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Community Food Projects Announces Funding Availability

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of nearly $5 million in funds for community-based food and agriculture projects through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFP). Applications should: Meet the needs of low-income people by increasing access to fresher, more nutritious food supplies; Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for their own food needs; Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; Meets specific state, local, or neighborhood food and agricultural needs for infrastructure improvement and development; Plans for long-term solutions; and/or Create innovative marketing activities that benefit both agricultural producers and low-income consumers. Read more »

The People’s Garden First Honey Harvest: Part 3

This story has three parts. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.

For an hour or so, that’s how it went: on one side of the roof, I smoked the bees and removed capped frames, volunteers ran the capped frames over to the extractor on the other side of the roof, and the extractor team spun the honey out of the trays with the hand-cranked extractor. The centrifuged honey slid down the sides of the extractor into a sweet puddle at the bottom of the metal barrel. Everyone had a turn spinning the extractor (and maybe sneaking a taste of the fresh honey; but I can’t say for sure—I was on the other side of the roof). 

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Hurrah for Labor Day!

Labor Day is the last “hurrah”—as in, “Hurrah! The hottest January-July period on record worldwide is at an end.” This is documented by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but most people felt the heat without official confirmation.

Labor Day is an official holiday dedicated to American workers’ social and economic achievements, and for many parents, it marks a much needed break as the kids return to school. It’s also the last big grilling holiday of the year, so all-in-all, “hurrah” for a great day to relax and grill out. Read more »

USDA Recovery Act Funding Helps a South Dakota Rural Learning Center Become a Reality

USDA and local officials in front of a rendering of the newly designed learning facility.

USDA and local officials in front of a rendering of the newly designed learning facility.

The Miner County Development Corporation (MCDC) in Howard, South Dakota, broke ground recently on a new learning center complex with the assistance from the American Recovery Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).  Funding was provided through a USDA Rural Development Business & Industry Loan in the amount of $3.2 million guaranteed through Miner County Bank in Howard. Read more »

Bringing the Market to You

Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide

Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide

Cross-Posted from the Let’s Move! Blog

Have you ever wanted fresh, local produce but didn’t know how to find the nearest farmers market?  The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) makes it easy with the National Farmers Market search engine, which lists more than 6,100 markets across the nation.  Markets can be searched by name, city, zip code, and several other keyword fields. Read more »

U.S. Florida Grapefruit Won’t Get Squeezed by the OECD Scheme

A Florida grapefruit by any other name would surely taste as sweet. Recently, agencies across the U.S. Government worked with representatives of the Florida grapefruit industry to protect the grapefruit industry while underscoring the value of U.S. engagement in international organizations. A proposed entry of an Inspection Manual by the European-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development Scheme on Agricultural Quality (OECD Scheme) initially threatened specific U.S. grapefruit exports to the European Union (EU), which buys one of every two exported grapefruits in the world. Read more »