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Reflecting on National African American History Month

Today marks the end of February, and National African American History Month, which has given us an opportunity to reflect on the value of the contributions made to our great nation by African Americans, and in particular, African American farmers and ranchers.  To celebrate here in Washington, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted an event on February 22 celebrating the life and work of African Americans who have made great contributions to the farming community, including the famous scientist, botanist, educator and inventor, George Washington Carver. Today,  to round out National African American History Month, the Reverend Al Sharpton spoke to employees about “Civil Rights in the Age of Obama.” Read more »

Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer: Join our Webinar to Learn More!

The winds of winter may still be blowing in many parts of the country, but it is already time to start thinking about the summer.   20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year through USDA’s National School Lunch Program. For many children, school meals are the only complete and nutritious meals they eat, and in the summer they go without.  22.3 million children are at risk of going hungry when the school year ends and school lunches are no longer available. Read more »

For an Iowa Family of 10, a New Home Make Dreams Come True

While the past couple years have been a financial challenge for many Americans, the goal of achieving the American Dream of homeownership remains strong. This is especially true in Iowa where USDA Rural Development has been very involved in making homeownership a reality for thousands of rural families. Thanks to additional funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a record 2,400 families in rural Iowa received $233.2 million in mortgage assistance from USDA Rural Development in 2010.  Read more »

Improving the Quality of Life for Rural Maine Cancer Patients though Telemedicine

Maine has one of the highest per capita rates of cancer in the United States, and for many cancer patients living in rural areas of the state, a long drive into a bigger city to receive necessary medical treatment can be daunting.  Snowy Maine winters, the high cost of gasoline, relying on family or friends to drive when a patient is not feeling well, and the sheer exhaustion that comes with traveling 140 miles round trip or longer can take its toll on a cancer patient. Now, thanks in part to a USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant, many patients will be able to receive the highest quality care and treatment without having to leave their own rural communities. Read more »

It Gets Better

If you have ever been bullied, Secretary Vilsack wants you to know that it gets better. Read more »

USDA Rural Development in Puerto Rico Kicks-off A Campaign to Raise Funds for Charities

Earlier this month, José Otero-García, USDA Rural Development State Director for Puerto Rico held a kick-off campaign activity in the Puerto Rico State Office. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) is the only authorized solicitation of Federal employees in their workplaces on behalf of approved charitable organizations. Read more »