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What’s Ahead for Global Food Security?

Woman farmers in Kenya, a country where food security is projected to improve over the next decade Photo: World Food Programme

Woman farmers in Kenya, a country where food security is projected to improve over the next decade Photo: World Food Programme

The Economic Research Service (ERS) has, since the late 1970s, reported annually on food security in a number of developing countries. A key indicator is the number of food-insecure people (those who each consume less than a nutritional target of 2,100 calories per day). In the latest report, we estimate food security in 76 countries, in four regions. Read more »

USDA-Funded North Valley Health Center in Minnesota Expected to Improve Rural Quality of Life

Minnesota Rural Development State Director Landkamer, fourth from the right, breaking ground on the new North Valley Health Center in Warren, Minn.

Ground was broken on the new 43,000 square-foot North Valley Health Center on July 26. It will be located next to the Good Samaritan Nursing Home and will feature a larger physical therapy department, full handicap accessibility and covered entrances, among other enhancements.Community members came together to build the first hospital in Warren, Minn., all the way back in 1905. Today, the community is coming together once again to build a new innovative healthcare facility that will continue the tradition of strong rural healthcare in the community of 1,500. Read more »

Help USDA Fight Hungry Pests: Keep an Eye Out for Asian Longhorned Beetle

An adult Asian Longhorned Beetle

Throughout August, a little-known beetle may emerge from the trees in your community. You might see its long black and white antennae inching out from a dime-shaped hole in your favorite tree. The pest, named the Asian longhorned beetle, kills trees from the inside out. It attacks 13 types of hardwood trees. Read more »

Deputy Under Secretary Visits Successful Rural Initiatives in Illinois

Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien talks about the how his agency’s programs can help develop and expand business development in rural areas.

What do 13 doctors in Southern Illinois, hundreds of outpatients and a bilingual library have in common?  USDA Rural Development! Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien recently visited the Monroe County Surgical Center in Waterloo and the Fairmont City Library Center in the Illinois Metro East area near St. Louis.  Both were recipients of Rural Development funding during the last two years.  O’Brien saw in person what the two have in common…success of two local projects that are models for other businesses and communities eligible for Rural Development funding. Read more »

U.S. Cherries On Top In South Korean Market

Shoppers at a South Korean discount chain store pick fresh U.S. cherries during a promotional event called “Cherry Day” on July 2. Since the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement (KORUS) went into effect in March, Korean retailers have seen sales of U.S. cherries rapidly increase, and in some cases, account for the top selling imported fruit. KORUS removed two thirds of the tariffs imposed on U.S. food and agricultural products exporting to South Korea.

It’s only been four months since the historic U.S.-Korea free trade agreement (KORUS) removed two thirds of the tariffs imposed on U.S. food and agricultural products exported to South Korea. But already, sales of U.S. fresh cherries are on the rise. The elimination of a 24-percent import duty on cherries – along with marketing support from the U.S. cherry industry and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Seoul – is helping boost U.S. cherry sales in Korea to record levels. Read more »

Gardening at 9,500 Feet!

Mark Platten (right) with some of the Junior Master Gardeners of Cripple Creek, Colorado

With gas prices on the rise and the trip to the nearest large grocery store clocking in at 50 miles, Mark Platten realized an opportunity much closer to home. Platten, the Colorado State University Extension Director for Teller County, began brainstorming and came up with the idea for a program that would engage young people in gardening, put fresh food on the table, and facilitate community service opportunities in the town of Cripple Creek, Colorado – a small town situated in the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 9,500. Read more »