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People’s Garden Provides a Piece of Home to U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan

USDA employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kaubl, Afghanistan Kathy Gunderman and Mike Ward tend to a lot in the People’s Garden, which was established on the embassy grounds earlier this year.

USDA employees at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan Kathy Gunderman and Mike Ward tend to a lot in the People’s Garden, which was established on the embassy grounds earlier this year.

After a long workday, there is nothing Kathy Gunderman enjoys more than relaxing and tending to her garden, where brightly colored flowers and green, leafy lettuce is thriving under the hot summer sun. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Brings a New Home to One Rural Mississippian

(Front row, from right to left) State Director George, Ms. Spearman, Ms. Monger, and Grenada Mayor Collins stand in front of Ms. Monger’s new home in Grenada.

(Front row, from right to left) State Director George, Ms. Spearman, Ms. Monger, and Grenada Mayor Collins stand in front of Ms. Monger’s new home in Grenada.

Homeownership Month was truly meaningful to one senior citizen in Grenada, Mississippi who received a new home, thanks to USDA Rural Development’s home loan program and to the pro-activity of State Director Trina George.

Letha Monger lived with her daughter, Betty Spearman, in a small house that built over 50 years ago by her grandfather. Ms. Monger’s home was falling apart, heavily infested with mold and soot, and had become a hazard.

Read more »

Wisconsin Business Excels in the Asian Market with Help from USDA’s Market Access Program

With assistance from USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP) and working with Food Export-Midwest, a Milwaukee-based company has expanded its access to the Asian market for its brand of specialty cookies. Nikki’s Cookies & Confections has been baking a full line of shortbreads, chocolate layered cookies and holiday specialty products for 25 years. The company’s export success was recently recognized in the National Export Strategy Report, an annual update on the National Export Initiative progress. Under this initiative President Obama set a goal of doubling overall U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Read more »

It’s Never Too Late to Start a New Beginning

Just ask eighty-six year old Rita Fincher in Park Hills, Missouri and she will tell you it is never too late to start a new beginning.

After raising ten children in a mobile home, her current dwelling was literally falling in around her when her children and grand children came to the rescue.  One of the grandsons was in the real estate business and learned of a vacant home that had been foreclosed and owned by a local bank.   With the help of the USDA Rural Development direct home loan program she applied through the Farmington, Missouri office and was determined eligible.  The house was structurally sound but needed lots of tender loving care.  With some financial help from the local bank and USDA Rural Development, her family, church friends, and neighbors made the needed repairs and improvements. Read more »

Supporting the Next Generation of Agriculture

All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation’s more than 100 land-grant colleges and universities, have a third critical mission—extension.  “Extension” means “reaching out,” and—along with teaching and research—land-grant institutions extend their resources, solving public needs with college or university resources through non-formal, non-credit programs.

These programs are largely administered through thousands of county and regional extension offices, which bring land-grant expertise to the most local of levels.  And both the universities and their local offices are supported by NIFA, the federal partner in the Cooperative Extension System (CES). Read more »

Supporting the Next Generation of Agriculture

All universities engage in research and teaching, but the nation’s more than 100 land-grant colleges and universities, have a third critical mission—extension.  “Extension” means “reaching out,” and—along with teaching and research—land-grant institutions extend their resources, solving public needs with college or university resources through non-formal, non-credit programs.

These programs are largely administered through thousands of county and regional extension offices, which bring land-grant expertise to the most local of levels.  And both the universities and their local offices are supported by NIFA, the federal partner in the Cooperative Extension System (CES). Read more »