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Thanks to a USDA Home Loan Program, a Single Dad in Minnesota Has a Home for His Son

Chris Olson learned firsthand that there is much more to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) than he thought. Now he wants to share his story with others.

Olson used USDA Rural Development’s direct home loan program to purchase a home in Cambridge, Minn. He learned about Rural Development’s home loan programs online.

“They really make sure you understand everything there is to know about owning a home,” Olson said. “Payments, budgets, expenses, home maintenance – the homeownership course covers all of that so you are fully prepared before buying the house.” Read more »

Food Safe Families: First-Ever National Multimedia Food Safety Campaign Launches to Reduce Food Poisoning in the U.S.

Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill: Food Safe Families simplifies and updates safe food handling recommendations to shift the way people think about food poisoning risk and prevention.

Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill: Food Safe Families simplifies and updates safe food handling recommendations to shift the way people think about food poisoning risk and prevention.

Today, USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services launched a true first for our departments and our nation’s public health system. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service partnered with the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ad Council to debut a joint, national, multimedia public service campaign called Food Safe Families to help Americans prevent food-related illnesses in their homes. With this campaign, we’re trying to shift the way people think about food handling so they can take a more proactive, preventive approach at home to help reduce food-related illnesses. Read more »

NRCS Employee Volunteers to Protect South Dakotans from Flood

Finished 4 and 1/2 foot tall sandbag dike along bend in Suncoast Drive

Finished 4 and 1/2 foot tall sandbag dike along bend in Suncoast Drive

Two weeks ago, I received a call from my brother and sister-in-law. They had just found out that their home might be impacted by the Missouri River flooding. Read more »

La Niña Triggers Extremes in U.S. Weather

No matter where you live in the United States, you’ve probably noticed that the weather just hasn’t been “normal” in recent months.  Our nation has experienced widespread flooding, relentless drought, expansive wildfires, and devastating tornadoes – sometimes all at once.

Some of the blame has to be directed at La Niña, a cooling of the waters of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean.  La Niña developed during the summer of 2010, leading to a profound influence on North American weather from the autumn of 2010 through the spring of 2011.  In typical fashion, La Niña forced the subtropical jet stream northward, resulting in drought development, expansion, and intensification in the South.  At the same, time jet stream disruptions induced by La Niña led to persistently cool, wet conditions across roughly the northern half of the U.S. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights USDA’s Efforts to Expand Aviation Biofuels at the Paris Air Show

 

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights USDA’s Efforts to Expand the Biofuels Industry at the Paris Air Show

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights USDA’s Efforts to Expand Aviation Biofuels at the Paris Air Show

On Wednesday in Paris, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earned the distinction as the first U.S. Agriculture Secretary to attend a Paris Air Show, the largest gathering of the world aerospace industry. The Secretary spoke at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase to a crowd of about 75 aviation business leaders about how USDA is among the forefront of U.S. federal efforts to support the development of bio-based fuels. USDA has established memoranda of understanding with several government and aviation-related agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Air Transport Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Navy, on efforts to research and develop renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it. Read more »

Delaware Homeownership Month Celebration Focuses on Rural Housing, Rural Jobs

Local construction contractors attended a June 22nd ‘work day’ event in the Crescent Shores Subdivision in Lincoln, Delaware to tell the audience of volunteers, homeowners and federal and state officials of how the USDA Rural Development Self-Help Housing Program has kept their businesses alive.

The Self-Help Housing Program was established as a path to homeownership for very-low to low-income families, utilizing a sweat equity model.  It is the only federally –funded homeownership program specifically for rural America. Read more »