Cross posted from the White House blog:
Three years ago, I was asked to participate in the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity, out of which grew the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative. In May 2010, we submitted a report to the President that made a series of recommendations for addressing the challenges of obesity and hunger, both of which stem from a lack of access to good, healthy food. The report identified local food systems as a strategy to combat food access problems, and specifically called upon the USDA “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Initiative to provide technical and financial assistance to help communities grow and process their own food, and create jobs at the same time.
I’m pleased to report that we’ve made a lot of progress since 2009 – and we have two new tools to help communities learn about what we’ve done and tap into USDA resources to develop their own solutions. The new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass is a document packed with photos, video and case studies of communities building strong local food systems. Farmers’ markets, mobile produce vendors, farm to school initiatives, and food hubs are just a few of many examples highlighted by the Compass. The Healthy Food Access section shows how communities are using USDA resources to promote health and the local economy. Read more »
Join us tomorrow for a Twitter chat to discuss womens’ increasing role in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We’ll be sitting down with Jenna Jadin, Ph.D, Office of the Chief Scientist and Dionne Fortson Toombs, Ph.D., National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to answer your questions from our USDA Twitter handle, @USDA. We look forward to seeing you, and check out the Department of Energy’s blog for additional info!
Got Questions about Women in Science, Tech, Engineering, or Math (STEM)? Tweet us! Read more »
Two years of work is nearly complete on a project to eradicate what is considered one of the worst invasive exotic plants in parts of the eastern U.S.
An effort to grow and market locally sourced, locally grown and genetically diverse native plants (Rhody Native) in cooperation with nursery industry has been made possible with Forest Service Recovery Act funding. Photo Credit: Hope Leeson.
The Japanese knotweed grows in thick, dense colonies that completely crowd out native species. Forest Service Recovery Act funds helped to tackle the infestation in the largest contiguous forest block in Rhode Island where the invasive occurs. Read more »
Many tourists in the nation’s capital have stumbled into the historical Sidney R. Yates Federal Building which houses the Forest Service national headquarters by mistake — they were looking for the Holocaust Museum or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which is just down the street. But once inside the Forest Service facility, visitors from all over the world are surprised by the warm welcome they receive and the information available on the importance of forests and wildlife habitats.
Smokey Bear greets visitors and reads his mail at Forest Service Information Center.
This year the information center will welcome its 250,000 visitor. Read more »
Hundreds of people, over the web or in person, learned about the financing and technology of anaerobic digester systems, the subject of a pair of webinars recently hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A broad spectrum of individuals participated including academics, farmers, and representatives of the environmental community. Read more »
With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements.
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is helping U.S. agricultural exporters navigate the complexities of the global trading system with its new trade facilitation desk. The FAS trade facilitation desk is just one example of how FAS is streamlining and improving its services to exporters as part of the USDA-wide Blueprint for Stronger Service initiative. The Blueprint is helping USDA modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through use of innovative technologies and business solutions, like the trade facilitation desk.
With a single phone call or e-mail, exporters can now reach FAS personnel who can provide information on export certification, registration, and documentation requirements. The trade facilitation desk also provides troubleshooting support if an exporter runs into issues with a shipment being detained or refused at its destination. Read more »