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Celebrate Bird Health Awareness Week

Did you know Feb. 24 through March 2 is Bird Health Awareness Week? USDA’s Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) invites you to celebrate by joining poultry experts on a webinar called, “Growing Chicks Into Healthy Chickens: Getting Ready for Spring,” to be held on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m.  This webinar is hosted by the Chicken Whisperer, an Extension veterinarian and an APHIS veterinarian. Registration is required and details are here.

The Chicken Whisperer raises backyard birds in rural Georgia.  He started years ago with a few hens and ducks, and this year is starting a new flock of 40 birds at his new home. Andy Schneider (the Chicken Whisperer’s real name), has helped countless bird lovers with their own flocks, has a radio show about backyard bird care, and runs the Atlanta Backyard Poultry MeetUp group which has over 1,600 members. Read more »

A Biobased Economy for Rural America

Secretary Vilsack receives the National Energy Leadership Award from the National Biodiesel Board.  The award is given periodically to individuals who demonstrate exemplary vision and leadership in development of the renewable fuels industry.  Pictured left to right are Ed Ulch, Governing Board Member, National Biodiesel Board; Secretary Tom Vilsack; and Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board.

Secretary Vilsack receives the National Energy Leadership Award from the National Biodiesel Board. The award is given periodically to individuals who demonstrate exemplary vision and leadership in development of the renewable fuels industry. Pictured left to right are Ed Ulch, Governing Board Member, National Biodiesel Board; Secretary Tom Vilsack; and Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board.

In the days after the Super Bowl it is not unusual for spectators to “Monday morning quarterback” the advertisements, as well as the plays that were called.  For the members of two renewable fuels industries, however, there was no disputing the message of the now famous “God made a farmer” ad featuring Paul Harvey.  Last week in Las Vegas, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Biodiesel Board both led off their meetings with this ad before Secretary Vilsack spoke. It became a starting point to discuss the Secretary’s compelling vision for rebuilding the rural economy, furthering efforts to develop advanced new biofuels, and creating more jobs in our small towns to grow and strengthen the middle class. Read more »

USDA Employees in Kansas Assist at Local Food Bank in Effort to Provide Children with Healthy Snacks

USDA employees from Rural Development and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service assist at Harvesters, a local food bank.

USDA employees from Rural Development and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service assist at Harvesters, a local food bank.

USDA employees in Kansas from Rural Development and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recently visited the Harvesters Distribution Center in Topeka in honor of National Service Day.  Harvesters is a food bank that partners with more than 600 nonprofit agencies to provide nutritious food to individuals in 26-counties in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri. Read more »

Mobile Optimization Drives Visitors to ATO Japan’s Website

 

Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Japan released a smart phone optimized version of their website, us-ato.jp. The optimization was done in response to the increased use of smart technology by professionals worldwide to conduct business – especially those in Japan. (Courtesy Photo)

Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Japan released a smart phone optimized version of their website, us-ato.jp. The optimization was done in response to the increased use of smart technology by professionals worldwide to conduct business – especially those in Japan. (Courtesy Photo)

The Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Japan recently released a smart phone optimized version of their business website, us-ato.jp, in conjunction with their “Taste of America” campaign.

The optimization was done in response to the increased use of smart technology by professionals worldwide to conduct business – especially those in Japan, said Tommy Aoki, a senior marketing specialist at ATO Japan. Read more »

A Landscape View of Rural Economic Revitalization

Even in the most remote corners of America's countryside, USDA leaves a gentle, but lasting footprint as a champion of locally led, place-based rural economic and community development. You just have to know what you're looking for. USDA photo.

Even in the most remote corners of America's countryside, USDA leaves a gentle, but lasting footprint as a champion of locally led, place-based rural economic and community development. You just have to know what you're looking for. USDA photo.

Have you ever been on vacation, but just couldn’t get away from your work?  Me too.  It seems everywhere I look I see the footprint of USDA Rural Development and its ties to rural revitalization. Because I love my job and the good work USDA is doing, I am thrilled each and every time I see the results of this collaborative work to stimulate economies, modernize infrastructure, and enhance the quality of life in rural America. Read more »

Under Secretary Says Renewable Fuels Help Build a Stronger Rural Economy and a More Secure Energy Future

Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager describes Secretary Vilsack’s “All of the Above” energy strategy during the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit. USDA photo.

Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager describes Secretary Vilsack’s “All of the Above” energy strategy during the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit. USDA photo.

A mid-winter snow storm did not stop more than 200 participants from attending the 7th Annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show held January 30th in Des Moines.

During Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager’s presentation it was clear that everyone in attendance was extremely focused on helping identify ways the renewable fuels industry can continue to create economic opportunities in rural America. At the summit Mr. Tonsager also had the opportunity to hear Tom Buis with Growth Energy give a detailed overview of the ethanol industry and its many positive impacts throughout our country. Read more »