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U.S. Bovine Genetics Help Increase Milk Production in Rwanda

Many countries around the world face challenges when it comes to milk production, particularly in Africa. Over the years, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has helped to address this issue through education exchange programs, benefiting farmers around the world.

Rwanda is among the lowest milk-producing countries in the world, with a mere 3.2 liters produced per cow per day compared to 36 liters in the United States. Of the 1.2 million cattle in the country, only 13.6 percent produce milk. In addition, per capita milk consumption remains low at 31 liters annually compared to 100 liters in Kenya. Read more »

Ninety one-Year-Old Kansas Woman Receives Assistance from Rural Development to Repair her Home

Submitted by Jessica Bowser, USDA Kansas Public Information Coordinator

What makes a house a home?  That answer can vary, depending on who you ask, but to one Kansan it’s much more than the furnishings or the structure that makes her house a home.

Sarah Heckel of Hiawatha, Kansas, has lived in her home for 25 years.  Heckel and her husband moved to Hiawatha from South Dakota to be closer to her family.  Shortly after they moved to Kansas, Heckel’s mother passed away. Heckel and her husband moved into her mother’s house, where she still lives today.  The house has remained in the family for more than 55 years. Read more »

USDA Participates in World IPv6 Day

The Internet is running out of it’s 4.3 billion Internet addresses!  No fear, for IPv6 is here!

IPv6 is a new version of internet addressing that will replace the current IPv4 version.  The new IPv6 format will allow for 340 undecillion addresses compared to 4.3 billion addresses under IPv4.   The last batch of IPv4 addresses were allocated in February, 2011. Read more »

Farmers Market Promotion Program: Expanding Food Access Through Direct Marketing

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack rings the bell opening the 2011 Farmers Market located at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Friday, Jun. 3, 2011.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack rings the bell opening the 2011 Farmers Market located at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Friday, Jun. 3, 2011.

As the opening of this season’s USDA Farmers Market occurs today in Washington, D.C., Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced approximately $10 million is available to expand direct marketing opportunities and help to eliminate food deserts and increase food access in low-income communities in the United States through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). By funding projects that increase access to healthy and affordable food while expanding market opportunities for farmers and ranchers, the Farmers Market Promotion Program continues to contribute to the economic and physical health of communities around the country. Read more »

The Entire Team – Ready to Support Louisiana

Cross-posted from FEMA’s Blog

For weeks, we have been monitoring the potential for significant flooding in Louisiana, along with the other states currently being impacted by the Mississippi River flooding and historic water levels. And similar to their actions to mitigate the impacts of flooding in Missouri several weeks ago, today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza Spillway in Louisiana to help minimize damage to property, structures, and to protect millions of people from historic flood levels. Read more »

USDA Webinar Spreads the Word about the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

The webinar talked about how the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program helps blueberries and other specialty crops remain competitive in the market.

The webinar talked about how the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program helps blueberries and other specialty crops remain competitive in the market.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently hosted “Grant Opportunity: Enhancing the Competitiveness of Specialty Crops(use Playback option to hear webinar), the seventh in a series of webinars designed to educate the general public about federal fruit and vegetable programs. Read more »