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Going Green with Rural Development

Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on Midwestern farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.

Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on Midwestern farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.

As more Americans strive to be eco-friendly and environmentally conscious, the buzz surrounding renewable energy has exploded.  Millions across the country already do their part every day to recycle, reduce carbon emissions and make the earth a little bit greener, but how can you do more?  Rural Development has programs available to provide funding for renewable energy projects.  Here’s a glimpse of the investments made in renewable energy thanks to partnerships between our agency and the rural individuals and businesses dedicated to creating a cleaner world: Read more »

Rural Business Booms in York, PA

Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife headquartered in York, PA.

Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife headquartered in York, PA.

Alan Shortall recently hosted Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and a White House Business Council roundtable at his company’s headquarters in York, Penn. Alan’s company, Unilife, was the recipient of a USDA Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan. His story is proof that public and business sectors can work together to bring about change in rural America.

I was recently honored to host a roundtable discussion between the White House Business Council and local business leaders from York, PA. This meeting and similar roundtable discussions now taking place across the country are an excellent initiative by the Obama Administration as it provides a direct line of communication between employers from across the U.S and senior members of the Federal Government. Read more »

AMS Partners with American Association of People with Disabilities Internship Program

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently became a participant in the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Internship Program, which brings students to Washington, DC, to gain valuable working experience.  This is the first year that our agency has participated in this program.

AMS is utilizing our relationship with AAPD to create a more diverse workforce, one that includes more employees with disabilities.  We understand the importance of designing employment practices that consider the needs of all employees.  A diverse workforce introduces everyone to unique perspectives that ultimately help us find innovative approaches to solving problems and solidifying our business model.  This is one of the ways AMS can continue to provide services that benefit everyone in the greater public. Read more »

California Residential Drug Treatment Center Project Moves Forward With USDA Support, Creating an Estimated 400 Jobs

Fundamental project partners and community supporters participate in ceremonial groundbreaking.

Fundamental project partners and community supporters participate in ceremonial groundbreaking.

Most people are unfamiliar with the town of Grass Valley, California- a small rural area located in the pocket of northern Nevada County with a population of 12,860 and 4.7 square miles of land. So, just what can someone find in this small town? A lot of community support and dedication. This commitment was apparent at the groundbreaking ceremony for Community Recovery Resources’ new Center for Hope facility, a residential drug treatment center. Read more »

U.S., Canada and Mexico Provide Comparable Agricultural Statistics Online

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.

Have you ever wondered how American agriculture compares with farming in our neighboring countries to the north and south? In today’s global economy, many people seek information about farmers, farmland and the production of food and other agricultural products around the world. A tripartite committee of agricultural statistical agencies in Mexico, Canada and the United States has launched a new website to make the comparison among the three North American nations easier. Read more »

Check Your Steps! SEPARATE Raw Meats from Other Foods to Keep Your Family Safer From Food Poisoning

For the past two Tuesdays as part of the Food Safe Families campaign, I’ve blogged about two basic food safety steps that are important but easy to implement in your food prep routine—cook and clean. Today, I’m going to focus on preventing a sneaky food safety hazard that can happen at many points between purchasing and eating food: cross-contamination.

Cross-contamination occurs when juices from uncooked foods come in contact with safely cooked foods, or with other raw foods that don’t need to be cooked, like fruits and vegetables. The juices from some raw foods, like meats and seafood, can contain harmful bacteria that could make you and your family sick. Read more »