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North Dakota to Get New Hospital Through Recovery Act Funding

Groundbreaking for the Jamestown Hospital ProjectI had the pleasure of joining USDA Under Secretary Tonsager, Senator Kent Conrad, Senator Byron Dorgan and Congressman Earl Pomeroy in the ground-breaking of a new regional medical center in Jamestown, North Dakota. This project is a direct result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that President Obama signed into law in February. Read more »

A Visit to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting

On Thursday Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager participated in Trade Talk during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention in Kansas City. Read more »

South Dakota Municipal League Benefits from Recovery Act Funds

It’s a source of pride to me that South Dakota is benefitting from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that President Obama signed into law in February.  As an example, the South Dakota Municipal League is breaking ground on a lot in the Teton Island Addition in Fort Pierre for new office and training space.  The new facility will provide office space for six employees, plus two additional spaces to allow for future staff expansion. These federal funds will help improve services offered by the League, including trainings and meetings sessions. Read more »

An Informative Farm-to-School Roundtable in St. Paul

I had the opportunity this week to participate in a roundtable discussion and tour of the St. Paul Schools’ Nutrition Services center. Joining me were local school foodservice professionals and members of the farming, distribution and non-profit community who are working to expand Farm-to-School programs in Minnesota. Read more »

Tribal Nations Gather at USDA for Open Dialogue

In celebration of American Indian Heritage Month the U.S. Department of Agriculture today reported that there are nearly 80,000 American Indian operators on 61,472 farms and ranches across the United States. This represents an 88-percent increase over the number of American Indian farmers USDA counted in 2002. Read more »

Merrigan Highlights Successful Farm-to-School Programs

When we rolled out the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative back in September, a special highlight for me was the announcement of the Farm-to-School Tactical Teams.  Through the leadership of Congress and the 2008 Farm Bill, schools can now use federal dollars to support their local farmers all the while providing students with fresh, wholesome foods that taste like they came from just around the corner (because they did!). Read more »