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Native American Youths in Florida get Behind-the-Scenes Look at Forest Service Careers

The National Forests in Florida hosted Native American teenagers from the Florida Indian Youth Program on the Apalachicola National Forest. The program, sponsored by the Florida Governor’s Council on Indian Affairs focuses on job skills, academic skills, life-skills, social and cultural activities.

The National Forests in Florida hosted Native American teenagers from the Florida Indian Youth Program on the Apalachicola National Forest. The program, sponsored by the Florida Governor’s Council on Indian Affairs focuses on job skills, academic skills, life-skills, social and cultural activities.

Their eyes wide open and their minds prepped to learn, a group of Native American youths from Florida recently glimpsed the skills and knowledge needed for  Forest Service careers during a field trip to the Apalachicola National Forest.

Forest professionals from civil engineering, landscape architecture, archaeology and recreation escorted teenagers from the Florida Indian Youth Program during their visit.  The teens got the stories behind several hiking, biking and fishing day-use areas on the forest. The goal was to give the teens insight in the process of creating user-friendly recreation sites. From idea, to planning, to execution, the employees presented the stages involved in site development. Read more »

Bringing Credit Options to Our Veterans

Althea Raiford retired from the Navy in 2010 and works in Maryland as a police officer. But every month she sends money home to Georgia to buy hogs, chickens and feed, some of which have been purchased at a discount through a network of veterans.

“We [veterans] are a family,” said Raiford, who was able to connect with other veteran farmers to receive 20 chickens for free and purchase two hogs for $30 each to jumpstart an operation that she and her brother started in Georgia four years ago. “We take care of our family and we take care of it the best way we know how.”

Raiford was one of nearly 40 veterans who traveled to Kearneysville, W.Va., on Oct. 10 to attend a symposium co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that provides veterans who have an interest in agriculture with financial and business planning information. Read more »

Helping Tribal College Students Excel in STEM

It’s shaping up to be a good year for students in Indian Country.

For the first time in school history, students at Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College in Mount Pleasant, Michigan can register to take physics thanks to an upgraded laboratory. And at Leech Lake Tribal College in Cass Lake, Minnesota, students were able to take trigonometry for the first time last year.  Funded and supported by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA ), both schools made  improvements to bolster their students’ learning in the areas of science and mathematics.

NIFA’s Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grant is a noncompetitive program that enhances educational opportunities for American Indians in the food and agricultural sciences.  These grants strengthen formal educational opportunities at the associate, baccalaureate, or graduate level at 1994 land-grant institutions, also known as tribal colleges. Read more »

US Forest Service Lands in North Dakota Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

The beautiful Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota is now in the National Register of Historic places.

The beautiful Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota is now in the National Register of Historic places.

Two crown jewels in the heart of North Dakota have recently been announced as historic places tied to President Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation legacy.

The Elkhorn Ranch and Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands are now on the National Register of Historic places as a national historic district. President Roosevelt made the Elkhorn Ranch his home and explored, hunted and wrote about the Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands. Read more »

US Forest Service Researcher Uses Science to Fight Forest Fires

Dr. Terrie Benavidez Jain in wildland firefighting gear doing field work on the Boise Basin Experimental Forest in IdahoDr. Terrie Benavidez Jain in wildland firefighting gear doing field work on the Boise Basin Experimental Forest in Idaho

Dr. Terrie Benavidez Jain in wildland firefighting gear doing field work on the Boise Basin Experimental Forest in Idaho

With wildfires that raged out of control this fire season, a year of “devastating conflagrations” seems to be the only way to describe such massive destruction on the nation’s forested lands. And scientists who know something about limiting the power of these forest infernos are needed more than ever.

Lucky for us, Terrie Benavidez Jain, a U.S. Forest Service scientist, has answers to help reduce the impacts of fire on forested lands. In fact, researching and studying the science of forest fires is something Jain has come to know quite well throughout her impressive career. Read more »

USDA Puerto Rico Rural Housing Director Recognized as Public Servant of the Year

Late last month, Arlene Zambrana, Rural Housing Program Director, was recognized as the Public Servant of the Year by the Puerto Rico Housing Builder Association.

Through her professional career, she has escalated higher positions that have provided the opportunity to obtain the present position as Rural Housing Program Director. As part of her responsibilities, she has successfully administered a budget of $1,071,533,067 during fiscal years 2009 to 2011 and has provided homeownership opportunities to 7,830 families.

Arlene has been working with the Agency since 1986.  She started as assistant to Loan Specialist of the local office of the municipality of San Sebastian. Read more »