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One Year after Deepwater and 470,000 Acres of Wetland Bird Habitat Later…

Just recently, the wildlife conservation organization Ducks Unlimited presented me with their 2011 Wetland Conservation Achievement Award—Special Achievement category for the Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative (MBHI) and our record signup for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).

It was an honor to accept this award on behalf of all Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) employees and numerous partners, including Ducks Unlimited, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, USA Rice Federation, National Cotton Council, National Association of Conservation Districts, The Nature Conservancy, and National Audubon Society .*

But let me back up a bit on MBHI. Read more »

Tanzanian Engineer Keeps Skills Sharp Assisting Michigan Farmers as an Earth Team Volunteer

NRCS District Conservationist Edwin Martinez conducts a wetland determination assisted by Earth Team Volunteer Tula Ngasala near St. Johns, Mich. Ngasala, a Tanzanian engineer, assists the St. Johns Field Office one day a week.

NRCS District Conservationist Edwin Martinez conducts a wetland determination assisted by Earth Team Volunteer Tula Ngasala near St. Johns, Mich. Ngasala, a Tanzanian engineer, assists the St. Johns Field Office one day a week.

Tulakemelwa Ngasala is a Tanzanian civil and water resources engineer currently living in Michigan. While in the United States she is caring for her three young girls while her husband works toward his Ph.D. in geology at Michigan State University. Read more »

PollinatorLIVE Multi-Agency Conservation Education Program Reaching Students at All Levels

Fourth-grade teacher Theresa Artman sat her students in front of a large monitor in her Austin, Texas, classroom. But they weren’t alone.

The Joslin Elementary School students were just some of the thousands of children across the country who watched the April 13 webcast of PollinatorLIVE from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Tamberly Conway, a conservation education coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service hosted the show. Read more »

Food Hubs: Creating Opportunities for Producers Across the Nation

As I talk to farmers across the country, regardless of what they produce or where, they all share one common challenge:  how to best move product from the farm to the marketplace.  This is especially crucial for small and midsize farmers who may not have enough capital to own their own trucks, their own refrigeration units, or their own warehouse space.  They might not have the resources to develop sophisticated distribution routes, build effective marketing campaigns or network with regional buyers and customers.

Without infrastructure, logistical and marketing support, these producers might be growing the sweetest strawberries or raising the most tender beef, but they lack the infrastructure support to get their exceptional products to your table. Read more »

Groundbreaking Event for a Modern USDA-Funded School in Dillon, South Carolina

State Director Vernita F. Dore, Ty'Sheoma Bethea and Tammye Treviño, Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities Programs at the Dillon Middle School groundbreaking ceremony in Dillon, South Carolina.

State Director Vernita F. Dore, Ty'Sheoma Bethea and Tammye Treviño, Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities Programs at the Dillon Middle School groundbreaking ceremony in Dillon, South Carolina.

Tammye Treviño, Administrator for Housing and Community Facilities Programs, and USDA Rural Development State Director, Vernita F. Dore participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for three different schools in Dillon County on Monday, April 18, 2011. Read more »

Are You at Risk from Wildfire?

Richburg, S.C. - Fire scientists at the IBHS Research Center recreate an ember storm in the lab's large test chamber. This facility is the first in the world capable of subjecting full-scale buildings to realistic wildfire conditions. (Photo: 2011 Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety)

Richburg, S.C. - Fire scientists at the IBHS Research Center recreate an ember storm in the lab's large test chamber. This facility is the first in the world capable of subjecting full-scale buildings to realistic wildfire conditions. (Photo courtesy of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.)

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

On March 24, Forest Service scientist Jack Cohen served as a technical expert for the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s Wildfire Demonstration Day in Richburg, South Carolina.  This demonstration aimed to highlight home ignition risks and ways to protect property in wildfire prone areas, especially in the wildland-urban interface.  Jack’s research on the Structure Ignition Assessment Model served as the basis for this demonstration.   Read more »