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It Takes a Village: Reaching Out to Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina

I am a communications intern with USDA Rural Development in North Carolina and recently had the opportunity to visit the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina at Lake Waccamaw (BGHNC).

I knew we would be visiting a residential facility that cared for at- risk children, but I had no idea what to expect. When we arrived, the site of the lake was awe-inspiring. I thought to myself, perfect scenery for healing. We were whole-heartedly greeted in the Administration building, Flemington Hall, by Mr. David Passmore, Vice President of Residential Services, and Kathy Stream, Director of Public Relations/Marketing. Read more »

Afghan Borlaug Fellows Receive Executive Training

Dennis Timlin (far right) of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) spoke with the 12 Borlaug Fellows from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) about the Global Climate Change Lab at the ARS facility in Beltsville, Md. on Wednesday. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Dennis Timlin (far right) of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) spoke with the 12 Borlaug Fellows from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) about the Global Climate Change Lab at the ARS facility in Beltsville, Md. on Wednesday. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Some of Afghanistan’s best and brightest agricultural officials are in the United States this month receiving training that will benefit their country for years to come.

Read more »

Partnership with USDA Saves County $10,000 While Providing 8,700 Pounds of Food

Farm Service Agency, FSA, People’s Garden

Farm Service Agency, FSA, People’s Garden

A four-acre plot of land has saved one Kentucky county thousands of dollars while helping to feed hungry families. Read more »

South Dakota Transformers

No, no, the subject doesn’t have any connection to two children’s movies titled “Transformers” or “Toy Story”.  It does, however, pertain to an engaging session that was held among South Dakota staff to broaden their understanding of cultural transformation.

The sessions were led by two dynamic facilitators, Joanna Donahue and Vickie Oldman-John who assisted staff with gaining a better understanding of cultural transformation.  Read more »

The Link Between Rural and Urban Americans

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to speak before a group of city and town planners at a forum hosted by the American Planning Association.  Before I spoke I asked the crowd to raise their hands if they had worked in a community of less than 50,000 population.  To my surprise, three-quarters of audience raised a hand.

When I then asked for people to keep their hands raised if they worked in communities under 20,000, and close to half the hands were still up.

It was another reminder that people who live and work in rural communities are highly engaged—enough so to attend a conference here in Washington D.C.—and intent on exploring solutions for small towns and rural areas. Read more »

Face of Food Safety: Joseph Woltz III

If you ask Joseph Woltz III what is the most rewarding part of his career, his answer would be simple and matter of fact: “What could be more rewarding than a career where your daily grind is protecting people from foodborne illnesses?”

Woltz’ “daily grind” is a lot different than the one he originally planned. When he was young, he always thought he would become a teacher. But instead of going into education, he took up the “family” business: the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Read more »