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Alaskan Tlingit Elder Leaves Long-Lasting Legacy

The Forest Service fondly remembers the contributions of  Dr. Walter A. Soboleff, a centenarian deeply revered and Tlingit elder, who died last month at the age of 102.

Located in Alaska, the Tlingit are a Native society that developed a complex hunter-gatherer culture in the temperate rainforest of the Alexander Archipelago in the Southeastern part of the state. The people in this society were the original caretakers of natural resources where the current-day Tongass National Forest exists. Read more »

With USDA Support, a Colorado Resident has a New Home

Left to right – Standing on the deck of Greg Kane’s new residence in the Colorado mountains.   Greg Kane, Homeowner;  Alan Stephens, Acting Rural Development Housing Chief of Staff; and Colorado State Director Jim Isgar.

Left to right – Standing on the deck of Greg Kane’s new residence in the Colorado mountains. Greg Kane, Homeowner; Alan Stephens, Acting Rural Development Housing Chief of Staff; and Colorado State Director Jim Isgar.

Owning a home in the same area where he built his business is a win-win for new homeowner Greg Kane.  In early June 2011, Kane purchased his studio condominium at Riverbend, Colorado,  through the help of US Bank Home Mortgage and the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Rural Housing Loan Program.  Homeownership was the right answer for Kane’s housing dilemma.  Over the past four years as a renter he moved five times.  While his relationships with property owners had always been great, it seemed that something always came up. Twice the homes he was renting were sold and the new owners chose to use it as their primary residence. Read more »

Risk Management Agency Administrator Reassures Farmers along the Flooded Missouri River

As Administrator of USDA’s Risk management Agency (RMA), I want to assure affected producers within the flood-swollen areas of the Missouri River that this flood event is covered by crop insurance for those insured farmers and ranchers within the terms and conditions of their policy. The flood happening now is the result of extraordinary amounts of rainfall this spring and winter snow runoff, which is a natural cause of loss and covered by crop insurance.  We’ve spoken with the crop insurance companies and they assure us that they have adequate, experienced staff along with additional adjusters as needed to help settle claims as soon as they can get into the fields.

Some farmers have contacted RMA and voiced concerns that the flooded lands may not be covered by crop insurance if there was breach of a water-supporting structure near their land, such as the collapse of a levee, but this is the type of coverage farmers have paid for with their crop insurance premiums. Read more »

APHIS Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services Dr. John Clifford on World Veterinary Year 2011

I’m Dr. John Clifford, Chief Veterinary Officer for the USDA and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services.  Over nearly the last 26 years I’ve had the pleasure of holding numerous positions within the agency.  Here’s my story on how I got to where I am today.

I was born in Bowling Green, Ky. and my desire to become a veterinarian began while growing up on the family farmstead near Brownsville.  We raised mainly beef cattle and I always liked working with them.  There was one local veterinarian who would come out two or three times a year to our farm.  The highlight of the visits for me was being his assistant.  I learned to work the cattle and about vaccination and preventative treatments.  Those few encounters ignited a hankering that culminated with my career in veterinary medicine. Read more »

Recovery Act Gives Picturesque Alaskan Visitor Center a Boost

A picturesque view of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center located on the Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska

A picturesque view of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center located on the Tongass National Forest in Juneau, Alaska

The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center located on the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is a site to see for many tourists.  This recently renovated Center is a popular cruise ship destination giving a boost to the local economy. Tourism spending in the Juneau, Alaska area is expected to reach $160 million this summer season. Read more »

Water Grows Our Economy – Lets Make it Last

Cotton is planted into wheat stubble on Kitten  Farms in Lubbock, Texas. This is one of many farming operations in the arid Texas High Plains region that utilizes minimum tillage methods to help conserve soil moisture and reduce water use through irrigation systems.

Cotton is planted into wheat stubble on Kitten Farms in Lubbock, Texas. This is one of many farming operations in the arid Texas High Plains region that utilizes minimum tillage methods to help conserve soil moisture and reduce water use through irrigation systems.

The general public has a fresh opportunity to learn how water grows an economy through a recently launched communications campaign in Texas’ High Plains region. Read more »