Representatives of five rural Louisiana regions participated with USDA Rural Development, Southern Rural Development Center, Louisiana Economic Development, and the AgCenters at Louisiana State and Southern University as they launched the “Stronger Economies Together” (SET) Program. This meeting was held at the LSU Agricultural Center located in Central Louisiana.
This kickoff starts the planning stage for the teams as they work together to develop new approaches to strengthen and enhance regional economic development activities in their communities. Stacey Brayboy, USDA Rural Development, Director of Community and Economic Development from Washington, D.C. was the keynote speaker. Read more »
Access to capital for farm and food businesses was the focus of a two-day workshop in December sponsored by the Vermont Farm Viability Program and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. The event was supported by the Vermont Agriculture Innovation Center which provides technical assistance to small value added food businesses and producers through a USDA Agriculture Innovation Grant to the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. Read more »
Chef Jamie McFadden and Special Needs students at Morning Star School in Orlando, Fla., make fresh apple sauce as part of the Chefs Move to School initiative.
Cross-posted from the Let’s Move! Blog:
Morning Star School for special needs children in Orlando, Fla., is enjoying a culinary experience they’ll never forget thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative and local Chef Jamie McFadden. To the student’s joy, McFadden visited the school and shared cooking projects that their team had just completed. Chef McFadden relayed that the children were a delight and engaged, as their time together focused on fresh fruits and vegetables, food safety, and sanitation practices. Thus far, the students have explored apples and pumpkins, and have learned about the history and origins of the foods they enjoy. Read more »
Backyard poultry owners will find colorful chickens and turkeys, as well as ducks, parrots and some grand geese among a 12-month spread of domestic, wild and exotic birds in the 2011 Backyard Biosecurity calendar. They’ll also find a year’s worth of solid information to help them raise healthy birds and keep them free from disease.
The calendars are widely distributed throughout the country by USDA, particularly through extension service. “In Arkansas, we distribute the calendars at many poultry activities,” said Dr. Fred Dustan Clark, director of Agricultural Cooperative Extension Service in the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas. “We use them at our pullet chain (when chicks are delivered to 4H students) all over the state, when we do seminars for 4H, at Farm Days and we put them in feed stores,” Clark added. Read more »
Wow, the first emergency call out of the new fire station. As I pulled into the driveway of the new Heyburn, Idaho, Fire Station for the ribbon cutting, I was greeted with the red lights flashing on the fire truck as the fire crew rushed to their call. Initially, I thought about how much faster the crew can respond to the family who needs their help due to the improved location of a new station, thanks in part to the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan program, with funds for this particular station being provided through the Recovery Act of 2009. But then my thoughts turned back to the two days prior, when the volunteers gathered at the new station for an additional training session. Some of the volunteers on that truck were the same volunteers at the training, who were once again taking time away from their paid jobs, to ensure their neighbors and employers have access to the same emergency services that I take for granted living in the Boise metropolitan area. Read more »
Cross-posted from the Let’s Move! Blog:
Last June, First Lady Michelle Obama along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a call to action for chefs across the nation to join the battle against childhood obesity. The program, called Chefs Move to Schools, helps to partner chefs with local schools in their communities as part of the Let’s Move! initiative. Since June, we have seen chefs and schools across the country form new friendships and develop delicious meals in an effort to improve nutrition. Read more »