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A New Beginning: Groundbreaking For A New Swan’s Island Library in Maine-Funded through USDA and the Recovery Act

Little groundbreakers Meri Rainford and Morgan Matthews.

Little groundbreakers Meri Rainford and Morgan Matthews.

It isn’t every day you celebrate a groundbreaking on an island 6 miles off the Maine coast- but that is just what I did last week along with United States Senator Susan Collins and other officials in order to mark the beginning of construction on the new Swan’s Island Library. Read more »

Missouri FSA Prepares College Student for Future in Cattle Business

Tyler Brune’s work ethic not only allowed him to help his father maintain cattle, but also allowed him to build his own herd while studying full-time at Southeast Missouri State University.

Tyler Brune’s work ethic not only allowed him to help his father maintain cattle, but also allowed him to build his own herd while studying full-time at Southeast Missouri State University.

Tyler Brune, of Sedgewickville, Mo., dreams of being a farmer some day, and Missouri Farm Service Agency (FSA) is helping to make his dream a reality through the Farm Loan Program and the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). Read more »

The Recovery Act in Your Community: A New Era in Flood Control

Glen Jean, West Virginia experiences repeated flooding to homes, businesses and roads, creating a hazard to health, property and the environment.

Glen Jean, West Virginia experiences repeated flooding to homes, businesses and roads, creating a hazard to health, property and the environment.

Thanks in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), property owners in the Glen Jean, West Virginia, area can voluntarily relocate from homes that repeatedly flood. The Dunloup Creek Watershed Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Project allows landowners to sell their property and move to safer homes, funds the removal of the structures and returns the land to a natural floodplain. The city of Mt. Hope or Fayette County will take possession of the land. Read more »

Five Years After Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, USDA Continues to Assist Gulf Residents

Samantha Hills and her children spent the last five years living with relatives. Using funds provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act she now owns her own home. Here, she holds the key to her house. August 24, 2010. (by John Audibert, USDA Rural Development)

Samantha Hills and her children spent the last five years living with relatives. Using funds provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act she now owns her own home. Here, she holds the key to her house. August 24, 2010. (by John Audibert, USDA Rural Development)

Cross-posted from the White House Blog

Devastation caused five years ago to the Gulf region by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita remains historic in proportion. It resulted in loss of life, families being displaced, homes and businesses destroyed, and communities left in ruins.  In the midst of this great tragedy, USDA Rural Development lent their knowledge and time to assist in the immediate hours following the passing of the storms.  It was a new, but critical role of supporting other Federal agencies in swiftly establishing 80 disaster recovery centers; assisting local residents and leaders as they faced unparalleled adversity. Read more »

USDA Reminds Producers That the Conservation Reserve Program General Sign-up Ends on Friday

USDA’s commitment to conservation was shown recently when Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in more than four years.  Secretary Vilsack has told Farm Service Agency Administrator Jonathan Coppess that he expects the agency to keep enrollment near the limit set in legislation to maximize the benefits from the program.  FSA’s mission is to enroll approximately 4.5 million acres in the current general sign up in order to keep the total CRP enrollment close to 32 million acres.  However, the general sign up ends this Friday, Aug. 27, so FSA is making a last-minute appeal to all prospective participants to contact their county offices to complete their sign ups before time runs out. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager Discusses New Rural Economy at Shenandoah Valley Virginia Agriculture Conference

From Left to Right is:  Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, Congressman Robert "Bob" Goodlatte of the 6th Congressional District, Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and Dave White, Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From Left to Right is: Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, Congressman Robert "Bob" Goodlatte of the 6th Congressional District, Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and Dave White, Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District hosted an Agriculture Conference at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton on Tuesday August 24th. The Conference covered many regional and local agricultural issues and concerns to Virginia farmers and those interested in farm policy. Read more »