Two adult Asian longhorned beetles on a maple tree.
To some people the smell of summer is a fresh cut grass or morning dew, but to me summer is the scent of healthy trees in full bloom. It reminds me that summer isn’t over yet and there is still time to be outdoors. And with August as Tree Check Month for the invasive Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), it’s a good time to take a look at your trees to make sure they are beetle free.
Last month, a homeowner on Long Island, N.Y., outside in her own yard, captured an adult beetle. She visited the website then called the ALB hotline telephone number 1-866-702-9938 to report the beetle. New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Marketing together with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service responded and collected the beetle, which was ALB. Six infested trees were found on the property. Read more »
Keyna Diop, founder of Quali'Volaille
Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Keyna Cisse Diop, the founder of Quali’Volaille, a poultry business in Senegal, West Africa. Passionate about engaging young women in agriculture, Keyna was selected for the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). After six weeks of courses at Purdue University, she is currently interning with USDA Rural Development in Columbia, South Carolina.
1. When did you become interested in the poultry business of Senegal?
My father has been raising poultry for more than twenty years and is very passionate about livestock production. With my degree in Business Administration, my desire to start my own business in Agriculture and his knowledge of poultry, I came up with the brand Quali’Volaille and we agreed to start producing on a larger scale. Read more »
With seeds, timing is everything. So making sure that exported seeds reach their destination quickly and efficiently is crucial for American seed producers and the international farmers who need them.
Trade between nations regularly involves meeting strict government requirements that often create logistical obstacles for all parties involved. U.S. seed businesses often experience this when doing business with our cousins to the north. Canada is one of the largest importers of U.S. seed – with tons of seed worth millions of dollars being imported each year.
Thanks to the close partnership between the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), American seed growers and businesses are saving thousands of dollars each year in these cross border transactions. Read more »
Natalie and Donald Love use sustainable forestry practices to improve early successional habitat on their land in central Pennsylvania.
Natalie Love wakes up each morning to the sounds of songbirds. “What a good way to start your day,” said Love, who lives in the Appalachian Mountains in central Pennsylvania.
Natalie and her husband Donald are working to improve the healthy, structurally diverse forests that provide many benefits for wildlife. By doing so, they’ve also improved their access to their forests, fought off undesired invasive plants and improved the aesthetics of their forest land.
“Sustainable forestry is benefitting our personal lives as well as wildlife,” she said. “We want to build an inviting place for the golden-winged warbler.” Read more »
About 5 million Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year. (iStock photo)
Today’s guest blog features the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative (NoroCORE- Norovirus Collaborative for Outreach, Research, and Education), a food safety initiative with the ultimate goal to reduce the burden of foodborne disease associated with viruses, particularly noroviruses. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States accounting for around 5 million of the 21 million annual cases associated with contaminated foods. Cost of illness is estimated to be billions of dollars per year.
By Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw, NoroCORE extension associate, and Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, NoroCORE scientific director
Even if you have not experienced a norovirus infection personally (consider yourself fortunate!), you probably know someone who has or have heard of an outbreak of the “stomach flu.” Most people know norovirus by its symptoms: a couple of memorable days of vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with a fever and a headache. Read more »
MPS Jr. Iron Chef Competition with Chef Ann Kim and a True Food Chef Council member
It’s that time of year – books, backpacks and a BBQ! That’s right – Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is preparing for its annual Farm to School Community BBQ, a much anticipated back-to-school event that kicks off the school year. The following guest blog features inspiring initiatives MPS has implemented to serve local foods to its 35,000 students in the district.
Since 2011, MPS has sourced fresh produce, meats, baked goods and other products from local farmers and manufacturers. Purchasing local foods supports Minnesota farms and small businesses and provides opportunities for students to learn how their food is grown by extending farm to school efforts beyond the cafeteria and into the classroom with visits from farmers and taste-tests.
Farm to school also helps to support another USDA initiative designed to enhance school meals – the What’s Shaking? Creative Ways to Boost Flavor with Less Sodium initiative. Using local foods means that school nutrition programs are preparing more meals from scratch, allowing them to control the amount of sodium. Farm to school gets students engaged and excited about school meals – and with the community BBQ, both kids and their families get a sneak peek at what’s going to be on the lunch menu for the new school year.
By Kate Seybold, Farm to School Coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools
What better way to ring in the new school year than by celebrating the bounties of local produce that farmers harvest during the back-to-school season? Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is hosting its Fifth Annual Farm to School Community BBQ – a community event built around fresh food, families and fun! The event brings together MPS students and their families, school staff, local farmers and vendors, True Food Chef Council members and other community partners in celebration of Minnesota Farm to School Month and our farm to school program. Read more »