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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 »

Wheat Research in Maine Rising to the Challenge

There is nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread. Now image if bread, like wine, was valued for its “terroir” – the idea that the land where the ingredients come from impart a special flavor or essence to the final product. Well that may not be a far fetched idea if you try Borealis Breads up in Portland, Maine. Read more »

Smokey Bear and Sammy Soil Team Up for Conservation

It was a moment some felt would never happen – at least not so spontaneously. The two mascots, the Forest Service’s Smokey Bear and the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Sammy Soil were amusing adults and children attending the final USDA Farmer’s Market of the year, when they met face to face on Jefferson Drive. The moment was a little tense as no one really new what would happen. Read more »

USDA Celebrates Food and Nutrition at the Inaugural Fall Festival

Halloween has passed, but here in DC the fall leaves are still beautiful despite all the rain we’ve been having–and last Friday USDA had a great end of season party. Read more »

Recovery Act Funds Provide Jobs and Help Families find Affordable Housing in Nebraska

Pastor Mendez family stands in front of their new home, financed with Recovery Act guarantee funds through USDA Rural DevelopmentOne of the most satisfying things about being State Director of USDA Rural Development in Nebraska is seeing in person how the Recovery Act helps our local businesses and families. Read more »