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Trout Hatching Gives Students a Window to Conservation

 

Chapman Hill Elementary students monitor the development of rainbow trout eggs they’re raising in their classroom as part of an international fish education project.  (U.S. Forest Service photo/Becky Flitcroft)

Chapman Hill Elementary students monitor the development of rainbow trout eggs they’re raising in their classroom as part of an international fish education project. (U.S. Forest Service photo/Becky Flitcroft)

Recently, elementary students in three Oregon classrooms welcomed a few hundred special guests that required unique accommodations — a small refrigerator, a covered tank, gravel, and a water filter.

The students were part of an international fish education project that connected students in Oregon and Northern Ireland through the common experience of raising and releasing native trout. Read more »

USDA Uses Grant Funds to Expand Businesses and Create Jobs in South Dakota

Last fall, South Dakota USDA Rural Development highlighted a valuable partner; GROW South Dakota, formerly known as the Northeast South Dakota Economic Corporation, for its 18 year partnership in community lending.  While giving back to the communities they serve, GROW South Dakota has also contributed to the region as a whole through its fiscal administrative support of regional planning and development through a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG)  and a  Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG).

Said South Dakota State Director Elsie Meeks, “The total impact that GROW has had is not just measured in loans made or jobs created; they have assisted in the stabilization and creation of thriving, vibrant communities in rural South Dakota.”  USDA funds have been used to develop and provide web-based technical assistance for the region’s partnering organizations and for a regional website that provides a central link to local organizations and expertise for the current technology and available social media. Read more »

NASS Ag Research Counts!

"Don Phillips, NASS interviewer, uses iPad for data collection for the September Agricultural Survey."

"Don Phillips, NASS interviewer, uses iPad for data collection for the September Agricultural Survey."

To recognize the contribution that research in agriculture makes in our daily lives, we’re focusing this month’s Science Tuesday blogs on the successes that USDA science agencies have achieved for us all.

How do we know where we’re going unless we know where we’re starting from? That question is the starting point for the world of ag statistics. The numbers point that way, and it takes hundreds of surveys every year, filled out by people working in and depending upon U.S. agriculture, to get those numbers. You may not have considered that collecting statistics was a key part of developing the products you use on a daily basis.  So, today we’re highlighting some of our greatest research stories about statistics because “Ag Research Counts” every day, for every American. Tomorrow is the beginning of our trivia contest on Facebook from ‘Science Tuesday’ blogs we’re featuring this month. You can also learn more cool facts in our conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AgResearchCounts. Here are this week’s blogs featuring NASS research that impacts each of us every day: Read more »

Spring Snows, Cold Weather to Give Way to Camping – Are You Ready?

This campground is on the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

This campground is on the Cascade Ranger District of the Boise National Forest.

As the weather begins to get warmer and the sun stays high in the sky longer, we hope your thoughts turn to camping and outdoor activities on your national forests and grasslands.

Whether you are camping on the ground, in a tent or in a recreational vehicle, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned recreationist, there are ways to prepare before heading outdoors to create an unforgettable experience. Read more »

Job Corps Students Graduate to Fight Fires Across the Nation

Thomas Barnett, a March 2013 graduate of the Centennial Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, works on building slash piles to help thin unwanted forest fuels on the Boise National Forest in 2012. Recently hired by the forest, Barnett will start work as part of fire crew in May and put his newly minted wildland firefighting skills to work as he pursues a career in firefighting. (U.S. Forest Service photo/ Michael Delaney)

Thomas Barnett, a March 2013 graduate of the Centennial Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, works on building slash piles to help thin unwanted forest fuels on the Boise National Forest in 2012. Recently hired by the forest, Barnett will start work as part of fire crew in May and put his newly minted wildland firefighting skills to work as he pursues a career in firefighting. (U.S. Forest Service photo/ Michael Delaney)

Until recently, Thomas Barnett, formerly of Washington state, did not have a career goal in mind.

However, this spring, the 24-year-old graduated from the Centennial Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Nampa, Idaho, and will begin his career as a seasonal firefighter on a fire crew with the Idaho City Ranger District on the Boise National Forest. He said he’ll pursue a career in firefighting because it’s exciting and he enjoys helping people and communities threatened by wildfire.  Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Groundbreaking Research Provided by a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill

This year, USDA is committed to helping Congress get a comprehensive, multiyear Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed as soon as possible. This is critical to provide certainty for U.S. producers, while giving USDA the tools we need to continue strengthening the rural economy.

Without a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill, one area that would be seriously impacted is USDA’s agricultural research.

For more than 100 years, USDA scientists and their partners have made tremendous advancements. They’ve developed more nutritious foods, invented new medicines and fabrics, improved food safety, learned more about the production of many different plants and animals, and helped create new ways to use plant materials for incredible biobased products.  Read more »