Recently, an interesting letter came across my desk. The letter was from an Ohio school nurse who wanted USDA to know that students at E. J. Brown Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, LOVE their USDA-funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), now in its second year. And that makes E.J. Brown’s school nurse Virginia Noe, who wrote the letter, a huge fan of the program and its many positive effects on student eating behavior, health and learning. Noe shared her thoughts in the enthusiastic and heartfelt letter. Read more »
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
It’s an all-too-familiar truism: Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Last week, USDA unveiled the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and among the key recommendations was to increase the intake and variety of fruits and vegetables. A practical tip in the new Guidelines is to fill half of each plate of food with fruits and/or vegetables. Read more »
One way to help reconnect today’s children to the outdoors is through gardening. Schoolyard gardens are places where students not only learn about wildlife species and ecosystems, but also become outdoor classrooms where they hone their academic skills and nurture their innate curiosity and creativity.
Register for the web seminar for teachers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 8. Presentations will demonstrate how gardens can be started, maintained, and incorporated into instructional activities. Read more »
Rural communities will play a critical role in the nation’s economic recovery, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Omaha, Nebraska on January 28, 2011. Vilsack pointed out that producers learned well about the dangers of debt during the 1980s’ farm crisis and took heed, which has placed them and their communities in a better position during the recent downward trend in the economy.
Innovation has been key to producers as they find new ways to boost production. Ethanol and bio-fuels are an important factor for continued growth and the strong exports of U.S. crops are supporting jobs in rural America, Secretary Vilsack said. He also commented that it is probable that the most successful part of our economy today is agriculture. Read more »
What do dairy farmers, NFL stars, and the Secretary of Agriculture have in common? They all braved the winter weather and traveled to the site of Super Bowl XLV to support the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program. FUTP60 conducted a kids’ football clinic at the NFL Experience, an interactive theme park at the Dallas Convention Center. The clinic, aimed at kids, focused on the fundamentals to improve nutrition and physical activity in their schools and personal lives. Read more »
Parkview Apartments, Inc. in Arlington, South Dakota, is a nonprofit organization that consists of nine buildings. The first building on this project was built in 1964 and the other buildings were later added in the 1970s. The project had seen an increase in vacancy rates prior to the renovation. Today, with USDA funded upgrades, they hope to increase the occupancy rate.
USDA Rural Development has partnered with South Dakota Housing Development Authority to fund rehab including reducing the number of units from 42 to 35, resulting in 14-one bedroom, 20-two bedroom, and one-three bedroom to better serve the needs of families in the area, along with roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical, flooring, windows, appliances, and handicap accessibility. Read more »