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International Trade Topics Featured at USDA Ag Outlook Forum

The theme for this year’s USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum is centered on managing risk in today’s markets. The forum will feature several international trade sessions highlighting strategies, challenges, and prospects for growth for U.S. agricultural exporters.

One of the international trade sessions, “Prospects for Export Growth in Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey,” will feature a panel of experts highlighting the many promising market opportunities for these countries. Commonly known as MIST, these markets accounted for more than 21 percent of U.S. exports with shipments reaching $29 billion compared to $18 billion only five years ago.

Panelists include Mitch Skalicky, the U.S. Wheat Associates Regional Vice President for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean; Dennis Voboril, a returning USDA agricultural counselor from Indonesia; Michael Francom, a returning agricultural attaché from South Korea; and Kyd D. Brenner of DTB Associates, LLP, discussing Turkey. Read more »

Ten Best Cities for Urban Forests

Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy District Department of Transportation)

Washington, D.C. (Photo courtesy District Department of Transportation)

America is home to more than 100 million acres of urban and community forests. These are the forests that line our streets, shade our buildings and burst with color every spring and fall. Trees also clean our air and help prevent pollution and flooding. That’s one of the reasons we like to call our urban trees ‘the hardest working trees in America.’ Read more »

New Generation Farmers Add 21st-Century Spin to New Mexico Operation

LESA/LEPA system on Gonzales’ alfalfa field

LESA/LEPA system on Gonzales’ alfalfa field

Joseph and Jeremy Gonzales are doing something different with their Gonzales Land and Cattle operation in Lovington, N.M., and it’s hard not to notice. Farming is hard enough without adding extra challenges. So the Gonzales brothers are using 21st-century technology to work smarter, not harder. Read more »

NY Times Names Forest Service-Managed River in Washington a Top Destination

Used by kayakers and rafters all year round, including as an outdoor adventure by Joint Base Lewis-McChord members, the White Salmon winds nearly 45 miles from its headwaters on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest through steep, forested canyons into the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Columbia River. (U.S. Army photo)

Used by kayakers and rafters all year round, including as an outdoor adventure by Joint Base Lewis-McChord members, the White Salmon winds nearly 45 miles from its headwaters on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest through steep, forested canyons into the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Columbia River. (Photo provided by Wet Planet Rafting)

Dubbed America’s premier alpine whitewater river, the White Salmon River in south central Washington State was recently named as a top destination by the New York Times.

The White Salmon, used by kayakers and rafters all year round, winds nearly 45 miles from its headwaters on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest through steep, forested canyons into the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and the Columbia River. Read more »

AgrAbility Helps Keep Farmers, Ranchers with Disabilities On the Job

Mark Hosier, paralyzed from the waist down, uses a mechanical lift to board his tractor. Hosier works with the NIFA-funded AgrAbility Program to overcome disabilities and continue working as an agricultural producer.  Photo courtesy of National Swine Registry/Seedstock EDGE.

Mark Hosier, paralyzed from the waist down, uses a mechanical lift to board his tractor. Hosier works with the NIFA-funded AgrAbility Program to overcome disabilities and continue working as an agricultural producer. Photo courtesy of National Swine Registry/Seedstock EDGE.

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.

Although Mark Hosier was told he’d never walk again, the Indiana farmer is running a 500-acre farm and 10-sow showpig business entirely on his own.  Injured in 2006 when a 2,000-pound hay bale rolled off his tractor on top of him and crushed two vertebrae, Hosier thought he wouldn’t be able to continue farming.  Today, he operates his tractor with the help of a mechanical lift; modifications to his facilities allow him to care for his hogs from a wheelchair. Read more »

A Landscape View of Rural Economic Revitalization

Even in the most remote corners of America's countryside, USDA leaves a gentle, but lasting footprint as a champion of locally led, place-based rural economic and community development. You just have to know what you're looking for. USDA photo.

Even in the most remote corners of America's countryside, USDA leaves a gentle, but lasting footprint as a champion of locally led, place-based rural economic and community development. You just have to know what you're looking for. USDA photo.

Have you ever been on vacation, but just couldn’t get away from your work?  Me too.  It seems everywhere I look I see the footprint of USDA Rural Development and its ties to rural revitalization. Because I love my job and the good work USDA is doing, I am thrilled each and every time I see the results of this collaborative work to stimulate economies, modernize infrastructure, and enhance the quality of life in rural America. Read more »