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Final Days to Get Involved and Vote on Your Favorite New Game or App!

The Apps for Healthy Kids public voting period concludes this Saturday, August 14, at noon (EDT), and there is no better time than now to add your voice and vote to the competition.  To date we have received over 17,000 votes on the apps recently created by the American public in the effort to address the very serious problem of childhood obesity. We started this competition with a goal of generating innovative apps that are engaging and educational to the target audience – tweens and their parents. And the best way to judge that goal is to get the American public involved so we need you to go online try out these apps and cast your vote. Read more »

West Virginia Volunteer Fire Department Receives USDA Funds to Purchase Equipment to Save Lives

The Volunteer Fire Department in Webster Springs, West Virginia recently used USDA Rural Development funds to purchase a 12-lead cardiac monitor and a thermal imaging camera. Read more »

USDA Urges Consumers: Check Your Freezers

Written by Lisa Wallenda Picard, Food Safety and Inspection Service

Last night, USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a recall of frozen ground beef products. Working closely with our partners at California’s Department of Public Health, investigators were able to connect several illness with products sold.  Because E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium, USDA is asking consumers to check their freezer and immediately discard any product that is the subject of this recall. Read more »

Survey Says: Farmers Markets on the Rise

Written by Rayne Pegg, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service

We are proudly in the middle of the eleventh annual National Farmers Market Week as declared by USDA.  This year, Secretary Vilsack marked this important milestone with an official Declaration acknowledging the role farmers markets play in stimulating local economies, strengthening communities and supporting farmers.

As part of National Farmers Market Week, we’re also announcing the results of our latest farmers market survey, and the numbers are impressive: 6,100 farmers markets are now operating across the country – a stunning 16% growth from last year!  These markets are bringing folks together in cities, towns, suburbs and rural areas of every state in the nation, and they have on offer the freshest produce, meats, cheese, flowers, breads, and other products from their surrounding farms and ranches.

Read more »

Welcome to the New USDA Blog!

Written by Peter Rhee, Office of Communications, USDA

USDA has just launched a newly revamped and refreshed Blog, bringing key enhancements to our previous offering. You will notice a new look and feel, enhanced search capabilities, easier navigation, categorization, and faster access to previous blog posts.

For over a year, USDA has been sharing stories and information on a wide array of topics, from Economic Job Forums and nutrition efforts, to beehives and gardens at USDA facilities.  Through an unprecedented collaborative effort behind the scenes at USDA, we’ve been working hard to post blogs about our projects and initiatives, from Agency offices worldwide, and messages from the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. Our goal has always been to feature interesting articles in a more conversational and accessible way that allows for public discussion.

We’re really excited about our new Blog and hope that you’ll consider adding it to your daily feed and regular blog reading.

Take a look around and let us know what you think!

Finding Common Points Across Cultures and Continents

By Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan

On Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to meet with some inspiring African businesswomen who are visiting the United States for the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This unique group of 36 successful women is here to participate in a two week fellowship training program that will introduce them to American trading partners and investors, expose them to American advocacy, and business models and will offer extended support to them when they return to their countries. Read more »