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Feds Fighting Hunger!

As an employee of the Food & Nutrition Service, I see firsthand the war that is waged on hunger every single day. The number of families across the country that are food insecure is cause for concern, but we are working daily to reduce those numbers. And it’s working. Starting with generous donations of food and funds supplied through numerous federal feeding programs, people nationwide are privy to not just any food, but healthy, nutritious food.

And it happens on the local level as well. In the Southwest Region of the United States, there are local partners fighting hunger in fresh and innovative ways, seeing to it that the graciously donated food items make it to as many families in need as possible. Read more »

USDA Names Winners of 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum Student Diversity Program

Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the selection of 24 university students who will attend USDA’s 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum February 24 and 25. The Forum titled, “Today’s Strategies & Tomorrow’s Opportunities,” is USDA’s largest annual event and will be held this year in Arlington, Virginia. The finalists include students from Land-Grant, Hispanic Serving Institutions, American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources institutions who are the recipients of corporate and USDA sponsorship aimed at promoting the education of the next generation of agriculturalists. Read more »

Innovating Our Way to a Stronger America

Last night I had the privilege of attending President Obama’s State of the Union speech.  In it, he laid out some of the challenges America faces moving forward as we compete with nations across the globe to win the future.

The President’s vision is simple.  We need to be a nation that makes, creates and innovates so that we can expand the middle class and ensure that we pass along to our children the types of freedoms, opportunities and experiences that we have enjoyed. Read more »

USDA Partners to Construct Straw Homes that are Built to Last

The finished home with a photo of the trailer it replaced (foreground)

The finished home with a photo of the trailer it replaced (foreground)

The organization “Community Rebuilds” along with USDA Rural Development recently welcomed Sascha Pastler and Colleen Jarrett into their newly completed straw bale home.  A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at their front door.   The large crowd attending was soon invited inside to see the first USDA funded straw bale home in Utah. Read more »

USDA Accomplishments in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Cross posted from the White House blog:

At President Obama’s direction, the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working hard to unleash the power of America’s innovators and entrepreneurs to build a green energy economy.   By producing renewable energy – especially biofuels – America’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities have incredible potential to help ensure our nation’s energy security, environmental security, and economic security.  Here are just some of the ways USDA is involved in helping create green energy jobs for the 21st century: Read more »

Ohio USDA Office Hosts an Alternative Aviation Fuels Forum

Air carriers, farmers, fuel refiners and government leaders met in Columbus, Ohio,  recently to explore the future of aviation fuels made from farm-grown energy crops. Hosted by USDA’s Ohio Rural Development office and the Ohio Aerospace Institute, representatives of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and the Air Transport Association briefed Ohio stakeholder groups and state and federal officials on efforts underway in the airline industry to create a clean, reliable and cost-competitive supply of renewable jet biofuels to bring stability to petroleum-based aviation fuel market. Read more »