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Giving Rural America More Tools to Grow and Create Jobs

Cross-posted from the White House blog.

Today, the President announced several important new initiatives to continue strengthening the rural economy and to create jobs in rural areas.

As part of the White House Rural Council’s efforts to improve federal government coordination on rural economic development, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have been focused on rural small business growth. And for good reason: Half the people who work in America either own or work for a small business, and two out of three new private sector jobs are created by small businesses. Read more »

Farm Internet Access on the Rise, Now Let’s Connect

A cell tower helps provide Internet access to the nearly 1,200 farms in Comanche County, OK. (Data Source: 2007 Census of Agriculture)

A cell tower helps provide Internet access to the nearly 1,200 farms in Comanche County, OK. (Data Source: 2007 Census of Agriculture)

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 the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

It’s no secret that the landscape of rural America and the ways in which farmers and ranchers do business is evolving. These changes are happening not only in the fields, in terms of what is produced and how, but also in the office and home with how producers access information and conduct business. Read more »

RMA’s Associate Administrator Tours University Environmental Stewardship Projects

Dr. Shirley Heymon-Parker and Dr. Ralph Nobel at at the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC

Dr. Shirley Heymon-Parker and Dr. Ralph Nobel at at the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC

Throughout the country, many schools and communities are teaching the importance of environmental stewardship, energy conservation, and reducing waste through innovation and creativity.  I came across one of these places recently at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, the nation’s largest Historically Black College. Their School of Agriculture and Environmental Science has embraced the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting the air we breathe, water quality, and land that supports and sustains us. Read more »

Bulgarian Foresters Visit USDA Forest Service to Observe Timber Operations –First stop: Our Nation’s Capital

Delegation toured lumber mills and met with area loggers.

Delegation toured lumber mills and met with area loggers.

Over the past year, the USDA Forest Service has been providing technical advice and assistance to the Deputy Minister for Forestry in the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. From July 18-30, the Forest Service hosted a six-member delegation of Bulgarian forestry officials to provide insight of the day-to-day operations in timber sales management.  The agency facilitates the participation of international visitors in a broad variety of educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States. Read more »

Don’t Miss your Chance to Win: Submit your Summer Food Service Program Story and Photos by August 20!

Feeding hungry kids healthy food is what the Summer Food Service Program is all about.

Feeding hungry kids healthy food is what the Summer Food Service Program is all about.

The “Food, Fun and Sun!” Contest is in full swing and submissions are rolling in to beat the submission deadline of August 20.  The USDA Food and Nutrition Service launched the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Story and Photo contest as a way to collect promising practices of the SFSP around the four target categories of the contest: Read more »

Rural Champion Ruth Hambleton Helps Educate Farm

Ruth Hambleton, Annie’s Project, Woodlawn, Illinois

Ruth Hambleton, Annie’s Project, Woodlawn, Illinois

Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:

Ruth Hambleton is the founder of Annie’s Project in Illinois. Annie’s Project is a non-profit organization that concentrates on education for Farm Women. Read more »