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USDA Council of Chefs Whip up Tasty Dishes with a Touch of Indonesian Flair

Chef Ucu Sawitri invited one of the participants to work with her to prepare an "Apple Banana Roll" recipe using dehydrated potato flake, Washington apples, California raisins, and Washington apple juice.

Chef Ucu Sawitri invited one of the participants to work with her to prepare an "Apple Banana Roll" recipe using dehydrated potato flake, Washington apples, California raisins, and Washington apple juice.

Take a large amount of U.S. fruits and vegetables, mix in a group of chefs with a flair for Asian cuisine, add a dash of creativity and what do you get? An amazing array of dishes created as part of the annual USDA Council of Chefs (CoC) Train the Trainer Program in Jakarta, Indonesia. The training was conducted by Chef Mike Fleming, director of the School of Baking Technology at CerealTech in Singapore. The CoC is a group of Indonesian chefs with different culinary backgrounds including nutritionist and author Edwin Handoyo Lauwy (Chef Edwin Lau), hot kitchen chef Muchtar Alamsyah (Chef Tatang), and baking and pastry chefs Ucu Sawitri and Haryanto Makmoer. Read more »

North Dakota Food and Agriculture Council Focuses on Local Food Collaboration

North Dakota produce at a local farmers market.  Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.

North Dakota produce at a local farmers market. Photo Courtesy of Sue Balcom. Used with permission.

A growing consumer appetite for foods grown in their region was the focus of a recent Food and Agricultural Council (FAC) meeting in Valley City, North Dakota.  FAC Chairman, Jasper Schneider, also state director of USDA Rural Development, invited healthy food activists to share the ups and downs of this growing movement. Read more »

Islamic Relief USA Starts Its First Summer Food Service Program

“One of An Nur's aspiring summer school student awaits her turn to receive a lunch bag” (Photo courtesy of IRUSA)

“One of An Nur's aspiring summer school student awaits her turn to receive a lunch bag” (Photo courtesy of IRUSA)

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), a faith-based disaster relief and development organization, celebrated the inauguration of its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 21, at An Nur School in Lanham, Maryland. The ceremony also marked the IRUSA’s support of Let’s Move Faith and Communities, First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to engage faith-based and secular non-profit organizations in feeding kids over the summer when school is out. Read more »

FAS Field Office Faces Trade Challenges Head-On

.USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has 98 offices worldwide that work every day to maintain access of U.S. agricultural products.

USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service has 98 offices worldwide that work every day to maintain access of U.S. agricultural products.

Every day, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) field offices work to maintain access for U.S. products in export markets around the world. When trade is disrupted, these offices step up to the plate to address the issue and work with their counterparts in Washington, D.C., the exporters, and the foreign government to ensure trade can resume. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Expanding Investments in Rural America

President Obama and I have worked hard to build thriving, sustainable economies communities in rural America.  This is essential to the strength of our nation, but government cannot do it alone in these tough economic times.

Outside funders and partnerships must place a central role both in leveraging federal investments and filling in funding gaps to move projects off the drawing board and give them life. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Lends an Ear to Young FFA Students

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Thursday, July 28, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Thursday, July 28, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

The economy its affect on agriculture was a common theme among leaders of the (former) Future Farmers of America who met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as part of the National FFA State President’s Conference. Read more »