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Acting Under Secretary Discusses USDA’s Role in Building Support for Aviation Biofuels

Representatives in aviation, academia, policy organizations, city, state and federal government and national governmental organizations met last week in Chicago to release recommendations and findings from MASBI - the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative.  Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien addressed the group concerning USDA’s contributions to the effort to develop “drop in” aviation biofuel from renewable feedstocks. Photo courtesy of Meg Whitty, United Airlines. Used with permission.

Representatives in aviation, academia, policy organizations, city, state and federal government and national governmental organizations met last week in Chicago to release recommendations and findings from MASBI - the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative. Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien addressed the group concerning USDA’s contributions to the effort to develop “drop in” aviation biofuel from renewable feedstocks. Photo courtesy of Meg Whitty, United Airlines. Used with permission.

Last week, in Chicago, I had the honor to hear from and meet some of the leaders in the nation’s aviation industry as they assembled to issue a new report showing a clear path toward cleaner, more economical and more secure energy alternatives through the increased use of advanced aviation biofuels developed in the Midwest.

Representatives in aviation, academia, policy organizations, city, state and federal government and National governmental organizations met to release recommendations and findings from MASBI – the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative. Read more »

A USDA Grant Gets the Home Lights Burning for an Elderly Navajo Nation Couple

Freddie Hatathlie, Roger Clark (left), Betty & Kee Acothley hold their 2013 Homeownership Month commendation presented by State Director Alan Stephens (right). USDA photos.

Freddie Hatathlie, Roger Clark (left), Betty & Kee Acothley hold their 2013 Homeownership Month commendation presented by State Director Alan Stephens (right). USDA photos.

Betty and Kee Acothley live miles off the beaten track in the former Bennett Freeze area on the Navajo Nation.

Kee once tended thousands of head of sheep at the remote sheep camp he and his wife Betty call home. Now, at 80, he keeps only around 70 head. He and Betty, 79, follow the sheep on foot every day, returning to their modest home before dusk. Read more »

The Lone Ranger Stars Depp, Hammer … and the Santa Fe National Forest

The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Helen Bonham Carter opens nationwide in theaters on July 3. The movie shot for 10 days on the Santa Fe National Forest for a fight scene on a train speeding through a tunnel. (Copyrighted photo courtesy Walt Disney Pictures)

The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and Helen Bonham Carter opens nationwide in theaters on July 3. The movie shot for 10 days on the Santa Fe National Forest for a fight scene on a train speeding through a tunnel. (Copyrighted photo courtesy Walt Disney Pictures)

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, stars of Disney’s The Lone Ranger debuting July 3, join a long list of formidable Hollywood greats, including Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Elizabeth Taylor and John Wayne, who have acted on the nation’s outdoor soundstage – a national forest.

Last year during 10 days of filming on the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico, the Gilman Tunnels served as the backdrop for a scene in The Lone Ranger where a train passes through the tunnels. Read more »

Research Helps the Dairy Industry Refuel and Flex its Muscles

Chocolate milk is becoming a popular drink for adults looking to recover after a tough workout. Check out the Milk Pep site for milk research, recipes, and much more. Photo courtesy of Tracy Benjamin

Chocolate milk is becoming a popular drink for adults looking to recover after a tough workout. Check out the Milk Pep site for milk research, recipes, and much more. Photo courtesy of Tracy Benjamin

Successful businesses use research to meet changing consumer demands. The dairy industry uses innovative research promoted by National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Board (commonly referred to as the Milk Processor Education Program or MilkPEP), and other organizations to find new markets for their products. Milk has always been known as a good source of calcium and for helping to strengthen bones. However, recent studies have proven that there are other benefits of drinking milk.

Whether you are a college soccer player, a professional cyclist or just working out for better health, several studies have shown that drinking lowfat chocolate milk after a tough workout helps muscles recover and refuels the body for the next workout. The research has caught the attention of a new audience: athletes and adults looking for peak athletic performances. Whether they are training for a big race or preparing for the next weight lifting workout at the gym, lowfat chocolate milk is becoming a popular drink for adults. Read more »

Making a House a Home – A Labor of Love

First time homeowner, 76 year old Carol McCormack Arentz with Tom Fern, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Kentucky. USDA photo.

First time homeowner, 76 year old Carol McCormack Arentz with Tom Fern, State Director for USDA Rural Development in Kentucky. USDA photo.

June is Homeownership Month.  Today we are sharing a first person account of a 76-year old Kentucky resident who used USDA’s home loan program to purchase her first home.  She submitted this account through the USDA Rural Development Kentucky State Office and we are sharing it so that others who are interested will better understand the steps that must be taken before closing. USDA has helped rural residents purchase homes since 1949. Since the start of the Obama Administration, USDA Direct and Guaranteed home loan programs have helped more than 650,000 rural residents buy houses.   Each buyer has a story.  Here is one of them. Read more »

Before You Toss Food, Wait. Check It Out!

It’s happened to all of us: you’re looking for something in the freezer or pantry, and discover food that has been forgotten. Your first impulse is to throw it out, but wait!  Is it still good? Chances are it is!

Food poisoning bacteria does not grow in the freezer, so no matter how long a food is frozen, it is safe to eat. Foods that have been in the freezer for months (recommended freezer times chart) may be dry, or may not taste as good, but they will be safe to eat. So if you find a package of ground beef that has been in the freezer more than a few months, don’t throw it out. Use it to make chili or tacos. The seasonings and additional ingredients can make up for loss of flavor. Read more »