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Reminder: The Deadline for Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Applications is Approaching

Farmer and ranchers applying for assistance for 2009 crop losses under the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program have until July 29 to submit an application.

SURE provides crop disaster assistance to eligible producers that have suffered crop production or quality losses. Producers must have suffered at least a 10 percent loss on a crop of economic significance and obtained a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. Read more »

Mile High City with Mountains of Ideas

Cross posted from the White House blog:

Last week, I met with 20 business leaders from all over Colorado at a White House Business Council roundtable in Denver.  It was an opportunity for me and my Colorado staff to get feedback on government programs, policies, and innovative ideas that are working to help create jobs – as well as ones that could be improved.  Other Cabinet officials and top White House staffers have hosted more than 100 of these sorts roundtables of around the country.  And over the coming weeks we will be holding these conversations in rural areas.

In Denver, I heard from business leaders who discussed the value of President Obama’s tax policies for businesses of all sizes, and appreciated the administrations is work to better partner with the business community.  We had a productive dialogue about how the pending trade agreements with South Korea, Columbia and Panama will benefit local agricultural producers, with the potential to create hundreds of jobs in Greeley, Colorado and other towns.  And we discussed how resorts might form partnerships on recreation to make better use of forests and other natural environments to help create jobs in communities throughout the Rocky Mountains. Read more »

State Directors Provide USDA Rural Development Overview to Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture

“It’s not just about farmers and ranchers for the State Departments of Agriculture. And it’s not just about rural communities for USDA Rural Development,” said Missouri Rural Development State Director Janie Dunning. Dunning and three other State Directors joined together to introduce Rural Development programs to the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA) in St. Louis recently.

USDA Rural Development State Directors Janie Dunning, Colleen Landkamer, Colleen Callahan and Patty Clark make a  presentation to the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture

USDA Rural Development State Directors Janie Dunning, Colleen Landkamer, Colleen Callahan and Patty Clark make a presentation to the Midwest Association of State Departments of Agriculture

Read more »

Farm Service Agency County Committee Diversity: Outreach is the Key

It is the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) County Committee nomination time and counties across the nation are reaching out in their communities for a diverse group of nominees.  Butler County, Missouri, has seen firsthand the benefits of outreach efforts.

During the 2010 election, a woman and an African-American were elected to serve as members of the committee, making it the first time the county has not had to identify a minority advisor. The current committee is comprised of Jim Hover, chairperson; Isaiah Jones, vice-chairperson and Karen Buttrey, member.  Jones and Buttrey have previous experience on the committee, serving in an advisory capacity.  Jones served as an advisor from 2006 until being elected to the committee in 2010. Buttrey served as an advisor from 2001 to 2007.  Hover was first elected to the committee in 2009. Read more »

With USDA Support, a Michigan Commercial-Scale Renewable Energy Project Moves Forward

Groundbreaking at the Fremont, Michigan, Community Digester.  From left:  City of Fremont Mayor James Rynberg, Rob Zeldenrust of North Central Co-Op, Arvin Shah of INDUS Energy, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow,  NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan, USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner, and state Rep. Jon Bumstead.

Groundbreaking at the Fremont, Michigan, Community Digester. From left: City of Fremont Mayor James Rynberg, Rob Zeldenrust of North Central Co-Op, Arvin Shah of INDUS Energy, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan, USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner, and state Rep. Jon Bumstead.

Michigan always has unpredictable weather, and Friday’s was exactly what one would expect – unexpected.  I’m sure when they scheduled the groundbreaking for the Fremont community anaerobic digester, NOVI Energy assumed that late June would see warm weather and clear skies.  Instead, the temperature was in the low 60s with scattered rain. This is no doubt why NOVI Energy also put up two large tents. Weather aside, the groundbreaking event was a huge success. Read more »

Hunger-Free Communities Grantee Succeeds With Community-Run Marketplace

In February, 2011, Centro del Obrero Fronterizo was awarded one of 14 FY 2010 Hunger-Free Communities Grants.  Grantee projects started on March 15, 2011, and even after only two short months our grantees are noting encouraging results.  Centro del Obrero Fronterizo provided this background and update in a recent report:

“The Chamizal Neighborhood in El Paso, Texas, is one of the most impoverished in the nation, according to the Federal Reserve Bank. Dozens of empty warehouses dot the landscape, a testament to the decline of a garment industry that once flourished here, employing thousands of Mexican immigrant women. When the industry left the area in search of cheaper labor, thousands of women were left unemployed.  In 1981, displaced female garment workers established La Mujer Obrera in hopes of broadening economic and educational opportunities by creating jobs based on community needs. Read more »