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USDA Employee Lends his Agricultural Knowhow Toward the Betterment of Iraq

A group of Iraqi women work with vegetables during a Food Preservation Project course offered in Baghdad. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) agricultural advisor Thaddeus White and the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) he was assigned to worked with local non-governmental organizations to offer the course to widows and women in need. Photo credit: Thad White.

A group of Iraqi women work with vegetables during a Food Preservation Project course offered in Baghdad. Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) agricultural advisor Thaddeus White and the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) he was assigned to worked with local non-governmental organizations to offer the course to widows and women in need. Photo credit: Thad White.

For the past year, Thaddeus White provided education and training to the Iraqi people as an advisor for the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA)  Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) in Baghdad. Read more »

Stakeholders Meet to Discuss Future of Rural Development in Puerto Rico

In early August, USDA Rural Development Puerto Rico held a stakeholder meeting to discuss Rural Development priorities for President Obama’s 2013 budget and 2012 Farm Bill.

The main objective the meeting was to obtain valuable input to develop and improve our mission area priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.  Leaders of local businesses & NGO’s shared their ideas and discussed on how Rural Development can enhance their programs and serve better our rural communities. Read more »

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 »