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A Great Day at Delaware State University

Last week, I got the chance to address students at Delaware State University’s first-ever Graduate Research Symposium. Delaware State is part of the land-grant university system that is called an “1890 institution,” because it was founded through the second Morrill Act, passed in that year to extend the education system of the land-grants to African-Americans.

I’m a former dean of an agriculture school (at Iowa State University), so talking to students is one of my favorite parts of my job as USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary of Research, Education and Economics. I had to agree with Provost Alton Thompson who said, in my introduction, “It’s a great day to be at Del State!” Read more »

USDA Official Hails Michigan Project to Improve Water Quality in Lake Huron

Earlier this month we were honored to have Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture Doug O’Brien join USDA Rural Development Michigan State Director James J. Turner at our Earth Day ceremony in Buena Vista Township.  The township board of trustees was there and Township Supervisor Dwayne A. Parker served as our master of ceremonies.

Locally known as “BV Township,” Buena Vista is located next to Saginaw and like many rural communities, its sewer infrastructure was in a state of disrepair when they approached USDA for help. Read more »

High Tourism Area in Pennsylvania to Benefit from New USDA-Funded Wastewater System

A herd of elk, part of the largest wild elk herd in the Northeastern United States, can continue to graze in their natural habitat due in part to to a new Rural Development funded wastewater treatment system that will clean up two watersheds.

A herd of elk, part of the largest wild elk herd in the Northeastern United States, can continue to graze in their natural habitat due in part to to a new Rural Development funded wastewater treatment system that will clean up two watersheds.

USDA Rural Development officials and Congressman Glenn Thompson celebrated Earth Day this week in Benezette Township, Elk County, Pennsylvania.   Benezette Township, home of the largest wild elk herd in the Northeastern United States, lacks public sewer, preventing economic growth and damaging two watersheds with run-off from malfunctioning on-lot septic systems. Read more »

Farm Service Agency Disaster Assistance Available for Producers Affected by Flooding, Fire and Tornadoes

The Farm Service Agency is reminding crop and livestock producers throughout states that have recently experienced severe damage from flooding, wildfires and tornadoes that FSA programs may be available to assist with recovery.

According to Acting FSA Administrator Val Dolcini, whether it’s wildfires in the Southwest, flooding or tornados in the Midwest, Plains, and Southeast, learning about our FSA disaster programs is an important first step for producers in the recovery process. Read more »

Let’s Move! to grow more Community Gardens

Young people from the non-profit Jubilee Housing organization’s after school youth services program help U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee’s plant vegetables and herbs in the People’s Garden on Friday, Apr. 9, 2010. The Jubilee Youth Services offers a safe place for learning and fellowship for young people through a supervised after-school program. The after-school program provides academic support, enrichment activities, healthy life skills, teen leadership development and community service opportunities. The young people at Jubilee Housing have their own garden on site.  USDA photo 10di1300-132

Young people from the non-profit Jubilee Housing organization’s after school youth services program help U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) employee’s plant vegetables and herbs in the People’s Garden on Friday, Apr. 9, 2010. The Jubilee Youth Services offers a safe place for learning and fellowship for young people through a supervised after-school program. The after-school program provides academic support, enrichment activities, healthy life skills, teen leadership development and community service opportunities. The young people at Jubilee Housing have their own garden on site. USDA photo 10di1300-132

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Spring is here and that means it is time to get your hands in the soil and start gardening!  As part of Let’s Move! Faith and Communities, First Lady Michelle Obama has challenged congregations and neighborhood organizations to plant gardens in their communities. Read more »

Sharing the Benefits of KORUS in North Carolina

This week, I traveled to North Carolina and partnered with Korean Ambassador Han Duk-soo, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others in support of the U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement or KORUS.

The Obama Administration recognizes that exports are vital to the health of the agricultural sector and our nation’s economy as a whole. That’s why we’re working hard to ensure passage of the KORUS agreement, as well as the pending free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. Read more »