Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Georgia On My Mind

Cross-posted from the White House blog

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan

Last fall, the President asked that senior Obama administration officials travel the country to hold a series of roundtables on behalf of the White House Rural Council.  On November 2nd, I joined a roundtable with local farmers, ranchers, and area business leaders at the Athens Technical College in Athens, Ga. If you aren’t familiar with Athens, Ga. the locals are glad to inform you that it is a hotbed of rock n roll and the launching grounds for acts such as the B52s, R.E.M., and Widespread Panic.

Giving Rural America More Tools to Grow and Create Jobs

Cross-posted from the White House blog.

Today, the President announced several important new initiatives to continue strengthening the rural economy and to create jobs in rural areas.

As part of the White House Rural Council’s efforts to improve federal government coordination on rural economic development, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have been focused on rural small business growth. And for good reason: Half the people who work in America either own or work for a small business, and two out of three new private sector jobs are created by small businesses. Read more »

State Directors Provide USDA Rural Development Overview to Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture

“It’s not just about farmers and ranchers for the State Departments of Agriculture. And it’s not just about rural communities for USDA Rural Development,” said Missouri Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning. Dunning and three other State Directors joined together to introduce Rural Development programs to the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA) in St. Louis recently.

USDA Rural Development State Directors Janie Dunning, Colleen Landkamer, Colleen Callahan and Patty Clark make a  presentation to the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture

USDA Rural Development State Directors Janie Dunning, Colleen Landkamer, Colleen Callahan and Patty Clark make a presentation to the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture

Read more »

El USDA colabora con sus Socios Para Alimentar a los Niños Durante los Meses de Verano

El 9 de junio, el Servicio de Alimentos y Nutrición inauguró en Atlanta la campaña “Alimentos disponibles durante el receso del año escolar” del Programa de Servicio de Alimentos de Verano (SFSP) con una visita al centro comunitario Marietta Community Center de Marietta, Georgia como parte de la celebración de la primera Semana Nacional del programa SFSP del USDA. El centro sirvió comidas gratuitas y dio una clase de nutrición sobre el nuevo concepto MiPlato del USDA a 50 maravillosos niños. Alimentar a los niños durante los meses de verano puede presentar un reto para algunos padres, ya que las comidas escolares no están disponibles.

El programa SFSP está dedicado a ayudar a los niños durante el verano, cuando están más vulnerables al hambre porque no asisten a la escuela. Sin embargo, nuestra tasa de participación en el programa es únicamente el 17%. Por eso, el USDA está realizando todo esfuerzo posible por hacer llegar alimentos a más niños durante los meses de verano. Tenemos que asegurar que cada niño que califique para recibir comidas durante el verano lo haga, porque los niños nunca deben sufrir hambre. Aunque nuestro Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares atiende a más de 21 millones de niños durante la temporada escolar, atendemos únicamente a 3 millones de niños mediante el programa de verano SFSP. Claramente, eso significa que nos queda mucho por hacer para llegar a todos los niños que reúnen los requisitos para participar en este programa, y que necesitamos la ayuda de todos para lograrlo. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Meets with Farmers, Tours Flood-Damaged Areas of Iowa and Nebraska

From left: Farmers Steve Roth, Done Rief, Dale Rief, Clifford Dilts discuss topics covered during a town hall meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Glenwood Community High School in Glenwood, Iowa on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Farmers, local and regional media listened and questioned Secretary Vilsack on the cause of the floodwaters along the Missouri River affecting Iowa and Nebraska. Secretary Vilsack offered advice and assistance available through the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

From left: Farmers Steve Roth, Don Rief, Dale Rief, Clifford Dilts discuss topics covered during a town hall meeting with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Glenwood Community High School in Glenwood, Iowa on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Farmers, local and regional media listened and questioned Secretary Vilsack on the cause of the floodwaters along the Missouri River affecting Iowa and Nebraska. Secretary Vilsack offered advice and assistance available through the United States Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met face-to-face last week with about 40 farmers, ranchers and producers from Iowa and Nebraska impacted by flooding along the Missouri River.  The Secretary promised the group he would stay until every question had been answered and every concerned voiced – and he did just that, engaging in a dialogue that lasted more than two hours. Read more »

Deputy Secretary Celebrates Opening of a Non-Profit Pennsylvania Kitchen for Use by Food Entrepreneurs

The crowd applauded as Deputy Secretary Merrigan, YCEDC and local officials cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the YorKitchen shared kitchen incubator in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

The crowd applauded as Deputy Secretary Merrigan, YCEDC and local officials cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the YorKitchen shared kitchen incubator in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

Tucked in the back of York’s historic (circa 1754) downtown Central Market, YorKitchen, a shared commercial kitchen incubator officially opened its doors this morning. The crowd of nearly 40 local supporters applauded as Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, York County Economic Development officials and local officials cut the ribbon at the entrance to the state-of-the-art kitchen.  The kitchen was funded in part through Rural Development. Read more »