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Forest Service Chief Tidwell Delivers Pinchot Distinguished Lecture

More than 108 years have passed since Gifford Pinchot became chief of the U.S. Forest Service. Yet today, with Tom Tidwell filling that role in a very different era, some of the same issues persist, along with others Pinchot might not have imagined.

“We’re fortunate that we have an organization that can handle complex issues, like our Research and Development branch of the Forest Service (efforts) to sustain private and international Forest systems,” said Tidwell.

Pinchot headed the Division of Forestry under the Department of Interior for seven years before the agency became the Forest Service under the Department of Agriculture. At the time, the nation’s forests were seen as inexhaustible, but Pinchot did not see it that way. Read more »

Arizona Revolving Loan Roundtable Aims to Help Small Businesses Expand and Create Jobs

Nobody in the audience was checking emails or text messages. No one was squirming and looking at the clock. In fact, all of the attendees were riveted to the presentations.

The event was a recent Revolving Loan Fund Roundtable sponsored by USDA Rural Development in Phoenix, Arizona.

Lyle Frederickson with Great Western Bank observed the attentiveness and speculated that was because the lenders in the room represented small communities…and rural communities are crying out now more than ever for help capitalizing their small businesses. Read more »

Surveying America’s Farmers Online – An Innovation in Collecting Ag Stats

NASS’ Donald Buysse demonstrates the newly updated EDR to complete the Census of Agriculture survey online.

NASS’ Donald Buysse demonstrates the newly updated EDR to complete the Census of Agriculture survey online.

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

2013 is the International Year of Statistics. As part of this global event, every month this year USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will profile careers of individuals who are making significant contributions to improve agricultural statistics in the United States.

Although the first Census of Agriculture dates back to 1840, the way the data is collected is most assuredly not stuck in the past.  Historically, the main mode of data collection for the ag census has been by mail. There is one reason for this – it has always been cheaper!  With advancements in technology, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has tapped into more cost-efficient ways to collect information. Read more »

You Are What You Eat: Functional Foods’ Role in Improving Health

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

For a lot of people, the food we eat gives us energy to get through the day. However, it’s important to realize that food is more than just calories; there are compounds in food that are essential to strengthening our bodies and improving our health. Food is functional. These compounds may not be essential for normal functioning in humans, but they do have a beneficial effect on disease prevention and general health.

Scientists at Ohio State University (OSU) have conducted research on two foods that could aid in the fight against prostate cancer: tomatoes and soy. With support from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Center for Advanced Functional Foods Research and Entrepreneurship at OSU has developed a cancer-fighting tomato soy juice. Read more »

Tap Into ERS Magazine Anywhere, Anytime

Readers of ERS’s Amber Waves can now access the magazine offline via a mobile app that is free to download on iPads and Android  tablets (left) – without internet or cellular connection. And the Internet edition of Amber Waves configures automatically to fit tablets or other mobile devices.

Readers of ERS’s Amber Waves can now access the magazine offline via a mobile app that is free to download on iPads and Android tablets (left) – without internet or cellular connection. And the Internet edition of Amber Waves configures automatically to fit tablets or other mobile devices.

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

Amber Waves, the flagship magazine of the Economic Research Service has embraced the digital age with its recent launch of a mobile application that readers can download free on iPads and other tablets. It’s among the first government magazines to be available via a mobile app. Readers can now access the magazine on the bus or metro, on a plane, in the classroom – essentially anywhere and anytime – with a touch to their screen. Read more »

High-Tech for a Healthier Future

Seasonal fluctuations in food availability may affect what Gambian women eat before and during pregnancy.  Scientists have shown that these dietary differences can affect the development of genes in the unborn children.

Seasonal fluctuations in food availability may affect what Gambian women eat before and during pregnancy. Scientists have shown that these dietary differences can affect the development of genes in the unborn children.

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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.

“High tech” isn’t always about images from outer space or a new computer technology, or even the genetic composition of a key crop.

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are using a high-tech science called “epigenetics”—which means “above genetics”—to help achieve something even more wonderful: a healthier future for our children. Read more »