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American Farmers Fuel NASCAR

Last week, Senator Debbie Stabenow and I spent the day at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway where we were excited to learn about a new way American Farmers are leading the charge on innovation.

There, we had the opportunity to tour the NASCAR Sprint Cup Garage to view engines using American-grown biofuels.  Michigan is one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation. Farms of every different shape and size produce more than 200 different food commodities.  This year, the bounty of U.S. farmers is helping fuel NASCAR.  Every race car and truck in NASCAR’s top three series will be fueled by Sunoco Green E15.

More than 100 agricultural entities including farmers, ethanol producers and seed and equipment makers are partners in this effort.  And, as part of this partnership, each week, Growth Energy presents one NASCAR driver with the ‘American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award’ to a Cup Series driver who has the fastest average on restarts at the prior week’s race. Read more »

Secretary’s Column with President Obama: Getting Rural America Back to Work

President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, on the first day of a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting at the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, on the first day of a three-day bus tour in the Midwest, Aug. 15, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to get out of Washington, DC and travel to small towns and farm towns in the heartland of the country. I sat down with small business owners, farmers and ranchers in Iowa; I had lunch with veterans in Cannon Falls, Minnesota; and I talked to plant workers at a seed distributor in Atkinson, Illinois. Read more »

Puerto Rico University Steps Up to Feed 350 Kids A Day During the Summer

Three children enjoy lunch freshly prepared and served on-site by a food service management company at the Inter Metro Summer Recreation Program in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Three children enjoy lunch freshly prepared and served on-site by a food service management company at the Inter Metro Summer Recreation Program in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At Universidad Interamericana in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Inter Metro Summer Recreation Program is a vital part of the social, physical and nutritional well-being of area children.  For six years the university has sponsored the recreation and open food service site for kids  ranging in age from 5 to 16 years old. Read more »

“It’s a Show – Me Thing”

Judy Canales, Administrator for Rural Development Business and Cooperative Service, joined Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for an evening reception and visited with many of Missouri’s agriculture and rural elite to celebrate Missouri agriculture.  The following morning Administrator Canales, Governor Nixon, and 1,000 other farm and community leaders attended the Missouri State Fair Ham Breakfast.   The breakfast was a continuation of the Governor’s salute to agriculture.  The delicious cured ham was the main course for the 59th Annual Governor’s Ham Breakfast in the Director’s Tent on the fairgrounds in Sedalia.  The theme for the 2011 fair is “It’s a Show-Me Thing!”

Governor Nixon addressed the guests, which included the introduction of distinguished guest such as Administrator Judy Canales, Missouri Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler, several federal officials, state officials, and locally elected officials, Missouri State Fair Director Mark Wolfe, the State Fair Commission and many other agriculture leaders and State Fair supporters. Read more »

Moving Healthy, Local Food into Local Institutions

Sue Noble, Vernon Economic Development Association, Wisconsin

Sue Noble, Vernon Economic Development Association, Wisconsin

Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:

Sue is the Executive Director at the Vernon Economic Development Association in southwest Wisconsin.  Read more »

Never a Dull Moment for APHIS Wildlife Veterinarians

Hello, my name is Dr. Pauline Nol.  I’m a veterinary epidemiologist for USDA APHIS.  As a veterinarian and a researcher, I’ve worked in the wildlife health field since 1999, starting my career at the United States Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis.

I joined APHIS’s Wildlife/Livestock Disease Investigations Team in 2003.  Our job is to learn more about diseases that affect both livestock and wildlife populations, and to use this knowledge to provide guidance to our partners and other agencies that manage wildlife populations.  We’re also highly involved in using science to help find solutions for disease problems that occur when livestock and wildlife come together. Read more »