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USDA and Lower Valley Water District Work to Supply First-Time Water to Colonias

Participating in the Lower Valley Water District Groundbreaking Ceremony were (left to right) USDA Rural Development Texas State Director Paco Valentin, Lower Valley Water District Director Warren Jorgensen, Lower Valley Water District Director Gina Cordero, Lower Valley Water District General Manager David Carrasco, Commissioner Precinct 3 Willie Gandara, Jr.

Participating in the Lower Valley Water District Groundbreaking Ceremony were (left to right) USDA Rural Development Texas State Director Paco Valentin, Lower Valley Water District Director Warren Jorgensen, Lower Valley Water District Director Gina Cordero, Lower Valley Water District General Manager David Carrasco, Commissioner Precinct 3 Willie Gandara, Jr.

Paco Valentin, USDA Rural Development State Director in Texas, along with representatives from the Lower Valley Water District and various elected officials, recently broke ground on a new water system that will provide first-time water service to rural residents. Read more »

US Forest Service Symbol Woodsy Owl Turns 40

The U.S. Department of Agriculture debuts Woodsy Owl in Washington, D.C. in 1971. His signature motto then was “Give a hoot; don’t pollute!”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture debuts Woodsy Owl in Washington, D.C. in 1971. His signature motto then was “Give a hoot; don’t pollute!”

Did you know that Woodsy Owl has been giving a hoot for 40 years? This week, the furry and big-eyed environmental and antipollution steward marks 40 years of being a U.S. Forest Service symbol. Read more »

NRCS Works with Partners to Help Endangered Dusky Gopher Frog

Julie Grogan-Brown and Al Garner, both with NRCS, meet a gopher tortoise, one of the threatened species that call longleaf pine forests home.

Julie Grogan-Brown and Al Garner, both with NRCS, meet a gopher tortoise, one of the threatened species that call longleaf pine forests home.

Recently I got an intimate tour of a longleaf pine forest, a rapidly vanishing Southeastern ecosystem that is home to one-of-a-kind wildlife. Longleaf pines once dominated the landscape of coastal Mississippi, but deforestation and urbanization have decreased both these forests and the unique plants and animals that call them home. Read more »

Forest Service Waives Fees for National Public Lands Day, Sept. 24

River Clean Up Crew on Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania

River Clean Up Crew on Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania

Just one day after the start of autumn,  the Forest Service is waiving fees at hundreds of recreation sites across the country on Saturday, Sept. 24 in recognition of Public Lands Day. Read more »

With USDA Assistance, an Arizona Ranch Family Finds Savings “Blowing in the Wind”

The folks in the small community of Taylor, Arizona, have a reputation for creative problem solving. Back in the late 1800’s local blacksmith Joseph Hancock came up with an ingenious solution for celebrating the Fourth of July in the tiny town. The tradition then was for towns to fire their cannons to celebrate Independence Day.

But the Town of Taylor was without a cannon. So Hancock offered up two historic anvils and the tradition of “firing the anvil” became an annual event for the town. At dawn every Fourth of July, the Jennings Band members climb onto a flatbed truck and ride up and down the neighborhoods in Taylor, stopping on street corners while the anvil is fired and patriotic music is played for the sleepy residents. Read more »

Rural Champions Utilize USDA Programs to Promote Sustainable Farmland Practices

Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell, Down to Earth Energy, Georgia

Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell, Down to Earth Energy, Georgia

Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:

When Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell purchased part of her family’s farm in 1995, their focus was on farmland preservation as much as the creation of a successful business enterprise. Read more »