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Undersecretary Says Renewable Energy Production Promotes America’s Security, Boosts Economy

As a farmer in eastern South Dakota, I witnessed one of the biggest growth periods in renewable energy in our country’s history.

I saw firsthand how the investments in biofuels benefited rural Americans by creating jobs and capturing wealth locally. Leaders in the community got together, made commitments to invest in renewable energy projects, and shared in the success of the projects once they matured. Read more »

What Will You Do To Help Feed Hungry Children This Summer?

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Monday was the first day of the first ever National Summer Food Service Program Week: “Food That’s in When School is Out”.  When the school year ends, many children and teens who rely on School Meals are at a higher risk of going hungry during the summer when school is not in session. This week, we are raising awareness about the Summer Food Service Program to make sure kids don’t go hungry this summer.  During the school year, more than 21 million children receive free and reduce-priced breakfast and lunch through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs.  And yet, when school lets out, only slightly more than 3 million receive a meal through a summer program.    It is imperative that we do better feeding our nation’s children. Read more »

Hispanic Farmer Serves as Shining Example for Sustainable Agriculture

Lawrence Sanchez weighs a bale of hay to determine his yield per acre.

Lawrence Sanchez weighs a bale of hay to determine his yield per acre.

Lawrence Sanchez is a good farmer, businessman and member of his community, Tome, New Mexico. Read more »

Nomination Period for Farm Service Agency County Committees Opens June 15

The Farm Service Agency will begin accepting nominations for local county committees on June 15. The nomination period — which runs through Aug. 1 — allows farmers and ranchers to nominate themselves or others as candidates to sit on the local county committee and help make important agricultural decisions.

In a news release issued today, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack urged all farmers and ranchers, especially minority and women producers, to take part in this year’s county committee elections by nominating candidates. Read more »

A New Roadmap to Sustainable Agriculture

Nicola Macpherson, agroforester, with her mushrooms and a lot more on her Missouri forestry farm.

Nicola Macpherson, agroforester, with her mushrooms and a lot more on her Missouri forestry farm.

Nicola Macpherson knows the benefits of agroforestry. After all, she has the success of her farm, Timber Farms in the Sink, and her business, Ozark Forest Mushrooms, as proof. Read more »

The Italian People’s Garden Promotes Healthy Eating Habits Abroad

Rose Thorne assists the students in planting seedlings in the “Villa Taverna Orto.”

Rose Thorne assists the students in planting seedlings in the “Villa Taverna Orto.”

There is no question that Italy is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world and is celebrated for its fantastic food and beautiful scenery. Fresh produce and beautiful landscapes are often enveloped in beautiful gardens in the cities and along the countryside, delighting residents and tourists alike. The U.S. Ambassador’s residence in Rome recently unveiled the latest international “People’s Garden,” as part of the USDA’s initiative to teach people worldwide how to nurture, maintain and protect a healthy landscape. Read more »