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New York Rural Development Staff Observes Cultural Transformation Day with Representatives of Area Tribes

USDA Rural Development (NY) Cultural Transformation Day Volunteers pose at the conclusion of a beautiful day spent working on the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy Native American Village at the New York State Fairgrounds.

This past Thursday the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development’s New York Cultural Transformation Day took place at the Iroquois Confederacy’s Six Nation Agricultural Society Indian Village at the New York State Fair Grounds. Things got started early as more than a dozen USDA Rural Development staff members joined with representatives from the Iroquois Confederacy Nation to build, discover and practice community relations and also to beautify the landscape. Read more »

From Homeless to Homeowner: With Some Support From USDA, a Mom’s Sacrifice Helps her Children

Sonia Romero (left), joins Leticia Perez, Leticia’s mother Maria, daughter Bianca and son Sergio in the living room of their new home.

“When I’m old enough, I’m going to buy you a house,” Sergio Perez told his mom. It was the best gift he could think of for his mother, Leticia. Sergio, his sister Bianca and their mother had been homeless, moving from relative to relative after her divorce.

 Although the three were without a home, they never seemed to be without each other. There is a bond…and a palpable tenderness among the three of them—even with a teenage boy and a pre-teen girl! Read more »

Calling All Champions of Change: Send Us Your Stories!

President Obama and I know that today’s young people are critical to winning America’s future. From passing on the long-held traditions and values of American agriculture, to helping Americans live healthier lives by supporting the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, 4-H and FFA members are truly making a difference.

This September, the White House will welcome 4-H and FFA members from around the country to Washington for a day of discussion on their work, and the future of American agriculture.

In addition, the White House will honor 12 Champions of Change- 4-H and FFA members who are helping America win the future with unique projects that move their communities forward. Read more »

Growing a Mississippi Farm Organically

The Stoltzfuses use high tunnels to lengthen the growing season for fresh fruits and vegetables. They built the first high tunnel on their own, and they liked it so much, they decided to build a second one with the help of NRCS.

The Stoltzfuses use high tunnels to lengthen the growing season for fresh fruits and vegetables. They built the first high tunnel on their own, and they liked it so much, they decided to build a second one with the help of NRCS.

For many farmers, the lessons of agriculture begin at a young age. This is true for Florence, Miss., farmer Kathy Stoltzfus, who says that her dad taught her what she knows when she was a child. She has fond memories of running barefoot through rice fields and the taste of freshly grown food. Read more »

U.S. Agribusinesses Encouraged to ‘Explore Exporting’

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has 98 offices worldwide that work every day to maintain access of U.S. agricultural products.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has 98 offices worldwide that work every day to maintain access of U.S. agricultural products.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is funding its partners, the four State Regional Trade Groups (STRGs), to host a series of nationwide seminars that inspire small and medium U.S. food and agricultural companies to become exporters. Read more »

Join a White House Hangout on Local Foods

In every state, people are connecting directly with their food each time they bite into a local apple, grill a local steak or create a salad with local ingredients. Local food is about the products that farmers and ranchers grow and raise. It’s about the businesses that bring food from farms to our tables, and efforts to connect consumers with producers like farm to school and agritourism. And it’s about the sense of pride behind campaigns like “Buy Fresh, Buy Local,” “Appalachian Grown,” or “Idaho Preferred” that let consumers know their food dollar is flowing back into their local economy. Women play a prominent role in developing local and regional food systems that are creating jobs, pulling new people into agriculture, connecting communities, and improving health.

On Tuesday, July 17th at 3:00pm EDT, Jon Carson, White House Director of Public Engagement, and I will join inspiring women leaders in the field of local foods through a Google+ Hangout to hear their stories and answer your questions. It’s also a chance to see more stories like theirs when we unveil the 2.0 version of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. An innovative digital guide and map, the KYF Compass highlights USDA-supported local food projects around the country. The 2.0 version features thousands of local food projects in all 50 states and includes keyword and zip code search features. Read more »