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Bringing fresh, local, healthy food to communities

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon poses with one of the many Maryland farmers (no name available) selling fresh produce at the Crossroads Farmers’ Market in Tacoma Park, Maryland, Wednesday October 13.

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon poses with one of the many Maryland farmers (no name available) selling fresh produce at the Crossroads Farmers’ Market in Tacoma Park, Maryland, Wednesday October 13.

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time at the Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park, Md.  The market’s motto is, “Bringing fresh, local, healthy food to individuals of all incomes and backgrounds,” something we consistently support at the USDA.  Just last week Crossroads received a $50,724 grant from The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) to spread this message throughout a network of markets in Maryland, and I enjoyed seeing all the enthusiasm there on a glorious day in October. Read more »

A Few Spaces Still Open for Producers to Register for Free Renewable Energy Event in Knoxville, Tennessee

Space is filling up, but there are still a few openings available for landowners, farmers, producers, ranchers, and foresters who plan to attend the Renewable Energy Biomass Education Field Days event in Knoxville, Tennessee, from November 16-18.  There is no registration fee and a limited number of travel scholarships are available. This event is designed as an education Field Day—a hands-on opportunity for producers to gain practical, science-based information about implementing biomass-based renewable energy technologies and  making decisions about implementing renewable energy technologies in their respective operations. Read more »

Partnership with USDA and Leaders in Animal Health Science will Address the National Shortage of Large-Animal Veterinarians and Technicians

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon joined Cheryl Cook, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development in St. Joseph, Missouri late last month to announce an agreement that is the first step to addressing a nationwide demand for more large-animal veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Read more »

Tennessee Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Clinic Gets New Home

FNS Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs Audrey Rowe talks about the importance of the Women, Infants, and Children Program during a ceremony at in Clarksville, Tenn.

FNS Deputy Administrator for Special Nutrition Programs Audrey Rowe talks about the importance of the Women, Infants, and Children Program during a ceremony at in Clarksville, Tenn.

There is new hope for more families in Clarksville, TN thanks to a larger WIC clinic opening to service expectant and new mothers and their children. WIC, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, provides Federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk I had the opportunity to go to Clarksville, Tenn., near Fort Campbell, Ky., to participate in a ceremony announcing the renovation of a portion of the Montgomery County Health Department which will now be a new “WIC Wing”.  The current WIC facility located several miles away is at capacity and the 10,000 square feet of new space will allow the Montgomery County Health Department to expand and serve new families and will improve WIC Program access.  Because of the co-location, WIC participants will also be able to take better advantage of other health services. Read more »

NRCS Around the World: Overcoming Obstacles in Afghanistan

This is part 2 of a three-part series. Read Part 1 here. Stay tuned for Part 3 later in the week.

To try to make contact with the pump manufacturer in Pakistan, I went back to Sandy, who suggested that I e-mail my questions to him. He would print my e-mail and fax it to the man in Pakistan, who would get his brother-in-law to translate it and fax back the answers, which Sandy would then put in an e-mail back to me. Read more »

USDA Rural Development-Iowa and the Small Business Administration take steps to re-establish partnerships with Sac and Fox Tribe

Representatives of USDA Rural Development and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently met with leaders from the Sac and Fox Tribe of Mississippi in Iowa to share information on ways the two federal agencies could assist the tribe with funds for such things as community improvement projects and job-creation and entrepreneurial opportunities. Read more »