Fresh mushrooms and peppers sold at the Ypsilanti Depot Town Market in Michigan. Michigan ranks among the top ten states for growth and for number of farmers markets this year. (Image courtesy of realtimefarms.com)
As the weekend approaches, there are things we all look forward to – sleeping in late, spending time with family, splashing in the neighborhood pool, and picnics with friends. For me, I look forward to visiting my local farmers market. It is a time for me and my urban-raised children to connect with local farmers and thank them for their hard work in providing the food we eat every day. In the DC metro region, it’s the height of tomato season here. I find strange and luscious heirloom tomato varieties in the farmers market that I never see in my grocery store. Always trying to expand my children’s palate, the farmers market provides a great place to taste fresh foods. The farmers cheer as my children try new fruits and vegetables. The infectious excitement and fun at the market facilitates my efforts to get my kids to gobble up healthy food. Read more »
Six families gathered in Liberal, Kan., to celebrate the completion of their newly constructed homes. The families utilized USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program administered by the City of Liberal to help construct the homes. The family members devote time and labor to painting, roofing, siding and other types of tasks and lower the cost of construction, while developing equity in their new home.
In 2006, the City of Liberal was awarded a technical assistance grant from USDA Rural Development to begin the Self-Help Housing Program. Through the program, 30 homes have been built in Liberal. USDA Rural Development’s direct home loans have financed $3.9 million in construction for Liberal’s self-help homes. Read more »
Emily Clever, Morningside Shelter Case Manager, Deborah Boyd, RD Specialist, and Laura Gibson, co-chair of the Vermont RD Feds Feed Families campaign, deliver food donations to the Morningside Shelter in Vermont.
With just over three weeks left in the 2011 Feds Feed Families campaign, we are nearing the finish line of what has been an extraordinary show of support, commitment and compassion from USDA employees across the country. Read more »
John Sudduth, Don Allison, Carl Godsey, Allen Owens and NRCS’ Wade Hill distributed the fencing supplies to tornado victims in Marion, Franklin and Lawrence Counties.
When tornadoes struck Alabama in April 2011, people across the state rushed to help their neighbors with food, shelter and basic necessities. But volunteers didn’t have much time to help cattlemen round up and secure livestock. Read more »
Jason Frerichs, Farmer/Rancher/Educator, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Wilmot, SD
Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:
Jason is a fourth generation farmer/rancher, educator, and lawmaker from Wilmot, SD. Jason manages a 150 head beef cow/calf operation as well as raises corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Frerichs is an agriculture instructor at Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown, SD where he is also the Watertown Area FFA Advisor. Representative Frerichs has been a key player in the development of renewable energy and education issues in the State Legislature. Frerichs is actively involved in the Farmers Union, the South Dakota Education Association, SD Stockgrowers, and the United States Cattlemen’s Association.
Last week, Congress reached an agreement to reduce the deficit and avoid a default that would have devastated our economy. This compromise – which guarantees more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction – is an important first step to ensuring that we live within our means as a nation.
At the same time, the debt deal allows us to keep making key investments in things like education and research that lead to new jobs. We’re also not cutting too abruptly while the economy is still fragile. Read more »