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Ground-breaking Partnership Brings Celebrity Recipe to Chicago Student Lunches

Savory chicken, sweet and spicy baked beans, and glazed carrots were part of the new recipe served to students in Chicago schools.

Savory chicken, sweet and spicy baked beans, and glazed carrots were part of the new recipe served to students in Chicago schools.

One of USDA’s most important missions is providing healthy meals to school lunch programs across the country.  In a unique partnership, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) agencies teamed up with Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! non-profit organization, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system and Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality to create and serve a new healthy, tasty and exciting school lunch recipe.

To do this, Bob Bloomer of Chartwells-Thompson, the provider of meals in most of Chicago’s schools, worked with the Agricultural Marketing Service to acquire fresh, unprocessed chicken. After issuing a solicitation and competitive bids from domestic suppliers, the Agricultural Marketing Service awarded the first contract for two truckloads—that’s 80,000 pounds —of raw chicken leg quarters for shipment to Chicago’s schools.

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Carbon Study Conducted on US Forest Service Land Reveals Unexpected Results

A picture of one the U.S. Forest Service's 89 experimental forests. (Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service)

A picture of one the U.S. Forest Service's 89 experimental forests. (Photo courtesy of the US Forest Service)

A 12-year study on the U.S. Forest Service’s Harshaw Experimental Forest near Rhinelander, WI is challenging long-held assumptions about how future forests will respond to the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Read more »

APHIS Veterinarian Dr. Larry Ludemann Shares His Experiences Overseas

Hello, I’m Dr. Larry Ludemann and I’m a Senior Staff Veterinarian for USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).  It’s our job to make sure veterinary biologics, including vaccines, are safe, pure, potent and effective.

My duties include reviewing and licensing veterinary vaccines.   Manufacturers looking for approval on a vaccine are required to submit supporting data and reports about the vaccine for analysis.  I am responsible for writing a response to this submitted information.  Before taking my current position, I also spent 13 years in the CVB testing lab. Read more »

Turkey FUNdamentals: Planning for Thanksgiving

Cross posted from the FoodSafety.gov blog:

Okay, so it’s your turn to host the annual Thanksgiving feast. Aunt Sara has been cooking turkeys for 40 years, and Cousin Rachel is a gourmet cook. Can you tackle a turkey without being traumatized?

Yes you can!  Believe it or not, taking care of “Tom” isn’t that tough, and it can actually be FUN!  Just follow USDA’s “Turkey FUNdamentals” and your bird will turn out fine. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline says that each November, both novice and experienced cooks have the same basic questions on preparing turkey. Here they are: Read more »

Meeting Tomorrow’s Ag Leaders at the FFA Convention

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack center with FFA award winners at the 84th Annual National Convention of the FFA on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2011, in Indianapolis, IN. Photo courtesy FFA.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack center with FFA award winners at the 84th Annual National Convention of the FFA on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2011, in Indianapolis, IN. Photo courtesy FFA.

Last week, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) representatives collaborated with bright, young agricultural leaders at the National FFA Convention. The event truly showcased talented youth from all over the country. Read more »

USDA Announces 2012 Commemoration of 150th Anniversary

Today, I accompanied Secretary Vilsack on a trip to the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois to announce USDA’s year-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of our founding in 1862.  It is quite fitting that we are marking this celebration in the hometown of our founder, President Abraham Lincoln, which just so happens to be my hometown as well.

During today’s festivities, Secretary Vilsack unveiled the official 150th anniversary graphic to help mark the occasion which you can view at the USDA 150th anniversary website. This graphic will be used throughout the year as the USDA community celebrates this landmark anniversary by commemorating important events, such as the signing of the legislation to establish the Department on May 15, 1862 by President Lincoln, and the July signing of the Morrill Act to establish our public land grant universities. Read more »