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USDA: Investing in Rural Economies in New Mexico and Across the Nation

It is Bill Johnson—he owns and operates Carzalia Valley Produce with his family in Columbus, NM. The picture is in their onion packaging facility—they are looking a pallets of bagged onions being readied for shipment.

New Mexico is a challenging environment for farmers: the land is dry; soil is hard to come by outside the river valley; temperatures reach the mid-90’s in May and stay there through early October.  But farmers, as they’ve been doing for centuries in New Mexico and all across our country, find ways to overcome challenges and make a living from the land.  In many ways, this makes us New Mexicans appreciate our home State, and its beauty, even more.  Read more »

Experience History and Nature on These Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies

Holland Lake sits at the base of the Swan Mountains about 25 miles north of Seeley Lake, Mont., just minutes off the route of the Montana Scenic Loop.

If you are looking for an exciting vacation with beautiful views then consider exploring Forest Service lands in the Northern Rockies for beautiful landscapes, scenic byways, historic trails and diverse wildlife. Read more »

Volunteers Restore Giant Cane Along the Chattooga River in South Carolina

Volunteers dig up giant cane from an area adjacent to the restoration site on March 24, 2012. They must be careful to keep at least one foot of rhizome intact on either side of the main stem for successful transplanting.

On the Sumter National Forest, the peaceful sounds of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River can barely be heard over the clang of shovels and the squeaky axle of an old wheelbarrow.

A work crew is busy on the forest’s Andrew Pickens Ranger District but instead of building with bricks and mortar along this scenic stretch of the famous river, the work crew is restoring native vegetation along its verdant banks. Read more »

A Regional Food Road Trip, with a New and Improved Compass

Screen shot of the newest version of the KYF2 Compass map.

Screen shot of the newest version of the KYF2 Compass map.

Today, I am proud to announce the release of a new version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. But before I tell you what makes it new, I want to invite you to join us live at 3pm EDT to hear about it directly from me, from the White House, and from some of the many people whose stories are featured in the Compass guide and map. Read more »

Feds Feed Families in South Dakota

Rapid City staff working together on personal time to support the cause.

July is a busy month for most…bringing with it Independence Day; declared National Picnic, Ice Cream, Hot Dog, and Blueberry Month; as well as the continuation of the agency’s summer Feds Feed Families Food Drive and the very first Rural Development Cultural Transformation Day. Read more »

Agricultural Weather and Drought Update – 7/16/12

Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)

Satellite image with enhanced low cloud-top temperatures for 6:45 a.m. EST (NOAA)

Weekend thundershowers provided limited and localized relief to a few Midwestern fields, but most of the Corn Belt remains in dire need of moisture.  Currently, very hot weather is building back into the Midwest. High temperatures above 100°F can be expected in portions of the western Corn Belt for the remainder of the week. The eastern Corn Belt should experience some mid- to late-week heat relief, but only scattered showers will accompany the transition to cooler weather. Like last week, substantial drought relief will be confined to the Southeast. Read more »