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Ancient Treasures Discovered on National Forest in Southern Illinois

A recent archaeology project shed light on the history of the Shawnee National Forest, uncovering the remains of a 19th Century home and an ancient cemetery.

Archaeologists Mary McCorvie and Heather Carey, and AmeriCorps VISTA team member Eraina Nossa worked with 23 volunteers from across the country on this five-day project to inventory 140-acres of the Illinois Iron Furnace Historic Site and to create a more complete picture of what life was like there. Built around 1837, the Illinois Iron Furnace is the only remaining iron furnace structure in the state. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Healthy, Affordable Meals for Our Children This Summer

As final school bells ring and students across our nation start summer break, the last thing on a parent’s mind should be how they’re going to provide nutritious meals for a child.

During the school year, USDA plays an integral role in being sure our children have enough to eat. Through the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs, USDA helps families by providing nutritious school meals to 32 million kids each day.

But when school’s out for the summer, low-income families can have trouble providing food for their children. Read more »

USDA Celebrates National Homeownership Month

Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager visits with prospective homeowner Linda Diaz at a self-help housing subdivision in Laurel, Delaware. USDA helps thousands of limited-income families each year as they purchase or repair homes.

Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager visits with prospective homeowner Linda Diaz at a self-help housing subdivision in Laurel, Delaware. USDA helps thousands of limited-income families each year as they purchase or repair homes.

Today, June 1, is the first day of National Homeownership Month, which is celebrated each June to highlight the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities and contributing to the economy. Read more »

USDA – Helping Veterans Continue Their Public Service Careers

US Marines silhouetted against the sunset.  USDA’s partnership with Operation Warfighter is just part of our commitment to helping veterans like Staff Sergeant Justin Fichter transition into civilian careers after their military service. Photo credit: US Marine Corps

US Marines silhouetted against the sunset. USDA’s partnership with Operation Warfighter is just part of our commitment to helping veterans like Staff Sergeant Justin Fichter transition into civilian careers after their military service. Photo credit: US Marine Corps

After finishing their military careers, many veterans envision continuing their government careers at the Department of Defense (DOD) or another defense-related organization.  True heroes with a passion for serving their country, these veterans often feel these are the only places where they can continue their dedication to public service.  However, USDA is committed to showing veterans that they can continue to serve the public within our agency, supporting the agriculture industry and all of the people it touches. Read more »

Celebrating South Carolina Wetlands

Water quality in the Wateree River is protected and improved thanks to the restoration work done on nearly 2,000 acres in Kershaw County, SC.

Water quality in the Wateree River is protected and improved thanks to the restoration work done on nearly 2,000 acres in Kershaw County, SC.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in South Carolina recently celebrated National Wetlands Month with an event that recognized three private landowners whose properties are enrolled in the agency’s Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP). Read more »

Abandoned Mine Lands Restored to Improve Watershed Health in Ohio

Water quality is monitored by volunteers with the Monday Creek Restoration Project. MCRP photo.

Water quality is monitored by volunteers with the Monday Creek Restoration Project. MCRP photo.

For nearly a century, the aquatic life that once thrived in the Monday Creek Watershed has been virtually dead. The goal of this Recovery Act project, known as “Devastation to Destination,” is to construct a healthy functioning riparian corridor, restore water quality, and create an integrated land management strategy resulting in species diversity among existing aquatic and wildlife habitats. It is located in Perry County between the towns of New Straitsville and Shawnee, Ohio. Read more »