Trade Basics

Expanding trade for U.S. organic products—like the carrots pictured above—creates opportunities for small businesses and increases jobs for Americans who grow, package, ship and market their organic products.

Expanding trade for U.S. organic products—like the carrots pictured above—creates opportunities for small businesses and increases jobs for Americans who grow, package, ship and market their organic products.

This is the fourteenth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.

Are you a certified organic operation looking to increase your market presence? USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently published two fact sheets that explain the basics of importing and exporting organic products to assist organic producers and processors in accessing new markets for their products.

Expanding trade for U.S. organic products creates opportunities for small businesses and increases jobs for Americans who grow, package, ship and market organic products. During this Administration, USDA has streamlined trade with multiple foreign governments. Read more »