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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 »

Residents of Eight Minnesota Counties to Receive State-of-the-Art Broadband, Jobs, Thanks to USDA and the Recovery Act

April marked an important month for northeastern Minnesotans. Ground was broken to mark the beginning of a three-year project to supply high-speed broadband access across eight counties and surrounding of the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. The project was funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in conjunction with USDA Rural Development. The Northeast Service Cooperative (NESC) in Mt. Iron, Minn. will oversee the project.

Senator Al Franken attended the groundbreaking and told the gathered media that creating rural broadband opportunities was a big part of the Recovery Act. Read more »

USDA Participates in World IPv6 Day

The Internet is running out of it’s 4.3 billion Internet addresses!  No fear, for IPv6 is here!

IPv6 is a new version of internet addressing that will replace the current IPv4 version.  The new IPv6 format will allow for 340 undecillion addresses compared to 4.3 billion addresses under IPv4.   The last batch of IPv4 addresses were allocated in February, 2011. Read more »

Baseball bats are safer thanks to the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Lab

Baseball fans thrill at the thought of hearing a bat crack. But seeing an actual bat shatter is not one of those thrills. That’s because this seemingly harmless wood breaking can be dangerous for the players and fans and is the reason that the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Lab has worked for several years to improve the strength of wooden bats.

The Products Lab’s efforts have not been in vain. Since Major League Baseball’s partnership with the Forest Service began in 2008 there has been an astonishing 50 percent reduction in multiple-piece failure rates in bats. Read more »

National Get Outdoors Day 2011- Kicks off Summer Season for kids

Children learning about watersheds.

Children learning about watersheds.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Once again this year, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell is encouraging kids and their families to reconnect with nature and have fun by participating in the 4th annual National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day), on Saturday, June 11. This FREE event is designed to attract diverse communities to outdoor activities and motivate kids to get moving and explore their forests and other public lands. Read more »

NRCS Restores and Creates Longleaf Pine Forests in Mississippi

NRCS Soil Conservationist Lane Kimbrough and landowner Orby Wright examine the growth of legumes in a longleaf pine forest.

NRCS Soil Conservationist Lane Kimbrough and landowner Orby Wright examine the growth of legumes in a longleaf pine forest.

Mississippians know the strength of longleaf pines. These native trees braved Hurricane Katrina 48 percent better than their loblolly cousins. Even so, the ancient longleaf pine forests of the South are a threatened ecosystem. Read more »