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USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Participates in the 75th Anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) in Nebraska

Pictured from the left are Reverend Clark Bates and wife, USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Jessica Zufolo and former Administrator Chris McLean.

Pictured from the left are Reverend Clark Bates and wife, USDA Deputy Administrator for Rural Utilities Jessica Zufolo and former Administrator Chris McLean.

Jessica Zufolo, deputy administrator for the USDA Rural Utilities Service, was a guest speaker at the 75th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) celebration in McCook, Nebraska late last month.  Also attending were USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, Colorado State Director Jim Isgar, and former Administrator for the Rural Utilities Service Chris McLean along with more than 100 attendees.  McLean is a former Nebraskan. Read more »

From the Heartland to Foreign Lands

A local farmer explains how his hoop houses allow him to maintain his crops through a tough Minnesota winter.

A local farmer explains how his hoop houses allow him to maintain his crops through a tough Minnesota winter.

In September, I was one of 28 Junior Professionals and two advisors from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) who traveled to the Midwest for an annual agricultural training trip. This training opportunity exposed members of FAS’s Junior Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC) to a broad range of U.S. agriculture in Minnesota and Iowa. The trip also helped maintain and build direct relationships with the U.S. agricultural industry, reinforcing the Agency’s connection to its primary constituents. Read more »

Co-ops Make the World a Better Place

Paul Hazen, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Cooperative Business Association, speaking at a recent cooperatives event.

Paul Hazen, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Cooperative Business Association, speaking at a recent cooperatives event.

Cooperatives are born out of community need.  They are founded on the ideals of social responsibility and self-help.  For that reason, it seems most fitting that the seventh of the cooperative principles is “concern for community.”  Members of the National Cooperative Business Association—and cooperatives around the world—subscribe to all seven cooperative principles. Read more »

Need to Identify a Python? There’s an App for That.

The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has developed an iPhone app, called IveGot1, to help identify native and non-native reptiles in Florida.

The University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has developed an iPhone app, called IveGot1, to help identify native and non-native reptiles in Florida.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

Exotic animals are a growing problem in Florida. From Burmese pythons to Nile monitors, these animals are invading Florida and destroying the ecosystem. A fast, accurate way to identify the many exotic animals is needed by professionals and volunteers in the field. With over 6.4 million iPhones active in the United States alone, what better solution than an iPhone app? Read more »

Feeding My Interest in Science

Luana Xiong (right) explains the 2009 National Science Experiment, Biofuel Blast to her community.

Luana Xiong (right) explains the 2009 National Science Experiment, Biofuel Blast to her community.

My name is Luana Xiong. I am 14 years old and part of Merced County 4-H in California. I have been in 4-H for five years. Some of the projects I do in 4-H include photography and arts and crafts, but the one part of 4-H that I absolutely love is science. Read more »

The Worth of Trees May be More Than You Think

For urban dwellers, trees soften a city’s hard edges and surfaces, shade homes and streets, enhance neighborhood beauty, filter the air, mitigate storm runoff, and absorb carbon dioxide. Trees may even reduce crime and improve human health. However, these benefits have not been well quantified, making it difficult for urban planners and property owners to weigh their costs and benefits or assess tree cover against competing land uses. Read more »