On Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2011, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack attended a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, with President Barack Obama, the President's Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes and rural communities leaders from across the country for the White House Rural Champions of Change event. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.
As chair of the recently established White House Rural Council, I want to make sure you take a look at a new web page that went live on the White House Champions of Change website. It is focused on the meeting that was held at the White House on July 6, with President Obama, myself and 18 Rural Champions from across 14 states. The new site features blogs and short video clips from participants about the meeting. I hope that you’ll take a moment to check it out: http://www.whitehouse.gov/champions. Read more »
A young SNAP recipient eats at the Help 4 Kidz Café while his parents apply for SNAP with the help of a volunteer case manager.
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
For families in Phoenix, Arizona, buying groceries through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) and putting needed nutrition assistance on the kitchen table just got a little easier. Thanks to Reverend Eve Nuñez, a new SNAP access location opened earlier this spring to assist Phoenix’s Hispanic community apply for SNAP. Through the Help 4 Kidz organization and Love International Church, more than 700 families have already gotten help in putting food on the table. Read more »
Ross Racine, Intertribal Agriculture Council executive director, and Undersecretary Ed Avalos, attend the 60th Annual North American Indian Days Celebration on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana on July 8.
The view of teepees and campers across the countryside, the enticing aroma of food and the distant beat of the drums were all part of the North American Indian Days celebration. I was in Browning – home of the Blackfeet Nation to listen and learn about agriculture in Indian Country. On the Blackfeet Nation there are 22,000 cows, 300,000 acres of grain crops, 17,000 acres of irrigated hay and grain, and over 360 Indian producers. Read more »
USDA Rural Development State Director for Missouri Anita J. (Janie) Dunning with food donation to Feds Feed Families.
The Feds Feed Families (FFF) drive is a great opportunity for all of us to give something to those who are less fortunate. I accepted the challenge and went out Saturday morning and did some shopping and loaded up 285 pounds of food. It was actually quite fun to think about what someone might like to have but even more importantly the smiles it will put on their faces when they have some food in their tummies. Read more »
Recently, USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) scientists at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) tested two new scare devices developed by private companies that include species recognition technologies─the Sonic Dissuader® and the Goose Guardian. The devices focus on pileated woodpeckers and Canada geese, aiming to prevent the damages caused by these two bird species. Read more »
[Editor's note: a version of this article was originally published in the Food Safety and Inspection Service's Small Plant News. This post covers Rural Development loan programs available to small plants; an upcoming post will cover Rural Development grant programs.]
If you are a small packinghouse or processor and you want to expand, upgrade, or update your facility, assistance is available. As covered in the Volume 1, Number 3 issue of Small Plant News, USDA’s Rural Development is ready to offer assistance in the form of loans and grants, which this two-part series will examine. Read more »