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Face of Food Safety: Dr. Katherine Ralston

For as long as Dr. Katherine Ralston could remember, she wanted to be a veterinarian. “My 6th grade teacher wrote on my report card (that I still have!), ‘When you become a vet, I’ll bring Clint (his black Labrador) to see you.’ As I got older, I discovered more and more reasons why I wanted to pursue veterinary medicine, including the challenge and choices for career focuses.”

In 2008, that dream of becoming a veterinarian became a reality when Katherine Ralston, a little girl from Vandergrift, Pa., became Dr. Katherine Ralston, graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and full-time public health veterinarian, or PHV, at USDA’S Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Read more »

Rural Champion Promotes Economic Self-Sufficiency to the Winnebago Tribe and its Members

Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk, Inc., Winnebago, Nebraska

Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk, Inc., Winnebago, Nebraska

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

Lance Morgan is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and President, CEO, and co-founder of Ho-Chunk, Inc., the award-winning economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe. Read more »

Youth Workers Improve Los Padres Wilderness Trails

Crews worked for months to rehabilitate nearly two hundred miles of remote trails.

Crews worked for months to rehabilitate nearly two hundred miles of remote trails.

Recovery Act funding spurs a renaissance in backcountry trail maintenance.

This year, visitors to the Los Padres National Forest, near Goleta, Calif., are seeing widespread wilderness trail improvements thanks to Recovery Act funds.  Nearly $2.3 million was allocated to the forest for wilderness trail rehabilitation and maintenance which was divided among its five ranger districts. Read more »

Five Families in Monticello Begin Building New Homes Utilizing Rural Development Housing Funds

Dozens of people gathered in Monticello, Ky., on Wednesday to break ground on a project in which five local families began the process of building their own homes.

Great partnerships can lead to great projects – and this event highlighted several strategic partners that worked incredibly hard to make it happen, including USDA Rural Development, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Southern Tier Housing Corporation, the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE) and the families of Pedro and Omaira Ruiz, Mary and Silvino Castillo, Yvonne Hernandez, Brenda McGuire and Patsy Perdue. Read more »

Preventing Smuggling, Protecting American Agriculture

SITC Officer on the Job: SITC works to detect and prevent the unlawful entry and distribution of prohibited products that may harbor exotic plant and animal pests, diseases or invasive species.SITC Officer on the Job: SITC works to detect and prevent the unlawful entry and distribution of prohibited products that may harbor exotic plant and animal pests, diseases or invasive species.

SITC Officer on the Job: SITC works to detect and prevent the unlawful entry and distribution of prohibited products that may harbor exotic plant and animal pests, diseases or invasive species.

USDA’s Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC), a program with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), is in its tenth year of protecting American agriculture from invasive pests and diseases. Some of SITC’s efforts toward this goal include identifying and closing routes of illegal products originating in foreign countries and products from pest and disease quarantine areas of the U.S. Read more »

Forest Service Employees Join Forces to Feed Families

With just over two weeks left in the 2011 Feds Feed Families campaign, Forest Service employees are joining forces all over the country in an extraordinary show of commitment and compassion as its summer food drive moves to full gear in helping reach the USDA’s goal of 500,000 pounds of donated food. Across the country, Forest Service employees have stepped up to the plate to help feed the hungry in their region. Here are some examples of what’s happening:

“Packing on the Pounds,” a collaborative effort between the Pacific Northwest Region and the Pacific Northwest Research Station is tipping the scales to feed Portland, Oregon’s hungry families.  Their goal is to collect one ton of foodstuffs; they’re more than halfway to their goal. Read more »