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The Science Behind Fire

Researchers preparing for the next phase in examining physical fire processes

Researchers prepare for the next phase in examining physical fire processes by adding the effect of a slope. Photo credit: Mark Finney

In recent months, we have all become familiar with images in the media of wildland firefighters digging lines, air tankers dropping retardant and fire engines dispersing water. You may wonder “how do these firefighters know what it takes to fight fire?”

The short answer is: research.

Before a wildland firefighter sees his or her first fire, they are given the tools and training on how to fight fire and its behavior. The information passed onto them is not learned overnight but rather through years of research. Read more »

Building Businesses & Helping Communities – Celebrating the Fruits of Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets: Building Businesses & Helping Communities infographic

Farmers Markets: Building Businesses & Helping Communities highlights results from the 2015 Farmers Market Managers Survey. The full report of the data will be released later this year. (Click to view larger.)

National Farmers Market Week is the perfect time to reflect on the evolution we’ve witnessed in our nation’s local and regional food systems, and to celebrate the results of the public and private partnerships that have made success possible.

The local food sector represents more than $12 billion dollars per year in sales, according to industry estimates.  That’s a lot of economic growth and opportunity for American producers and businesses.  And, in the newly-released results of the 2015 survey of nearly 1,400 farmers market managers, we are able to see the direct benefits these markets provide to businesses and communities across the country. Read more »

MyPlate, MyWins and Breastfeeding: MyPlate Resources in Support of National Breastfeeding Month

A mom and her infant daughter

A mom and her infant daughter enjoy some playtime together outside.

It’s National Breastfeeding Month, and we at ChooseMyPlate.gov are celebrating moms everywhere! Caring for a child is no small task, and MyPlate has resources to support moms and moms-to-be.

As a nutritionist and a mom with baby #2 on the way, I know it can be overwhelming to figure out what you should be eating to keep you and your baby healthy. MyPlate’s SuperTracker, a free food, physical activity and weight tracking tool, offers personalized food plans specifically for breastfeeding moms. Simply create a profile and enter information about you and your baby to get your plan. You can also use SuperTracker’s Food Tracker to track your daily meals and see how they stack up to your plan. Since SuperTracker is mobile-friendly, you can enter them on your phone or tablet while you’re nursing.  We moms are excellent multi-taskers! Read more »

Fresh Foods Signal a Fresh Start for New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward

Fresh tomatoes for sale at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market

Fresh tomatoes for sale at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farmers Market celebration of the 2014 National Farmers Market Week at USDA in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. USDA photo by Ed Ragland.

I’m really looking forward to celebrating National Farmers Market Week. Farmers markets play a key role in developing food systems that help local grow economies. They bring people together, create bridges between rural and urban communities and increase access to locally-grown fruits and vegetables, providing healthier options for consumers across the country.

When Hurricane Katrina struck over a decade ago, New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward notoriously faced some of the worst devastation in our nations’ history. The floodwaters have long since subsided, but residents in this community are still struggling to rebuild the lives they knew before the storm. Read more »

USDA Market News Reporters Know Beef

Cattle feeding on grass

USDA Market News takes great pride in following beef through all channels of production, bringing clarity to the beef markets, and offering a wide variety of data and information available to the public.

The United States is the largest beef producer and one of the largest beef exporters in the world.  In order to remain competitive, our Nation’s beef producers and everyone else in the supply chain need reliable data to evaluate market conditions, identify trends, make purchasing decisions, and monitor price patterns.

USDA Market News – part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service – provides the entire beef industry with equal access to the data they need with just the click of a button.  Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Division reporters gather and disseminate beef market information, ranging from feeder cattle to retail beef prices.  From farm-to-fork, we have the cattle and beef markets covered. Read more »

Celebrating a New Employee and the Congressional Act that Made it Possible

Matthew Martin sharpening his chainsaw

Matthew Martin sharpening his chainsaw prior to using it to clear debris off designated trails and to remove hazard trees from recreation areas. Photo credit: US Forest Service

Last June was one for the record books as Matthew Martin achieved his long-term goal of becoming a permanent employee with the U.S. Forest Service, an achievement made possible via a new hiring authority being used by the federal land management agency.

A second generation Forest Service employee, one could say that forestry was in Matthew’s DNA, which is certainly reflected in the hard work he did leading up to his permanent hire as a Forestry Technician on the Wayne National Forest. Read more »