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NRCS Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is honoring contributions made by Hispanic Americans to our nation during National Hispanic Heritage Month, an annual commemoration held Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Each year, this time is set aside to celebrate the history, achievements, culture and contributions of Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

“Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit” is the theme of this year’s National Hispanic Heritage Month. Jennifer Van Eps, NRCS Visual Information Specialist in Spokane, WA, was awarded first place in the agency’s annual poster contest for her entry and it will serve as NRCS’ official poster for 2011. (The poster is used to raise awareness throughout the agency of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and is not available externally.) Read more »

Making Rabies History – World Rabies Day, September 28

Today is World Rabies Day. Scientists, public health professionals, veterinarians, wildlife biologists, and others from around the globe will celebrate World Rabies Day by raising awareness about efforts to rid the world of rabies. Rabies is one of the oldest known diseases, yet it remains a significant wildlife management and public health challenge.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proud to support efforts to eliminate this deadly disease through its Wildlife Services (WS) and Veterinary Services (VS) programs. Read more »

Cooperative Restoration Project Benefits Salmon, Water Quality

Before - Work such as this improves water quality and creates high-quality fish habitat for streams such as Oregon’s Sucker Creek.

Before - Work such as this improves water quality and creates high-quality fish habitat for streams such as Oregon’s Sucker Creek.

Annual construction efforts on a multi-year restoration project to improve water quality and create high-quality fish habitat is currently in progress on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon. Read more »

Connecting with Students, Shaping the Future of Agriculture

Fresno State University students Caitlin Guest (far left), Aki Dionisopoulos (center), and Amanda Jo Bettencourt (right) receive plaques from AMS.   These students were the 2011 recipients of the AMS Assistantship.  All three currently work with AMS.

Fresno State University students Caitlin Guest (far left), Aki Dionisopoulos (center), and Amanda Jo Bettencourt (right) receive plaques from AMS. These students were the 2011 recipients of the AMS Assistantship. All three currently work with AMS.

Fall is just around the corner and students across the country are back in school. At the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), we are looking forward to our own school year activities. Read more »

Bringing Fresh Food to Hartford, Connecticut

MRP Under Secretary Edward Avalos with Bob Pellegrino, Director of Marketing, Connecticut Department of Agriculture at the Billings Forge Farmers Market, Hartford, CT.”

MRP Under Secretary Edward Avalos with Bob Pellegrino, Director of Marketing, Connecticut Department of Agriculture at the Billings Forge Farmers Market, Hartford, CT.

During my recent visit to Hartford, I toured the historic Billings Forge Farmers Market, which featured an assortment of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, baking foods, cheeses, meats and numerous other healthy foods.  Located in a food desert, the market positively compliments the “Bodegas” by providing WIC eligible food products. Read more »

Healthy School Meals Fuel S.W.A.G. and Success

In August I went back to school with students in Albany and Newton, Ga., to see how healthy school meals help students get their “S.W.A.G. on” and prepare for success.

In Albany, 400 Sherwood Acres Elementary Magnet School students celebrated school breakfast, many wearing S.W.A.G. t-shirts, which stands for “Students with Academic Greatness!”

Vanessa Hayes, Dougherty County Schools Director of Child Nutrition Services, explained, “We understand that good nutrition is the fuel for the educational vehicle.” Read more »