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Eastern Kentucky Cattle Operator Works with the Land to Protect Natural Resources

Ronnie (left), Gloria and Will Bowling are recognized for conservation on their farm, in the Appalachian region of Ky.

Clay County, located in eastern Kentucky in Appalachia, is one of the last places most folks would look for a grazing operation, but that’s exactly what Ronnie Bowling and his family is doing with their farm.  The Bowlings live on a 91-acre property, and are managing about 60 acres of it for grazing. Their goal is to provide for their family in a sustainable way.Working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Bowlings recently installed fencing and watering systems and planted forage for the cattle.  Read more »

Secretary Vilsack Tours Progressive Pennsylvania

 From left: James Ringler, Glenn Stoltzfus, AU.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, Duane Stoltzfus and Dwight Stoltzfus. The Stoltzfus brothers explain how the compost solids are produced from their anaerobic digester. An anaerobic digester is a component of a waste management system that captures biogas for energy production a byproduct of this system are compost solids that are used for bedding for the dairy’s cattle. The anaerobic digester practice is part of a planned conservation management system that manages manure and/or comprehensive nutrient management system. Secretary Vilsack visited the Stoltzfus’  Pennwood Dairy Farms on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 to announce the United States Department of Agriculture’s energy efficiency programs and announced a new effort to help rural consumers make affordable, energy-efficient improvements to their homes and businesses. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

Secretary Vilsack visited the Stoltzfus’ Pennwood Dairy Farms on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 to announce the United States Department of Agriculture’s energy efficiency programs and announced a new effort to help rural consumers make affordable, energy-efficient improvements to their homes and businesses. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.

On a muggy day in July, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited a Pennsylvania dairy farm that is using an anaerobic digester to convert manure into electricity and high quality bedding, cutting energy costs and providing a resting area for more contented cows.  The digester, which went on-line a year ago, was funded in part with the support of USDA Rural Development. Read more »

A Mississippi Tribe Upgrades Water Quality with USDA Support

State Director Trina George (left) and Chief Anderson in front of a picture of the health center building.

Trina N. George, Mississippi State Director for USDA Rural Development and Phyliss Anderson, Chief for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians held a Photo Op on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 in Choctaw, Miss., to commemorate USDA Rural Developments $1 million grant award to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. The Tribe will use the funds for water and sewer upgrades to the Pearl River Community and the Health Center Development. Read more »

USDA: Investing in Rural Economies in New Mexico and Across the Nation

It is Bill Johnson—he owns and operates Carzalia Valley Produce with his family in Columbus, NM. The picture is in their onion packaging facility—they are looking a pallets of bagged onions being readied for shipment.

New Mexico is a challenging environment for farmers: the land is dry; soil is hard to come by outside the river valley; temperatures reach the mid-90’s in May and stay there through early October.  But farmers, as they’ve been doing for centuries in New Mexico and all across our country, find ways to overcome challenges and make a living from the land.  In many ways, this makes us New Mexicans appreciate our home State, and its beauty, even more.  Read more »

Experience History and Nature on These Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies

Holland Lake sits at the base of the Swan Mountains about 25 miles north of Seeley Lake, Mont., just minutes off the route of the Montana Scenic Loop.

If you are looking for an exciting vacation with beautiful views then consider exploring Forest Service lands in the Northern Rockies for beautiful landscapes, scenic byways, historic trails and diverse wildlife. Read more »

Volunteers Restore Giant Cane Along the Chattooga River in South Carolina

Volunteers dig up giant cane from an area adjacent to the restoration site on March 24, 2012. They must be careful to keep at least one foot of rhizome intact on either side of the main stem for successful transplanting.

On the Sumter National Forest, the peaceful sounds of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River can barely be heard over the clang of shovels and the squeaky axle of an old wheelbarrow.

A work crew is busy on the forest’s Andrew Pickens Ranger District but instead of building with bricks and mortar along this scenic stretch of the famous river, the work crew is restoring native vegetation along its verdant banks. Read more »