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USDA Announces 2012 Ag Outlook Forum Luncheon Speakers

USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum on Feb. 24 will present five choices for outstanding speakers at the Friday luncheons.  Donnie Smith, President and CEO of Tyson Foods, Inc. will address “Perspectives on U.S. Meat and Poultry Production;” Thomas Dorr, President and CEO, U.S. Grains Council, will speak on the topic of “Food 2040.”  Gary Matteson, Vice President, Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, The Farm Credit Council, will address “Farming’s Future: The Next Generation of Farmers.”  José A. Orive, Executive Director, Association of Azucareros Central American (Central American Sugar Association), will speak on “Sugar Trade in Central and North America.”

To learn more and register for the Forum, please go to: http://www.usda.gov/oce/forum/

Feeding More Kids By Working Together in the Midwest

Under Secretary Concannon speaks with members of the Chicago Summer Food Work Group. From left: Mark Haller (ISBE), Diane Doherty (IHC), Monsignor Michael Boland (Archdiocese of Chicago), Under Secretary Kevin Concannon (USDA).

Under Secretary Concannon speaks with members of the Chicago Summer Food Work Group. From left: Mark Haller (ISBE), Diane Doherty (IHC), Monsignor Michael Boland (Archdiocese of Chicago), Under Secretary Kevin Concannon (USDA).

During the school year, nearly 32 million children receive a free or reduced price lunch through the National School Lunch Program. During the summer months most schools – and school meal programs – close down, leaving children without an opportunity for nutritious meals each day.

Read more »

Innovation in Peanut Policy Development Wins Tiffany Arthur an Economist of the Year Award

Tiffany Arthur, senior economist and commodity analyst, is the recipient of the Economist of the Year award presented by the USDA Economists Group.

Tiffany Arthur, senior economist and commodity analyst, is the recipient of the Economist of the Year award presented by the USDA Economists Group.

Tiffany Arthur knows peanuts.

Her command of the subject area not only allowed her to develop a new methodology to address issues in the peanut industry, but her ability to provide insight to Congressional leaders, USDA officials and market participants earned her the Economist of the Year award by the USDA Economists Group. Read more »

Wild Horses and Burros on National Forests in the West are Part of America’s History

America ‘s wild horses and burros have a rich history and are living symbols of the pioneer spirit of the West.  But did you know that protecting this heritage is also a part of the mission of the U.S. Forest Service?

In fact, the agency manages more than 30 wild horse or burro territories on more than two million acres in Arizona, California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah.

“The animals that have survived on the range are a genetic and historic remnant of the Old West,” said Barry Imler, the agency’s National Program Manager for Wild Horses and Burros. “The characteristics that were important in the Old West days are still found in our wild horses and burros — strength, endurance and reliability.” Read more »

Forest Service Job Corps Graduates get Trip of a Lifetime in Kuwait

This April, the twins (Charmaine (R), Shaneka (l) will go to Kuwait for a long-term job with a six-figure salary. Photo courtesy Katie Dunn/The Coalfield Progress.

This April, the twins (Charmaine (R), Shaneka (l) will go to Kuwait for a long-term job with a six-figure salary. Photo courtesy Katie Dunn/The Coalfield Progress.

Little did Chamain and Shaneka Hicks know four years ago that they would be off on an adventure that their high school classmates would envy. Read more »

Under Secretary Hosts South Dakota Meeting on Renewable Energy Funding Opportunities

This afternoon, USDA Rural Development in South Dakota convened a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) meeting in Sioux Falls.  Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager addressed the group of 25 stakeholders.  Tonsager shared with the group that over the next couple of months, USDA Rural Development will be convening a total of 47 energy roundtables with stakeholders across the country to talk about energy opportunities.

“Our country is moving more and more toward renewable energy sources,” stated Tonsager. “Those of us at USDA want to stand up that renewable energy industry in America’s rural backyard, and we want to work with all of you to make it happen.” Read more »