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Refinancing Program Could Help Thousands of USDA Home Mortgage Holders

L-R: Orlando Housing Authority President Vivian Bryant; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Rural Development Florida State Director Richard Machek and Rural Development Florida Single Family Housing Program Director Daryl Cooper participated in a business roundtable in Orlando, Fla., last Friday.  They discussed discuss the USDA Rural Development Home Refinancing Pilot Program which is available to USDA borrowers in 19 states.

L-R: Orlando Housing Authority President Vivian Bryant; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Rural Development Florida State Director Richard Machek and Rural Development Florida Single Family Housing Program Director Daryl Cooper participated in a business roundtable in Orlando, Fla., last Friday. They discussed the USDA Rural Development Home Refinancing Pilot Program which is available to USDA borrowers in 19 states.

When most people think of Orlando, Florida, they envision exciting theme parks, Cinderella’s castle and a mouse with big ears.  But when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Orlando on February 24th, it was with a different vision in mind. Read more »

Meet Face of Food Safety Jeremy “Todd” Reed

Jeremy “Todd” Reed, Chief of the Analytical Design Branch in FSIS’ Data Analysis and Integration Group, says he finds more similarities than differences between his work in food safety and his former position at the Department of Defense.

Jeremy “Todd” Reed, Chief of the Analytical Design Branch in FSIS’ Data Analysis and Integration Group, says he finds more similarities than differences between his work in food safety and his former position at the Department of Defense.

With degrees in Chinese and political science, advanced credentials in mathematics, and co-authorship of a book titled The ETIM: China’s Islamic Militants and the Global Terrorist Threat (and a striking resemblance to actor Bradley Cooper), Jeremy “Todd” Reed sounds like the lead character in a spy movie. Luckily for the USDA and carnivorous Americans, Todd’s real job title is “Chief of the Analytical Design Branch, Office of Data Integration and Food Protection” at the Food Safety and Inspection Service. Read more »

El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico now featured on U.S. Mint America the Beautiful Quarter

In 2010, the U.S. Mint began issuing a series of quarters, such as this one from El Yunque National Forest, featuring national forests along with other sites highlighting ’America the Beautiful.’ Photo courtesy of the U.S. MintIn 2010, the U.S. Mint began issuing a series of quarters, such as this one from El Yunque National Forest, featuring national forests along with other sites highlighting ’America the Beautiful.’ Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mint

In 2010, the U.S. Mint began issuing a series of quarters, such as this one from El Yunque National Forest, featuring national forests along with other sites highlighting ’America the Beautiful.’ Photo courtesy of the U.S. Mint

Imagine going to the grocery store and getting a national forest quarter as your change and holding onto it as a collector’s item.  That can happen now because of the recent release of the El Yunque National Forest coin.  The coin features the endangered Puerto Rican parrot and the coqui tree frog amongst tropical vegetation. Read more »

USDA Helps Prevent South Dakota Firm’s “Goose” From Being “Cooked”

Memories of a good home cooked meal…. Mom’s in the kitchen…Dad’s snatching tidbits when Mom’s back is turned….wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen.   As the family joins together for dinner, the table is laden with scrumptious food, and Mom brings the crowning jewel to the table… a beautiful golden brown goose, roasted to perfection.

Are you wondering where you’d find a goose today to enjoy any time?  Did you know that 85-90 percent of the geese on the American market come from Schiltz Foods in Sisseton, South Dakota – a family business that grew from 5 geese in 1944 to over 200,000 birds today.  Brothers Richard and Jim Schiltz took over for their dad, Marlin, several years ago and oversee everything from production to marketing and beyond. Read more »

USDA APHIS Blueprint for Savings

Today’s reality is that Federal budgets are declining and agencies must address the change without sacrificing quality service to the American people.  USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as part of USDA’s Blueprint for Stronger Service, is committed to making the best use of available resources to provide a high level of service for its customers.  APHIS is in the process of streamlining both our operations and our processes to benefit producers, stakeholders and the American public. Read more »

New Forest Service Program Encourages Growth of Community Forests and Economies

The Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, which encourages the creation of community forests and fosters rural economies. The application deadline is May 15 for submitting applications to the State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe and June 14 for State Forester or equivalent official of the Indian tribe submitting the applications to the Forest Service.

The program provides financial assistance grants to local governments, American Indian tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations to establish community forests with a focus on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation opportunities. Read more »