In rural America, especially in frontier regions of South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska the shortage of health care professionals tends to be pronounced. For example, 55 of South Dakota’s 66 counties, or 83 percent of all counties, are designated Primary Care Health Professional Shortage areas. There are even greater disparities in South Dakota rural areas regarding access to specialists. USDA Rural Development grants to Avera Regional Health System have been instrumental in developing and expanding telehealth services cost effectively to the smallest and most underserved hospitals and communities. Read more »
Earth Team Volunteer Robert Mosier and his friend Marcella Thomas stand in front of a trailer full of refurbished, soon-to-be-donated bicycles with Jack the dog. NRCS recognizes Robert as its top volunteer for 2011.
When you’re Robert Mosier, it’s easy to be green. He’s a native of Greensburg, Kansas; the community totally leveled in 2007 by a devastating tornado and rebuilt “green” by USDA and other federal agencies, state and local entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals like Mosier. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
When First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the School Nutrition Association last year to promote her recently launched Let’s Move! Initiative, she mentioned Anji Baumann by name. Why? Anji was the first Food Service Director in the nation whose school, Gooding Elementary School, had achieved the HealthierUS School Challenge Gold of Distinction Award. Read more »
I recently began the Know your Farmer, Know Your Food College tour, and one of the locations I visited was a farmer’s market in North Carolina. Many of the regionally and locally produced products we see at farmer’s markets have a helping hand from USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program.
Sometimes it’s tough for a small or beginning rural business or cooperative to come up with the money for a feasibility study, marketing or packaging. That’s where USDA’s Value Added Producer Grant program can help. Read more »
USDA took one step closer to ending hunger in America today with the announcement of 14 Hunger-Free Communities Grantees. The important goal to end hunger and improve domestic nutrition is a top priority for the Obama administration, and an aspiration our innumerable partners have rallied around.
Those commitments from non-profit and faith-based organizations, state and local governments, private industry, and from the public to end hunger in their communities is nothing short of amazing. It’s a movement that has gained strength, in part because it’s an achievable goal. It’s also becoming clear that if we work together to ensure our nation’s hungry people have access to nutritious foods, much headway can be made on the front. Read more »
Earlier this month, acting USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Doug O’Brien heard one testimonial after another from a variety of people who thanked the federal government for providing funding and services to a portion of western North Dakota that was hard hit by outmigration two decades ago.
The area has been designated one of seven “Great Regions” in the nation by USDA Rural Development. However, sixteen years prior it was named a Rural Economic Area Partnership or a “REAP” pilot project by then-Senator Byron Dorgan. On February 16, a celebration was held in Dickinson that attracted the non-profit’s board members, community leaders, business owners, and USDA personnel who provided technical assistance over the years. Read more »