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Reporte USDA: Programa WIC aumenta la lactancia materna, llega a los más necesitados

Nutricionistas del WIC discuten opciones de alimentos saludables con participantes y niños

Nutricionistas del WIC discuten opciones de alimentos saludables con participantes y niños

Los programas de nutrición del USDA (por siglas en inglés) proveen acceso a una dieta saludable a millones de americanos elegibles para las ayudas cada mes. Ya sea en escuelas, centros comunitarios o en casas de todo el país, estos programas trabajan en conjunto como una red de seguridad nutritiva para asegurar que ningún americano que cualifique pase hambre.

Considero que la nutrición suplementar para mujeres, infantes y niños, mejor conocida como WIC (por sus siglas en inglés)  es un programa especial. Dicho programa provee alimentos suplementarios a los más vulnerables—infantes, embarazadas, mujeres lactando y luego del parto y a niños hasta la edad de 5 años que enfrentan un riesgo nutricional. WIC también provee referencias para atención médica y social, y para educación nutritiva, incluyendo la promoción y el soporte a la lactancia materna. Read more »

USDA Report: WIC Boosts Breastfeeding, Reaches Those in Need

WIC nutritionists discuss healthy food choices with program participants and children.

WIC nutritionists discuss healthy food choices with program participants and children.

USDA’s nutrition assistance programs provide access to a healthy diet for millions of eligible Americans each month. Whether in schools, community feeding sites, or in households across the country, they comprise a nutrition safety net to ensure that no eligible American goes hungry.

In my opinion the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, better known as “WIC,” is indeed a special program. It provides supplemental foods to our most vulnerable — infants, pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk.  WIC also provides referrals to social and health care services and nutrition education, including breastfeeding promotion and support. Read more »

Wyoming Ranchers Make Space for Pollinators

Blanket flowers are one of flowers seeded on the Drake ranch.

Blanket flowers are one of flowers seeded on the Drake ranch.

Lester and Bonnie Drake wanted to increase the plant diversity on their Campbell County, Wyo. ranch, and they were able to help pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, in the process.

With more types of grasses, more food is available for cattle at different times. And for the pollinators, more grasses lead to more blooms.

The Drakes were the first to establish pollinator habitat in their county with the help of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. They’re enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program, the agency’s Farm Bill program geared to conservationists who want to take their conservation investment to the next level. The program provides technical and financial assistance for landowners wanting to implement conservation. Read more »

Behind the Scenes with Ag Statistics

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.

It is astounding to reflect at the end of the year and realize once again how many pieces came together each day, each week, and each month to make sure the United States has the best official agricultural statistics. It is something of a well-oiled machine made up of America’s farmers, statisticians, modern technology, deep agricultural knowledge, and the most basic elements of human interaction – trust and hard work – that brings forth these useful and objective data on time year after year since 1840.

It takes hundreds of thousands of producers responding to a multitude of surveys each year, in addition to the every-five-year Census of Agriculture which USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducted this year, to provide the source information about U.S. farm production.  For this, we thank each individual producer who takes the time to complete the surveys.  Get a first look at the 2012 Census of Agriculture data on February 20, 2014 at the Ag Outlook Forum. Read more »

NIFA Signs Pact to Promote and Support U.S.-Israeli Agricultural R&D

NIFA Director Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, right, and Edo Chalutz, executive director of the U.S.–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on November 22.  The MOU promotes, supports and expands the robust agricultural research and development on-going between the two countries.  (Photo by Julia Lewis)

NIFA Director Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, right, and Edo Chalutz, executive director of the U.S.–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on November 22. The MOU promotes, supports and expands the robust agricultural research and development on-going between the two countries. (Photo by Julia Lewis)

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.

On November 22, the United States and Israel came one step closer to renewing agricultural research and development activities that could produce new knowledge and innovations beneficial to both countries and increase the economic bottom line for farmers and ranchers.

Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Edo Chalutz, executive director of the U.S.–Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD), signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to promote collaboration via NIFA among U.S. and Israeli scientists and engineers. BARD and the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA’s intramural research agency, have cooperated on research together since BARD’s inception. Read more »

FSIS Sets “Resolutions” for 2014

Today, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service shared with the public our “New Year’s Resolutions” for Fiscal Year 2014. Like many of the people who consume the products we regulate, we set new goals for ourselves at the beginning of each year. Known as the Annual Performance Plan, this list of key results we plan to achieve between now and September 2014 to do our jobs better, which means making America’s supply of meat, poultry, and egg products safer to eat. This is our third APP.  It is something that we take very seriously.  It is consistent with our emphasis on performance and our efforts to improve how we do our jobs every day.

The goals listed in our APP are all measurable. By setting specific targets and measuring our progress throughout the year, we have a clearer picture of what is working well, which initiatives are not effective, and where we may not be challenging ourselves enough. By making our targets public, we are holding ourselves accountable to you, and we are giving the regulated industry, consumers, and other interested persons an overview of our priorities and of our expectations for the year ahead. Read more »