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Bringing Gold to the Red Poppy Capitol of Texas

Children listen attentively to the award ceremony.

Children listen attentively to the award ceremony.

Did you know that Georgetown is the Red Poppy Capital of Texas? I was surprised to find out that the city is known for the red poppy wildflowers that bloom throughout the city each spring. They hold the Red Poppy Festival each year in April and attract approximately 30,000 visitors. Read more »

Forest Service Law Officers Help Rescue Starving, Abandoned Horse in Colorado

As night falls, SerVivor is led out on the trail created by the Routt Power Riders snowmobile club members.

As night falls, SerVivor is led out on the trail created by the Routt Power Riders snowmobile club members. Photo courtesy Ed Calhoun

On Jan. 8, a U.S. Forest Service dispatcher radioed agency law enforcement officer Mike Seawall that members of the Routt Power Riders snowmobile club had discovered a small abandoned horse an hour and a half north of Steamboat Springs, Colo., on the Routt National Forest. Read more »

How One Man’s Invention Changed Food Access World-Wide

Fred Jones, a prolific inventor, revolutionized the transportation of food and changed the way we eat.

Fred Jones, a prolific inventor, revolutionized the transportation of food and changed the way we eat.

Although Frederick McKinley Jones changed everything from race cars to the movie industry and from boats to medical treatment, he is best known for his role in founding Thermo King. Read more »

USDA Keeps Military Flying Safely in Nebraska

Marie Griffin and/or Steve Baumann hold raptors that will be relocated

Marie Griffin holds a raptor that will be relocated.

For APHIS Wildlife Services employees Marie Griffin and Steve Baumann, being recognized as “Outstanding Performers” by the U.S. Air Force’s 55th Wing is an honor. But the most rewarding feeling comes at the end of each work day, after none of the aircraft at Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base incurs a damaging wildlife strike. Read more »

USDA Support Helps Keep the Lessons of World War II Alive for Future Generations

The ranks of the people who fought in, and personally remember World War II, the people journalist Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation” are rapidly thinning.  My mother, who heard the announcement over a Zenith radio that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, is now in her 90’s.  My father, who served in Europe during World War II, died in 1987.  Many families share similar histories.  Virtually every American family was touched in some way by World War II.  Many lost loved ones in the conflict.  But with the war over 60 years in the past, personal memories of the war are fading.

Those memories and the recollections of those who fought are vividly alive in Abilene, Texas, at the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum.  Recently, the museum was awarded part of a USDA Distance Learning Grant.  That grant will be used to provide materials to explain the War and its aftermath to future generations. Read more »

The People’s Garden Initiative Celebrates 3 Years of Growth

Three years ago this week, on February 12, 2009, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack commemorated President Lincoln’s 200th birthday by creating  the first USDA People’s Garden at the “People’s Department.”  This People’s Garden at Department headquarters in Washington D.C., initially started as an opportunity to showcase what we do at USDA, and to unite communities, raise awareness about sustainable agriculture practices, connect people with where their food comes from, and educate on protecting our environment and conserving resources. It was USDA’s way of walking its talk by providing an example to the rest of the country.  We’ve grown quite a bit in a short period of time. Thousands of USDA employees and over 700 local and national organizations are participating in over 1,500 gardens.

Last night, the People’s Garden along with Abraham Lincoln, in honor of our namesake and USDA’s 150th Anniversary, recognized employees, agencies and partners for their contributions to the Initiative at The People’s Garden ‘Golden Shovel’ Award Ceremony and Reception.  And the categories are… Read more »