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An Indiana Community Receives an Improved Water system with USDA Support

The new Oakland City water tower and additional improvements are expected to sharply reduce water loss, increase water pressure. The new Oakland City water tower and additional improvements are expected to sharply reduce water loss, increase water pressure.

The new Oakland City water tower and additional improvements are expected to sharply reduce water loss, increase water pressure.

Oakland City, Indiana is the home of Oakland City University, the only General Baptist affiliate university in the nation, with a global campus providing over 40 degrees.  An organization of this stature, along with the surrounding community, places a lot of emphasis on faith. Read more »

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 8/6/12

Agricultural Weather Assessments - U.S. Corn Conditions

Agricultural Weather Assessments - U.S. Corn Conditions

Visit www.usda.gov/drought for the latest information regarding USDA’s Drought Disaster response and assistance.

During the week of July 29 – August 4, scattered showers and slightly cooler conditions provided some relief to drought-stressed summer crops—primarily soybeans—in the Corn Belt.  Weekly rainfall totaled an inch or more in numerous Midwestern locations, with at least 2 inches reported in parts of the middle Mississippi and lower Ohio Valleys.  Meanwhile in the Southeast, where 2- to 4-inch weekly totals were common, pastures and immature summer crops continued to benefit from widespread showers.  Farther west, however, extreme heat shifted to the southern Plains.  In fact, weekly temperatures averaged at least 10°F above normal—and highs topped 110°F—in an area centered on Oklahoma, where recent wildfires charred thousands of acres and destroyed dozens of homes. Read more »

New Hampshire Celebrates USDA 150th Anniversary at Miles Smith Farm

Over 250 people gathered at the Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, New Hampshire last week to celebrate USDA’s 150th Anniversary on a hot, humid summer day.

on left - Judith Canales, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development in front row with Gregg MacPherson, Area Director and Molly Lambert, State Director – on right – congressional staff Ivey Jones-Congressman Bass, Sean Thomas-Congressman Guinta, Matt Leahy-Senator Shaheen, and Simon Thompson-Senator Ayotte with community attendees at the New Hampshire 150th USDA Anniversary Observance.

on left - Judith Canales, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development in front row with Gregg MacPherson, Area Director and Molly Lambert, State Director – on right – congressional staff Ivey Jones-Congressman Bass, Sean Thomas-Congressman Guinta, Matt Leahy-Senator Shaheen, and Simon Thompson-Senator Ayotte with community attendees at the New Hampshire 150th USDA Anniversary Observance.

The hosts – Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson graciously opened their farm as the perfect location for this event. After driving up a narrow road, we discovered a scurry of activity as guests were welcomed and directed to a field set up with tents, farmer market vendors, informational booths and people. Read more »

A USDA Deputy Under Secretary Helps a Rural Iowa Community Break Ground on a New Hospital

Late last month, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien visited Manning, Iowa, and participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Manning Regional Healthcare Center. The new hospital, which will replace a facility that was built in 1927, is receiving a $21 million loan from USDA Rural Development.

“Rural residents must have access to the best available care, and this medical campus will provide decades of service to the residents of this region,” O’Brien said. “President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investments and resulted in stronger rural communities.”

When construction is completed, Manning Regional Healthcare Center’s new 17-bed critical access hospital will also include a physician clinic and recovery center that will provide substance abuse treatment services for up to16 patients in a partial residential setting. Read more »

Mississippi Farmer Grows Operation Just Like His Tomatoes: Successfully

NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Kelvin Jackson helped tomato producer Danny Daniels expand his farm and make it more environmentally friendly.

NRCS Supervisory District Conservationist Kelvin Jackson helped tomato producer Danny Daniels expand his farm and make it more environmentally friendly.

For Danny Daniels, tomatoes take first place. He loves growing them so much, they’re the bulk of the produce raised on his Meridian, Miss. farm.

The retiree–turned–tomato guru started growing the fruit a few years ago. Tomatoes are finicky, and Daniels saw growing them successfully as a challenge. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Furthering the Biobased Economy

As drought continues across America, President Obama and I continue doing all we can to help farmers and ranchers. Last week, at the President’s direction, I convened a meeting of the White House Rural Council to ensure we’re doing all we can – and we’ll meet again to discuss drought in the coming days.

We’ll also continue to call on Congress to pass a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible, to give USDA more tools to help and to give more certainty to producers in this difficult time.

Meanwhile, at USDA we continue our work to help grow the economy and create jobs. This includes our support for innovative producers and rural businesses who are already working hard to boost the emerging bio-economy.

From household products made of homegrown crops, to remarkable advanced biofuels that are powering America’s ships and aircraft, the bio-based economy is strengthening our nation while bringing more jobs and economic security to rural America.

Today, more than 3,000 companies are producing more than 25,000 biobased products made from renewable sources grown here at home, and supporting 100,000 American jobs.  These companies are developing a wide variety of products – from cleaners and paints to construction materials – for use at home, at work, and by industry. Read more »