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USDA Releases Report on Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Carbon Sequestration Trends

USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist’s Climate Change Program Office has released the “U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2008” report.  This report provides detailed estimates of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration from the management of livestock, croplands, and forests, as well as from energy use in agriculture that will be useful to states and localities. In 2008, agricultural greenhouse gas sources accounted for about 6% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

It was prepared collaboratively with contributions from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, USDA Climate Change Program Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and researchers at Colorado State University. Read more »

Homeownership Month in Virginia-Special Gifts for a Job Well Done

As the sun rose on the beginning of a normal workday last fall for Rural Development Area Specialist, Vanessa Ingles, little did she know that one of her recent housing repair recipients had some special gifts awaiting her.

Mrs. Roxie Whorley and her granddaughter Roxanna Mize who live in the shadows of the Skyline Drive in the rural community of Bent Mountain, Virginia, were in need of a new heating system. The old wood-fired system, located in the basement, had been in the home for many years and had reached its last mile of service.  Mrs. Whorley had heard about a program that might be able to help, so she contacted the USDA Service Center in Christiansburg for some assistance in purchasing a new one. Read more »

Powerful Partnerships Feed Hungry Milwaukee Kids in the Summertime

An African proverb holds that it takes a village to raise a child. And what’s a village? Well, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it’s the Milwaukee Hunger Task Force (the State’s largest food bank and anti-hunger advocacy organization), Kohl’s Department Stores, Milwaukee Public Schools, the Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Social Development Commission and the Milwaukee Park System.

When the school year ends, many children and teens who rely on USDA school meals are at a higher risk of going hungry during the summer when school is not in session. USDA’s Summer Food Service Program can make sure that kids don’t go hungry summer, but the program can’t work without sponsors and supportive communities. Read more »

Upstate South Carolina Community is Safeguarded from Flooding

The finished dam.

The finished dam.

Residents who live in the Whitewater Lake Watershed in upstate South Carolina are now protected from dangerous flood waters after heavy rain events, thanks to the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) program. Read more »

California Wine Industry Celebrates 35th Anniversary of the ‘Judgment in Paris’

If we’ve learned anything from the ‘Judgment in Paris,’ it is that competition is a good thing and it pushes producers to improve their products overtime. On May 20, the Wine Institute of California partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) office in Berlin to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the ‘Judgment in Paris’.

The tasting in Germany took place at the picturesque U.S. Embassy in Berlin, overlooking Berlin’s Brandenburg gate. It was led by sommelier Gunnar Tietz from Berlin’s Palace Hotel and Christine Berthold from the Wine Institute of California. U.S. Ambassador Philip D. Murphy kicked off the event, noting that global competition has made good wines available to more people than ever before. Participants included German wine trade journalists, bloggers, and culinary press. Read more »

A Renewable Energy Program Helps a Wisconsin Farm Family Conserve and Make a Profit

View of the Priske Farm, with USDA funded wind generator, from the restored prairie field.

View of the Priske Farm, with USDA funded wind generator, from the restored prairie field.

Last week I had the opportunity to witness, firsthand, a good example of how rural farm families can overcome the challenges of a changing rural economy and create a promising and sustainable future on the land. Read more »