Students at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
USDA celebrates National Native American Heritage Month in November with a blog series focused on USDA’s support of Tribal Nations and highlighting a number of our efforts throughout Indian Country and Alaska.
As State Director of USDA Rural Development in South Dakota, I want to ensure small South Dakotan communities have just as much opportunity to have successful business ventures, to build their community infrastructure, and to improve the quality of life in their hometowns as their urban counterparts. Yet, before anyone can come up with a business plan, design a new top-notch wastewater treatment facility, or plan a downtown revitalization project, one has to be taught the basics of how.
The roots of all opportunity within any community are in access to quality education. Read more »
Bison on the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Photo credit: Gary Chancey, US Forest Service.
Guest Post by Hannah Ettema of the National Forest Foundation.
It was like stepping back through time on the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Some 200 years ago, when bison prominently roamed the Illinois landscape, kicking up dust as they ran in the herd before settling against a back-drop of tall prairie grasses.
That scene from the past is actually part of the Midewin’s future as four bulls and 23 cows were introduced to their new 1,200 acre enclosure. The first to arrive were the bulls, one 2-year-old and three 3-year-olds, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service at the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo. Read more »
NOTE: This week on the USDA Blog, we’ve been featuring the stories of America’s Harvest Heroes who, like farmers across the nation, are working this harvest season to secure the bounty of healthy food American agriculture is renowned for. From laying the foundation for the next generation of farmers putting down roots in rural America, supporting the fruit and vegetable growers who are helping to build healthier communities, bolstering new markets for the products of agricultural innovation, to harvesting renewable energy that is made in Rural America, with USDA’s support our farmers are yielding strong results for every American. This blog focuses on two heroes of a different kind of harvest – clean, renewable energy that is #RuralMade.
I spent some time in Montana earlier this month to attend the Harvesting Clean Energy conference in Billings. We talked about options for continuing to support clean energy development, whether it’s bio-based, geothermal, solar, or wind – and how rural America fits in to the picture of clean energy development. Read more »
U.S. production of pumpkins rose by over 30 percent from 2000 to 2014, reflecting rising demand for pumpkins destined for both ornamental and food use. The Economic Research Service has created a special web page on pumpkin background information and statistics.
In the fall a person’s fancy often turns to thoughts of…pumpkins. The season is underway, from the ornamental pumpkins of Halloween to the pies that grace many tables at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Where do pumpkins come from? Though six States account for nearly half of U.S. production, pumpkins are grown in virtually every State of the union. This is important to consider in light of recent media reports of a looming pumpkin shortage. Read more »
A young resident of the Ponderosa Homeowners Cooperative was among those celebrating the conversion of their community to a resident-owned co-op. Photo by Mike Bullard, courtesy ROC USA
October is National Cooperative Month, and we’re happy to spotlight several projects throughout the month that have been supported through USDA Rural Development’s Cooperative Services. John McNamara is a Cooperative Development Specialist with the Northwest Cooperative Development Center in Olympia, Washington, and his story below helps illustrate how resident-owned communities benefit when their members are proficient with new technology:
Manufactured home communities play an important role in meeting the need for affordable housing in the Northwest and across the nation. Through cooperative action, many people now have the opportunity to create resident-owned communities (ROCs), securing the land beneath their homes for perpetuity. Read more »
Mark Schalk explains the process for sorting Alpaca hair that will be used to make blanket yarn. Schalk is the owner of Two Branch Ranch, an Alpaca farm in Saline, Mich. He brought the fiber to Springfield, Ky., for sorting and cleaning.
October is National Cooperative Month, and we’re happy to spotlight several projects throughout the month that have been supported through USDA Rural Development’s Cooperative Services.
It took nearly two years to travel from Italy to America via transportation across water, through the air, and along roadways and railways – and now a large, brightly colored piece of equipment is making history in the tiny rural community of Springfield, Ky. Read more »