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USDA Hosts Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business Event

USDA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization recently announced that in honor of Veteran’s Day, Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses will have an opportunity to meet and participate in networking sessions with USDA program and acquisition specialists on the Patio, Jamie L. Whitten Federal Building on November 8, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.   There will also be an opportunity to meet one-on-one with USDA contracting agency representatives to describe their agency’s program objectives, direction and acquisitions.

Annually, USDA purchases more than $5 billion dollars in goods and services essential to meeting the needs of our customers and the various missions of the agency.  Approximately 60 percent of these dollars are spent on food commodities. Read more »

U.S. Fresh Fruit a Hit with Chinese Consumers

In August, 1,900 boxes of U.S. cherries from Northwest Cherries were sold in less than 30 minutes after they were featured on the popular Chinese television shopping channel OCJ. This impressive sales feat was made possible because of a partnership between USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, China and Chinese produce retailer FruitDay.com, which has had enormous success selling U.S. fruit on television and online. (Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Trade Office Shanghai Staff)

In August, 1,900 boxes of U.S. cherries from Northwest Cherries were sold in less than 30 minutes after they were featured on the popular Chinese television shopping channel OCJ. This impressive sales feat was made possible because of a partnership between USDA’s Agricultural Trade Office in Shanghai, China and Chinese produce retailer FruitDay.com, which has had enormous success selling U.S. fruit on television and online. (Photos courtesy of the Agricultural Trade Office Shanghai Staff)

For the past two years, our Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Shanghai, China has built a partnership with FruitDay.com, an online produce company that has thrived by harnessing the impressive power of internet and TV retailing to reach Chinese consumers. Read more »

Baseball, Apple Pie… and USDA

USDA is as American as baseball and apple pie. Almost anything and everything about U.S. food – and in some respects, baseball – is somehow connected to USDA. Curious? Read on to see how USDA ties in to the 2011 World Series.

USDA is as American as baseball and apple pie. Almost anything and everything about U.S. food – and in some respects, baseball – is somehow connected to USDA. Curious? Read on to see how USDA ties in to the 2011 World Series.

“The Ryan Express” Delivers the Goods

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan pitched 27 years in the big leagues, tossing a league record seven no-hitters.

In that span Ryan was comfortably pumping 100 mile-per-hour fastballs past hitters until he was 40 years old, registering 95 mph on the radar gun until retirement. Nicknamed “The Ryan Express” for his baseball exploits, he went on to become a successful business owner. Read more »

How to Make My Plate Your Plate

Last week the Let’s Move Faith and Communities team hosted partners from across the country for a conference call on USDA’s new nutrition education resources. It was a packed hour. This year USDA has published the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the new MyPlate food icon, and online resources including the comprehensive www.Nutrition.gov for easy access to nutrition education and programs. Curious about how the conversation went? Check out the links below. Read more »

FSDZ Kicks Off the Season by Visiting Lake Anne Elementary School in Virginia

The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) kicked off the 2011-2012 season on Thursday, October 13, 2011, by wheeling in to Lake Anne Elementary School in Reston, Va., and educating 280 students about food safety!

Throughout the day, the FSDZ staff gave students an exciting tour of the Food Safety Mobile and educated them about the four basic steps of preventing foodborne illness: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

The students were especially fascinated by the “Germs that Glow in the Dark” station, because they were able to see how many germs were present on hands that weren’t properly washed under the ultraviolet light. “As you can see, it is really important to wash your hands properly!” Public Affairs Specialist Mary Harris told the group. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Farm Bill Priorities

On Monday, I laid out my priorities for the upcoming Farm Bill.  This legislation addresses farming, but also deals with many important aspects of life in America.  It’s about supporting the jobs of the future, it’s about keeping pace with the changing needs of agriculture and rural America, and it’s about providing a safe and ample food supply for the nation.

But it must begin with our responsibility to strengthen agriculture, a bright spot in today’s economy.

As Congress writes the portion of the bill involving agriculture, the focus should be on three core principles that have shaped the success of the American farmer over generations: maintaining a strong safety net, supporting sustainable productivity and promoting vibrant markets. Read more »