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Partnerships Make Child Care Center Serve Children and Families Fresh, Healthy Foods

Under Secretary Concannon heard about fresh peaches and the variety of colors that watermelon comes in from the children at Plaza de Niños in Kansas City.

Under Secretary Concannon heard about fresh peaches and the variety of colors that watermelon comes in from the children at Plaza de Niños in Kansas City.

Every chance I get I try to see our nutrition programs at work to get a true sense of how we are improving the lives of millions of people we serve. While I was in Missouri yesterday, I stopped in at the Guadalupe Centers’ Plaza de Niños. That’s a child care center on the Kansas City Metro Community College campus. Read more »

USDA Forest Service Researchers Participate in International Conference in Seoul, Korea

Huge banners extolling the pillars of the IUFRO World Congress greet the 1100-plus attendees to this international gathering in Seoul, Korea. (IUFRO photo)

Huge banners extolling the pillars of the IUFRO World Congress greet the 1100-plus attendees to this international gathering in Seoul, Korea. (IUFRO photo)

Almost a four dozen USDA Forest Service researchers and staff members represent the United States among more than 3000 participants at the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress underway this week in Seoul, Korea. The conference theme is “Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment”, and conference organizers are expressing the hope that this Congress will present a crucial opportunity to promote understanding of the contributions of forests and forest science to the Earth’s sustainability. Read more »

Recovery Act Money Clears Loan Backlog, Helps North Dakota Farmers

Tom Grzadzieleski, Jr., received help from FSA staff, including Farm Loan Manager Linda Werven, to double the size of his operation in Drayton, N.D.

Tom Grzadzieleski, Jr., received help from FSA staff, including Farm Loan Manager Linda Werven, to double the size of his operation in Drayton, N.D.

North Dakota farmers and ranchers have received more than $1.7 million in Recovery Act funding through direct operating loans offered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). The funding, made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act), improved FSA’s ability to make loans to farmers and ranchers that are unable to obtain commercial credit from a bank.  Read more »

Breaking the Curve in Statistical Knowledge

Benita Hodge, a statistician with the NASS Michigan Field Office, works with FFA students at a leadership conference in Texas.

Benita Hodge, a statistician with the NASS Michigan Field Office, works with FFA students at a leadership conference in Texas.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

As we begin a new school year, I am proud to announce that the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has again partnered with the National FFA Organization to develop new educational online learning tools that will help promote agricultural and statistical literacy. Read more »

Stimulus Funds Offer Hope to Beginning Rancher

Tanner King may not look like a seasoned rancher, but his experience buying cattle puts him way above his years. Recovery Act  funding provided by USDA gave King an economic leg-up in hard times.

Tanner King may not look like a seasoned rancher, but his experience buying cattle puts him way above his years. Recovery Act funding provided by USDA gave King an economic leg-up in hard times.

Photos by: Steve Ritter, Idaho Farm Bureau Federation

Tanner King spends Mondays at the Caldwell Livestock Auction in Idaho, decked out in a dark blue hoody sweatshirt and black cowboy hat, blending in with the other bidders. The young rancher might look as though he’s new to shaving but at buying cattle he’s an old hand. Read more »

Mapping Slaughter Availability in U.S.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

A map of counties in the U.S. with no small cattle slaughter facility and 143 or more small cattle farms.

Cross-Posted from the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Blog

Meat and poultry products are important commodities within many local and regional food systems.  The production of these products for local and regional markets is of course dependent on the availability of facilities that slaughter and process livestock and poultry.  Media stories have recently documented the difficulties many small farmers and ranchers often face when searching for facilities to slaughter their animals for local markets; lack of a nearby slaughter facility or lengthy wait times for services are frequently cited problems.  As a representative to the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), I have been working, along with representatives from other USDA agencies, on identifying where slaughter service availability might be lacking and then determining the best ways to help. Read more »