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A Celebration! Nebraska’s First USDA Direct Multi Family Housing Loan Paid in Full

Gibbon, Nebraska with a population under 2,000 is celebrating the final payment of the first direct loan in Nebraska for a multi-family housing project through USDA Rural Development (the former Farmers Home Administration).

Board members of Gibbon Centennial Manor and tenants of the 16 unit complex gathered on April 2nd for a plaque presentation by USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul, commemorating more than 40 years of providing rural rental housing to Gibbon. Read more »

U.S. Fresh Produce Industry Building Strong Trade Relationships in Indonesia

This is the second in a series of three blogs affiliated with USDA’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission, which was led by Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

For years, it’s been my privilege to help bring U.S. fresh fruits and vegetables to the grocery stores, restaurant menus and dinner tables of Indonesian consumers.

I represent groups within the U.S. produce industry who export agricultural goods to Indonesia. They include the Washington Apple Commission, the California Table Grape Commission and the Pear Bureau Northwest, all of which have found success in the Indonesian market. Read more »

USDA’s Food for Education Program Continues to Benefit Health of World’s Citizens

Clemence, a teacher from Ogondougou School, displays the peanuts grown in the school garden to be used as a condiment in the meal provided by USDA.

Clemence, a teacher from Ogondougou School, displays the peanuts grown in the school garden to be used as a condiment in the meal provided by USDA (CRS/Carmen Matty-Cervantes).

A group of schoolchildren wait patiently in line to get their lunch. This ritual takes place in schools all over the world. But for the children in Mali, a country ranked 160 out of 169 of the poorest countries in the world, this may be their one nutritious meal for the day. With the number of chronically hungry people surpassing one billion, a sustainable approach is necessary to answer the call of those in need. USDA’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program answers that call and works to not only feed the world’s hungry, but also improve the nutrition and education of children around the world. Read more »

U.S. Agribusinesses Seek Trade, Investment Opportunities in Indonesia

This is the first in a series of three blogs affiliated with USDA’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission, which was led by Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

This week, it’s been my privilege to lead an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia, the United States’ top agricultural market in Southeast Asia.

Eighteen U.S. companies joined me in Jakarta to meet with more than 100 Indonesian buyers, producers and investors. Their intent is to make sales, enter joint ventures and boost trade and investment in Indonesia. Read more »

Free Kit Helps Educators Empower Students to Become ‘Beetle Busters’

A free curriculum available online can help educators teach students how to spot the invasive Asian longhorned beetle.

Infestations of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) have been initially reported by alert members of communities in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. As summer approaches, a new army of the invasive ALB may emerge from its favorite trees anywhere in the United States. APHIS has developed a way to prepare school-aged “Beetle Busters” to help uncover any ALB infestations that may exist. Read more »

Arizona – Stronger Economies Together Thanks to USDA Support

Last summer Arizona rural communities joined together to compete for a USDA Rural Development Technical Assistance grant to train communities of interest on regional economic development. The initiative, Stronger Economies Together or SET, was launched in 2009 by USDA Rural Development in collaboration with the nation’s Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs) and their land-grant university partners. The purpose of SET is to strengthen the capacity of communities/counties in rural America to work together in developing and implementing an economic development blueprint that strategically builds on the current and emerging economic strengths of their region.

In Arizona, two regions were selected by the national SET Team and one additional one was selected by the Arizona USDA Rural Development office to receive the training. Read more »