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Science of Food Safety through the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone

FSIS employees LCDR Sherry Spriggs and Dr. Jessica Forshee distribute food safety educational materials outside of the Food Safety Discovery Zone. The popular Food Safety Wheel Game is visible in the background.

FSIS employees LCDR Sherry Spriggs and Dr. Jessica Forshee distribute food safety educational materials outside of the Food Safety Discovery Zone. The popular Food Safety Wheel Game is visible in the background.

This past weekend, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) appeared at the inaugural USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo in Washington, DC.  Over 1,500 exhibitors, including universities, private industry, and government agencies filled the National Mall and surrounding areas with thought-provoking, fun, interactive, and hands-on displays. The mission of the organizer and founder, Larry Bock, and his team is to re-invigorate the interest of our nation’s youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by producing and presenting the most compelling, exciting, educational and entertaining science-based exhibits and displays in the United States. If this weekend was any measure, they definitely succeeded! Read more »

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Tours a Facility that will Improve Family Health Care in a Michigan Community

From left: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Congressman Mark Schauer, Center for Family Health Executive Director Molly Kaser and State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner discuss the new health center.

From left: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Congressman Mark Schauer, Center for Family Health Executive Director Molly Kaser and State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner discuss the new health center.

Yesterday I accompanied Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner and Congressman Mark Schauer on a visit to the Center for Family Health (CFH) in Jackson, a city about 30 miles south of Lansing. Read more »

This Friday: Harvest Festival at USDA

Flyer for USDA Harvest Festival, Friday October 29th, 2010

Flyer for USDA Harvest Festival, Friday October 29th, 2010

Please join us for music, food, games and other merriment at USDA’s Harvest Festival this Friday, October 29th, from 10 am to 2 pm in the People’s Garden and Farmers Market at USDA Headquarters on the corner of Jefferson Drive and 12 Street, SW in Washington, DC. Read more »

The Farm Credit System: Financial Strength Benefitting Rural America

The farmers and ranchers who use its services are also the owners of the nation's cooperative Farm Credit System. Photo courtesy Farm Credit Council

The farmers and ranchers who use its services are also the owners of the nation's cooperative Farm Credit System. Photo courtesy Farm Credit Council

Today’s farms, ranches and agricultural enterprises are more diverse and more specialized. And today’s farms and related businesses require new financial services, more equity and greater flexibility from their lenders if they are to effectively manage their businesses. Producers and rural entrepreneurs of all types need access to dedicated, specialized lenders to meet their complete credit and financial services needs. Read more »

USDA Recovery Act Loan Guarantees Spur Job Growth and Business Development

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

The estimated number of jobs created or saved through USDA Recovery Act investments in rural America continues to grow.  Today, I am in Ohio, where USDA has provided over $59.5 million in loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, innovate and create jobs.  You can see economic activity everywhere. Read more »

Restoring Historic Habitat and Creating Outdoor Education Opportunities for Youth

The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.

The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.

Camp Binachi is a Boy Scouts of America camp located in rural Lauderdale County, Mississippi, that focuses on teaching scouts about ecology and the conservation of natural resources. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to Camp Binachi, which is managed by the Choctaw Area Council. But the council was able to get assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reconstruct the damaged areas. Read more »