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Mapping the Food Environment

About this time last year, the city of Washington, DC was digging out from a record amount of snow.  My colleagues at USDA’s Economic Research Service were communicating electronically to get a new web-based mapping tool – the Food Environment Atlas – up and running. This online tool, which measures a community’s food-choice landscape, was to play a key role in the launch of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign against childhood obesity. Read more »

Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Debbie Stabenow to Speak at USDA’s 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum

We are very proud to announce former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow will be the 2011 Agricultural Outlook Forum Plenary Session’s distinguished speakers.  Their dedication to public service in the fields of nutrition and agriculture make them a welcome addition to this year’s Forum. The keynote address will be delivered by Secretary Vilsack. Read more »

California Chef Partners with Local Elementary School for Chefs Move to Schools Program

Fremont Elementary School students at Chefs Move to Schools program kick off.

Fremont Elementary School students at Chefs Move to Schools program kick off.

Cross-posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Earlier this fall, in conjunction with International Chefs Day, Chef Melinda Burrows had the opportunity to team with Fremont Elementary School in Alhambra, California, to help launch their Chefs Move to Schools program.

They did so in grand style. With three school assemblies focusing on harvests, the popular event centered around chef-led demonstrations featuring spaghetti squash, pumpkins, and other varieties of healthful foods. Read more »

The Affordable Care Act Supports Small Business

Small businesses are the backbone of this country. They employ nearly half of the workers in rural America and are an integral part of the American economy.

Today, Congress will vote on whether or not to repeal this new law, just as its benefits are beginning to reach rural Americans. Repeal of the health care law would result in higher health insurance costs for thousands of small businesses. We cannot afford to let that happen. Read more »

Rural America Needs Our Health Care Law

Recent news tells us that the American economy is continuing to move in the right direction, creating private sector jobs for twelve months in a row.  The health care law signed by President Obama last year, the Affordable Care Act, has done its part to increase economic certainty in rural America by expanding health insurance options, strengthening Medicare and Medicaid, and providing tax relief to businesses. And although families across the nation are already seeing the benefits of this new law, this week some in Congress want to repeal the law. This would be a huge mistake for rural America. Read more »

We Did It! Residents of Rural America Access Broadband Services Thanks to the Recovery Act and USDA

This fall USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) successfully completed its final round of grant awards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).  In the last year and a half, we’ve done more to bridge the digital divide for rural Americans than many ever thought possible.  The Recovery Act has unleashed an historic level of investment in rural high speed telecommunications infrastructure that will create new jobs, new services and new opportunities across the countryside. Read more »