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Know Your Meat: Global Meat Specifications Becoming a Reality

The UNECE team at a plant in Rosario, Argentina. During their visit to the plant, the team tested standards for new cuts of meat.

The Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Livestock and Seed Program Standardization Division recently participated in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) meetings in Buenos Aires to work on international meat standards.  The global agricultural quality standards developed by UNECE facilitate U.S. agricultural exports, which set a record this past year at $136 billion. Read more »

Publishers of forestcamping.com Start their 18th Year of Research

Fred and Suzi Dow, authors and publishers of ForestCamping.com, have devoted 18 years to visiting, personally researching, and providing the public with free, detailed information about 175 national forests and grasslands and more than 2,400 personally surveyed campgrounds. (Photo/Suzi Dow)

Fred and Suzi Dow, publishers of the U.S. National Forest Campground Guide Website have visited every Forest Service national forest and grassland but they don’t see their project as completed. They have set off for another six months of visiting, surveying, and exploring national forests that might have been thought of as completed more than a dozen years ago. Read more »

Outreach with the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network

Throughout Minnesota, women are increasingly responsible for the stewardship of private forestlands, as the number of women owning and managing land across the country increases. To address this trend, the Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network (WWN) was formed in 2010. WWN provides resources to women to help them effectively care for and enhance their private forestland.

Minnesota Women’s Woodland Network members visited Camp Vermillion on May 16 for a “Walk in the Woods.”

Read more »

Former Auto Exec Trades Up

Gary and Karen Ricley on their Flying 7 Ranch, Platte County, Wyoming.

Some people have “heaven on earth.”

Have you ever wondered who or what they were talking about?  If you were in Wyoming, it might have been Gary and Karen Ricley and their ranch along Slater Flats.

When Gary was offered an early retirement from his executive job in the auto industry in 1998, he was just 52 years old, so the Denver resident and his wife looked for a new adventure.  They learned about a short section of land for sale in southern Platte County, an area known as Slater Flats.  Read more »

Vian, Oklahoma Helps Enhance School Facilities While Inspiring Fitness Through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program

A grader works on preparing Vian, Oklahoma’s new track, funded in part through USDA’s Community Facilities Program.

As construction gets underway, Vian, Oklahoma residents eagerly await the completion of their new regulation size track and fitness facility. 

This small rural community located in eastern Sequoyah County hopes to encourage fitness and healthy living with the new facility, funded in part by USDA Rural Development in partnership with other agencies. Read more »

An 87 Year-Old Missouri Resident Enjoys her First Home-Thanks to USDA Support

State Director Dunning (4th from right), Ms. Fincher and her family in her new home.

Last year for Homeownership Month we visited Rita Fincher to whom we had made a Single Family Housing Direct loan to help purchase a home.  I was so impressed with her story last year that I decided I wanted to go back and visit her to see “what difference a year had made in her life with her new home.”  Here is her story. Read more »