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Disability Is an Important Risk Factor for Food Insecurity

Family of three dines outdoors. ERS research found that among households that included an adult with a work-preventing disability, a third were food insecure in 2009-10.

Family of three dines outdoors. ERS research found that among households that included an adult with a work-preventing disability, a third were food insecure in 2009-10.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research profile.

In 2011, close to 15 percent of U.S. households had trouble meeting their food needs. This phenomenon is known as food insecurity, and it means that at some time during the year, these households lacked adequate food for one or more household members due to insufficient money or other resources for food. Read more »

A Biobased Economy for Rural America

Secretary Vilsack receives the National Energy Leadership Award from the National Biodiesel Board.  The award is given periodically to individuals who demonstrate exemplary vision and leadership in development of the renewable fuels industry.  Pictured left to right are Ed Ulch, Governing Board Member, National Biodiesel Board; Secretary Tom Vilsack; and Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board.

Secretary Vilsack receives the National Energy Leadership Award from the National Biodiesel Board. The award is given periodically to individuals who demonstrate exemplary vision and leadership in development of the renewable fuels industry. Pictured left to right are Ed Ulch, Governing Board Member, National Biodiesel Board; Secretary Tom Vilsack; and Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board.

In the days after the Super Bowl it is not unusual for spectators to “Monday morning quarterback” the advertisements, as well as the plays that were called.  For the members of two renewable fuels industries, however, there was no disputing the message of the now famous “God made a farmer” ad featuring Paul Harvey.  Last week in Las Vegas, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Biodiesel Board both led off their meetings with this ad before Secretary Vilsack spoke. It became a starting point to discuss the Secretary’s compelling vision for rebuilding the rural economy, furthering efforts to develop advanced new biofuels, and creating more jobs in our small towns to grow and strengthen the middle class. Read more »

USDA Helps a Farm Equipment Dealership Expand, Create Jobs in North Dakota

After 40 years, the John Deere dealership in Ashley, North Dakota has moved, but not far. About a mile down the road, over 250 people recently gathered to celebrate the grand opening of Green Iron Equipment’s new $2 million facility. USDA Rural Development helped finance the project by partnering with a local cooperative, KEM Electric. Through the Rural Economic Development Loan Program, Green Iron Equipment received a $740,000 loan.

The original dealership consisted of four separate buildings in downtown Ashley. Two of those structures housed small service shops that could not accommodate large farm machinery. Read more »

Under Cover Operation—Using No-Till Methods in Texas to Beat Drought

Even though he is putting his entire weight on it, Henderson’s soil pressure probe cannot penetrate the surface of the soil under his neighbor’s dryland wheat crop, which has been farmed with conventional plowing methods.

Even though he is putting his entire weight on it, Henderson’s soil pressure probe cannot penetrate the surface of the soil under his neighbor’s dryland wheat crop, which has been farmed with conventional plowing methods.

Clay County, Texas farmer Tommy Henderson may not know everything about farming, but he’s got more than the basics covered—even during a historic drought. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack Confirms Support for Tribes at Meeting with Tribal College Presidents

U.S. Department of Agriculture and American Indian Higher Education Consortium Leadership Group Winter Meeting, at the USDA Whitten Building, Williamsburg Room, in Washington D.C.

U.S. Department of Agriculture and American Indian Higher Education Consortium Leadership Group Winter Meeting, at the USDA Whitten Building, Williamsburg Room, in Washington D.C.

Speaking to the presidents of tribal colleges from across the nation at the Agriculture Department last week, Secretary Tom Vilsack expressed his commitment to support Tribes and further strengthening the government-to-government relationship. Read more »

Simply ‘Marr’-velous: Forest Service Leader Hailed as Hero Merely Doing her Job

Jerri Marr, forest supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service, greets the crowd that gathered to thank the firefighters returning and leaving the fire camp Tuesday morning, July 3, 2012,  at Holmes Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Waldo Canyon Fire is now 70 percent contained.  (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Jerri Marr, forest supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service, greets the crowd that gathered to thank the firefighters returning and leaving the fire camp Tuesday morning, July 3, 2012, at Holmes Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Waldo Canyon Fire is now 70 percent contained. (Printed with permission from The Gazette, Christian Murdock)

Jerri Marr awoke on June 23, 2012, expecting a normal day as forest supervisor tending to issues on the Pike and San Isabel national forests west of Colorado Springs, Colo., and on the Comanche National Grassland, some 250 miles away. Not to mention the Cimarron National Grassland in southwest Kansas. That alone is enough to keep her days full. Read more »