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Shovels of Gold Symbolic of New Fire Protection for the Residents of a South Dakota Reservation

(Left to right) Susan Kary-Parmelee Volunteer Fire Department Secretary, Terri L. Grablander-South Central RC & D, John Spotted Tail-Community Liaison for Rosebud Sioux Tribe President, Elsie M. Meeks-South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director, Marlene Knutson-Central South Dakota Enhancement District Executive Director, Rochelle Rogers-Senator Tim Johnson’s office, and Clark Guthmiller-USDA Rural Development Manager.

(Left to right) Susan Kary-Parmelee Volunteer Fire Department Secretary, Terri L. Grablander-South Central RC & D, John Spotted Tail-Community Liaison for Rosebud Sioux Tribe President, Elsie M. Meeks-South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director, Marlene Knutson-Central South Dakota Enhancement District Executive Director, Rochelle Rogers-Senator Tim Johnson’s office, and Clark Guthmiller-USDA Rural Development Manager.

While the shovels may have all been painted gold, they weren’t just bought off the shelf; some were used, donated, came in different sizes, and had different uses.  It was a metaphor for the day as community members from the small community of Parmelee, South Dakota, located on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, gathered.  A project started over four years ago, involving  partnerships with ten different organizations/agencies to bring to fruition, broke ground recently on the long awaited, sought after fire hall. Read more »

25,000 Senegalese Schoolchildren to Benefit from USDA-Supported Project

More than 25,000 at-risk pre-school and elementary students in Senegal will benefit from a new daily lunch initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by the nonprofit Counterpart International.

More than 25,000 at-risk pre-school and elementary students in Senegal will benefit from a new daily lunch initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented by the nonprofit Counterpart International.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) partners with a variety of non-profit groups, cooperatives and international organizations to promote food security in developing countries around the world. The following guest blog highlights the successful partnership between FAS and Counterpart International in Senegal. Read more »

Falcon Nests put Temporary Halt to Rock Wall Climbing in Washington

Peregrine falcons have one of the longest migrations of any North American bird. U.S. Forest Service photo.

Peregrine falcons have one of the longest migrations of any North American bird. U.S. Forest Service photo.

Climbers are being asked to temporarily avoid a popular rock wall on the western slopes of Washington’s Cascade Mountains because it’s become a nesting spot for peregrine falcons. Read more »

Rural Roundtable at North Iowa Area Community College Highlights Job Creation Opportunities

Earlier this month (April 17th) Dr. Catherine Woteki, USDA chief scientist and Under Secretary for USDA’s Research, Education and Economics mission area, facilitated a White House Rural Council roundtable meeting at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC)  in Mason City, Iowa.

One of the key topics of discussion during the roundtable, which was attended by more than 40 local business owners and students, focused on the variety of ways community colleges can help create new job opportunities, especially in rural areas.

One week before her visit to NIACC, USDA announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the American Association of Community Colleges that highlights a key White House Rural Council goal to expand access to training and higher education for rural citizens and strengthen the rural economy. Read more »

With New Interagency Agreement US Forest Service Works on the Loss of Whitebark Pine in Yellowstone Region

Island Lake landscape in Wyoming's Wind River mountains on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Photo by Scott Clemons.

Island Lake landscape in Wyoming's Wind River mountains on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Photo by Scott Clemons.

Hoping to find ways to reverse a potential environmental disaster, several land managing federal agencies are working together in the Greater Yellowstone Area, which includes the Shoneshone, Gallatin and Teton National Forests, to address the wide spread loss of whitebark pine trees due to the effects of climate change. Read more »

Contracting with Federal Departments? USDA is Here to Help.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that small business owners will have an opportunity in June to learn how to grow and support their businesses by partnering with USDA and other Federal Agencies.  The North Carolina event supports the White House Initiative on Small Business Contracting.

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan invited small businesses to participate in educational workshops and networking sessions in Durham, North Carolina on how to do business with USDA and other Federal agencies.  Topics include acquisition needs and opportunities, prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities, and business development resources.  Included in the sessions is an opportunity to meet one-on-one with USDA small business contracting specialists. Read more »