Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

The Slippery Slope of Ramps

During April and May ramps are often served in restaurants in the eastern U.S.

During April and May ramps are often served in restaurants in the eastern U.S.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

To many of locals in western North Carolina, they’re called wild leeks.  Some call them ransoms and still others call them wood garlic because of their pungent smell. Nevertheless, ecologists simply call them ramps. This native plant has been useful to humans since inhabiting the eastern regions of the U.S. and Canada.  Still today, locals harvest ramps for food, medicinal preparations, and to sell at markets and spring festivals. Read more »

Construction Begins on a Rural Kansas Fire Station with Financing from USDA and an Electric Cooperative

The City of Quinter, Kansas, had a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fire station earlier this month.  All of the city’s fire equipment will soon be under one roof, which will help improve the fire station’s efficiencies when crews respond to emergencies in its 400 square mile service area.  The new station is being built with funding support from USDA and a local electric cooperative.

Earlier this month, the City of Quinter, Kansas, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new fire station with city employees, members of the volunteer fire department, USDA Rural Development staff, and representatives from Midwest Energy and Quinter Manufacturing & Construction (QMC). This photo was taken by a USDA employee.

Earlier this month, the City of Quinter, Kansas, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new fire station with city employees, members of the volunteer fire department, USDA Rural Development staff, and representatives from Midwest Energy and Quinter Manufacturing & Construction (QMC). This photo was taken by a USDA employee.

According to City of Quinter Administrator, Ericka Gillespie, the city of less than 1,000 needed a new fire station because the old facility was not meeting the needs of the community.  A larger space was needed for training, storage, and additional fire protection equipment and trucks.  The larger fire station will also improve the department’s fire rating, resulting in lower insurance costs. Read more »

Nebraska Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of USDA

President Abraham Lincoln’s Legacies of USDA, the Morrill Act and the Homestead Act were commemorated on May 20 at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska.  More than 225 people attended a special panel presentation in the Education Center, moderated by Dr. Kenneth Winkle, Lincoln Scholar and Professor of History at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, who introduced the work of President Lincoln.

Panelists were, for USDA:  U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, former Secretary of Agriculture; the Morrill Act:  Dr. John Owens, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Nebraska Lincoln; and the Homestead Act:  Mark Engler, Superintendent, Homestead National Monument of America.   A dialogue with the audience took place after the presentations. Read more »

Spot the Purple Trap for EAB Awareness Week May 20-26

Look for purple traps like this one during EAB Awareness Week.

Look for purple traps like this one during EAB Awareness Week.

This is Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week.  Before the Memorial Day holiday and summer travel season begin, we take this time to remind everyone to be careful not to spread the EAB unintentionally.

EAB is one of many “Hungry Pests” that can cause significant damage to our country’s natural resources.  Since first being identified in 2002, EAB is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states in the Midwest and Northeast. Read more »

Volunteers Shine at Sierra National Forest 2011 Volunteer Awards Ceremony

During an early April annual volunteer awards ceremony held in Clovis, Calif., the Sierra National Forest recognized the dedication, commitment and accomplishments of more than 400 individuals and groups that provided services valued at more than $770,000 to the forest in 2011.

“Our volunteers contributed over 35,000 hours of their personal time.  Their contributions are essential to our mission of ensuring forest health,” said Scott G. Armentrout, Forest Supervisor for the Sierra National Forest. “Their great ideas, hard work and inspiration toward ‘caring for the land and serving people’ helps to ensure our success.” Read more »

Water Quality Innovations of a Mississippi Delta Farm

Stovall Farms is the oldest farm in Coahoma County, Mississippi, and it still owned and operated by the same family.

Stovall Farms is the oldest farm in Coahoma County, Mississippi, and it still owned and operated by the same family.

Preventing fertilizer from rushing into a nearby bayou is not rocket science, but it does take a dedicated farmer and Pete Hunter of Stovall Farms is one of those dedicated Mississippi farmers.

Last month Pete spoke with the Mississippi River/ Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force when they toured his farm in Coahoma County, telling them about the steps Stovall Farms has taken to lower its environmental footprint. Read more »