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A USDA-funded Transfer Station Cuts Costs for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe was exceeding the landfill capacity of handling 20 tons a day of garbage at the central landfill in the Northeast corner of the Rosebud Reservation.  Garbage is hauled from twenty communities on the Reservation that range from 15 miles to 80 miles one way.  Approximately 30 tons of solid waste is generated daily on the Rosebud Reservation.

Recently the Rosebud Sioux Tribe received USDA Water and Environmental loan and grant funds to construct a new transfer station.  The project has made the operation cost effective and improved trash collection for residents on the Reservation.

A central transfer station located closer to where most of the garbage is generated allows the Tribe to minimize trips to the landfill, alleviate wear on equipment, minimize dumpster overflow and illegal dumping, and allow the Tribe to participate in recycling efforts resulting in saving space and extending the life of the landfill.  In addition, the modernization of the transfer station has provided the members of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe efficiencies in managing how the solid waste is handled and disposed of.   What used to take almost 5 days for pick-up now takes 3.5 days, which is a huge labor savings, plus, fuel costs have dropped. Read more »

Conservation Makes a Difference in Drought-Stricken Areas

Rancher Willie Utley of Benavides, Texas and Sammy Guerra, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationist in Benavides, Tex., discuss the successful drilling of the water well they’re standing behind. (NRCS photo/Beverly Moseley)

Rancher Willie Utley of Benavides, Texas and Sammy Guerra, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service district conservationist in Benavides, Tex., discuss the successful drilling of the water well they’re standing behind. (NRCS photo/Beverly Moseley)

For months, South Texas ranchers have been struggling to keep cattle fed and watered through extraordinary drought conditions. Water wells and stock tanks have run dry, and some ranchers are left with no alternative but to truck water in to cattle. Read more »

SNAP: New Rules Aim to Expand Access to Farmers’ Markets!

USDA is working hard to expand access to farmers’ markets for those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). (used with permission)

USDA is working hard to expand access to farmers’ markets for those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). (used with permission)

As USDA Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, I can tell you that there are few things I enjoy more than visiting one of the many thousands of farmers’ markets in communities across our verdant country. There’s just no better opportunity to sample the bounty of American agriculture.

The fresh fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods you can find at farmers’ markets are the foundation of sound nutrition. Which is why USDA is working hard to expand access to farmers’ markets for those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read more »

FAS-Supported Project Helps Pakistani Farmers Reach Modern Markets

A Pakistani farmer from the Balochistan Province picks grapes. With the help of the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Food for Progress program, Winrock International partnered with the Safina Cold Store to provide an in-kind grant of modern equipment and remodel the facilities — upgrading the cold store to a modern storage facility for locally produced apples, grapes, pomegranates and dates throughout the year.  (Courtesy Photo)

A Pakistani farmer from the Balochistan Province picks grapes. With the help of the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Food for Progress program, Winrock International partnered with the Safina Cold Store to provide an in-kind grant of modern equipment and remodel the facilities — upgrading the cold store to a modern storage facility for locally produced apples, grapes, pomegranates and dates throughout the year. (Courtesy Photo)

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) partners with a variety of non-profit groups, cooperatives and international organizations to promote food security and develop agricultural capacity in countries around the world. Recently, I had a chance to read a report that highlights the successful partnership between FAS and Winrock International in Pakistan that I wanted to share with blog readers. Read more »

The International Influences of Cinco de Mayo Favorites

Learn about some Cinco de Mayo staples by exploring our infographic (click for larger version).

Learn about some Cinco de Mayo staples by exploring our infographic (click for larger version).

Cinco de Mayo is more than a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage.  With its American roots planted during the Civil War, the fifth of May is also a celebration of freedom and victory over odds.  Over the years the holiday has become more mainstream, with celebrations that bring together music, art and cuisine shaped by the rich culture and international influences of Mexico and Latin America. Read more »

A ‘Wild’ Experience with the Forest Service

With the increased use of electronic devices and scheduled activities competing for children’s outdoor time, how can we strike a balance?

There’s still hope by encouraging kids to get outdoors and to experience wild things.

In March, the Klamath National Forest and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Yreka Field Office joined forces with an interactive wildlife education booth at the annual Siskiyou County Sportsmen’s Expo in Yreka, Calif. Read more »