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“Stung” by the Pollinator bug

Alison Fritz is all smiles in her hobby as a beekeeper, among the youngest in the DC area."

Alison Fritz is all smiles in her hobby as a beekeeper, among the youngest in the DC area."

Written By Jessica L. Morrison; USDA Forest Service Conservation Education Intern

As a volunteer intern for the Conservation Education department of the Forest Service, I was not expecting much more than to be cooped up in a cubical somewhere; making copies and filing things away into nonexistence. But almost as soon as I arrived at the agency’s big red building, my supervisor made that wouldn’t happen. Besides getting to weed the USDA’s roof gardens and learning how to pet bumblebees, I was given the opportunity to tag along as the film crew of PollinatorLIVE interviewed the youngest beekeeper in the D.C. area. Read more »

NRCS Interns Help with Conservation Efforts in Chesapeake Bay

Written by Brittini Hawkins, NRCS Public Affairs Intern

Who knew manual labor could be so rewarding? Last week all the NRCS interns went on a student educational tour to Windy Hill Farm on the Corsica River in Centreville, Maryland. The interns worked with the owners, Matt Miller and Beth Wehrle, to plant a living shoreline to maintain the riverbank and decrease soil erosion. Read more »

Agriculture Key to Food Security

FFAS Under Secretary Jim Miller delivers a keynote address at the International Food and Development Conference.

FFAS Under Secretary Jim Miller delivers a keynote address at the International Food and Development Conference.

Written by Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Jim Miller

During this year’s International Food Aid and Development Conference (IFADC), food security featured prominently as both a major concern and a primary program focus for current and future USDA projects. Each year the IFADC brings together USDA, the U.S. Agency for International Development, private sector companies and voluntary organizations who collaborate throughout the year to provide America’s food aid and assistance to the world’s neediest people. This week I joined USDA and USAID leaders in Kansas City to address this important subject. Read more »

Utah’s Azure Elite LLC, Wescor INC. Congratulated and Selected as Business Project of the Year

Written by Utah State Director, Dave Conine and Public Information Coordinator Donna Birk

USDA Rural Development-Utah and Bank of Utah recently recognized Azure Elite, Wescor Inc. as “Recovery Act Project of the Year.”  Wescor was honored for its community leadership, vision and success, and its contribution to the mission of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Wescor can trace its roots back to 1966 when a group of fourteen Utah engineer faculty members founded it. Today Wescor is specialized in clinical laboratory equipment. Read more »

Feed the Future Update from the International Food Aid and Development Conference

Ann Tutwiler, coordinator of the Global Food Security Initiative offered an update on Feed the Future during the International Food Aid and Development Conference.

Ann Tutwiler, coordinator of the Global Food Security Initiative offered an update on Feed the Future during the International Food Aid and Development Conference.

Written by Ann Tutwiler, Coordinator of the Global Food Security Initiative

This May, the U.S. government announced the Feed the Future (FTF) initiative to stem global hunger and increase food security, marking a new direction in food aid and assistance. The whole-of-government approach links USDA’s technical assistance efforts with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the White House, the State Department, and on a broader level with partner countries, multilateral institutions, private voluntary organizations, donors, and civil societies around the world.  Secretary Vilsack appointed me to be the USDA Feed the Future coordinator, and my job is to align USDA programs and resources to help achieve sustainable global food security. Read more »

Soil and Water Conservation Society Members Join Feds, Farmers and Friends in Food Drive to Feed Families

Bonnie Allely, NRCS Earth Team national volunteer liaison, and Jim Gulliford, SWCS executive director, collected more than 250 pounds of food from SWCS conference attendees to fight hunger in St. Louis through the Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families food drive. Photo courtesy of SWCS.

Bonnie Allely, NRCS Earth Team national volunteer liaison, and Jim Gulliford, SWCS executive director, collected more than 250 pounds of food from SWCS conference attendees to fight hunger in St. Louis through the Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families food drive. Photo courtesy of SWCS.

By Dick Tremain, NRCS Iowa

There’s a little less hunger in St. Louis this summer, thanks to convention-going soil conservationists and scientists. When members of the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS) preparing for their annual international conference heard about the national Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families (F5) food drive, they decided to help by bringing food to the St. Louis convention, where it was collected and weighed.  Read more »