U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen McFarland provides food assistance to a family in the department of Santa Rosa. Photo credit: U.S. Embassy-Guatemala
The “dry corridor” in Guatemala suffers from annual drought and food shortages that affect the food security and incomes of people in the region. Last year was worse than most—drought followed by devastating floods caused by tropical storms and rain that destroyed crops, increasing food insecurity and child malnutrition. Read more »
On a sunny day last week in West Palm Beach, Fla., Agriculture Secretary Vilsack announced $100 million in financial assistance to boost wetlands restoration in the Northern Everglades watershed. With the announcement, USDA aims to purchase the development rights on as much as 24,000 acres of private land in four Florida counties, and restore the land in cooperation with the owners. The end result: less surface water leaving the land, slower water runoff, and reduced concentrations of nutrients entering the public water system. That’s better water quality, greater quantity, and improved economic opportunities for millions of Floridians. Secretary Vilsack spoke about how private landowners play a critical role in protecting wetlands and enhancing wildlife in this unique habitat. The partnership with farmers and ranchers will also empower community-led conservation efforts and use of science-based management practices to restore and protect lands and waters for future generations.
The funding supports the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting private lands through its America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. Working with conservation partners and others, USDA helps communities find local solutions to natural resource issues such as protecting a large-scale ecosystem like the Northern Everglades.
To watch the ceremony, held at Winding Waters Natural Area, check out the video below!
Today, the President announced several important new initiatives to continue strengthening the rural economy and to create jobs in rural areas.
As part of the White House Rural Council’s efforts to improve federal government coordination on rural economic development, the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) have been focused on rural small business growth. And for good reason: Half the people who work in America either own or work for a small business, and two out of three new private sector jobs are created by small businesses. Read more »
A cell tower helps provide Internet access to the nearly 1,200 farms in Comanche County, OK. (Data Source: 2007 Census of Agriculture)
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 the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
It’s no secret that the landscape of rural America and the ways in which farmers and ranchers do business is evolving. These changes are happening not only in the fields, in terms of what is produced and how, but also in the office and home with how producers access information and conduct business. Read more »
Dr. Shirley Heymon-Parker and Dr. Ralph Nobel at at the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC
Throughout the country, many schools and communities are teaching the importance of environmental stewardship, energy conservation, and reducing waste through innovation and creativity. I came across one of these places recently at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, the nation’s largest Historically Black College. Their School of Agriculture and Environmental Science has embraced the Obama Administration’s commitment to protecting the air we breathe, water quality, and land that supports and sustains us. Read more »
Delegation toured lumber mills and met with area loggers.
Over the past year, the USDA Forest Service has been providing technical advice and assistance to the Deputy Minister for Forestry in the Bulgarian Ministry of Agriculture and Food. From July 18-30, the Forest Service hosted a six-member delegation of Bulgarian forestry officials to provide insight of the day-to-day operations in timber sales management. The agency facilitates the participation of international visitors in a broad variety of educational and cultural exchange programs in the United States. Read more »