Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

On its 150th Anniversary, Indiana Honors USDA with a Proclamation

Indiana State Office staff members of Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, and the Risk Management Agency gathered in Indianapolis earlier this week to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Department of Agriculture.

Following a luncheon, “Women in Agriculture and Natural Resources,” Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman congratulated USDA attendees for their ongoing efforts and dedication to Indiana’s rural communities.  Additionally, Skillman presented a Proclamation from Governor Mitch Daniels which declared May 15, 2012, as “United States Department of Agriculture Day” in the State of Indiana. Read more »

City Girl Goes Organic in South Georgia with Help from USDA

After years of working in corporate America, Relinda Walker volunteered to be laid off to come home to Georgia and take over the family farm.

After years of working in corporate America, Relinda Walker volunteered to be laid off to come home to Georgia and take over the family farm.

Being first can have its advantages and disadvantages. Relinda Walker knows that all too well.

Walker’s Organic Farm was one of the first organic operations in South Georgia. It took root in 2005 during a time when eating organic was for foodies and white table cloth chefs. Read more »

A Year after Devastating Floods, the Missouri River Corridor is ‘‘Open for Business’’

How does a community, business owner, tourist attraction, farmer, homeowner go on after the disastrous 2011 Missouri River flood?  At a news conference on May 17, the message was clear: it took determination, community strength and perseverance. With great pride, communities and businesses announced that the Missouri River “MINK” Corridor is “Open for Business”.

The news conference was hosted by a coalition of communities and organizations in the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas (MINK).  The members are in counties two deep on either side of the river. MINK knows no borders crossing county and state lines, and is helping each other in community development efforts. The genesis for MINK was a Midwest meeting in Madison, Wis. in May, 2010, hosted by the Partnership for Rural America through an agreement with USDA Rural Development. Read more »

U.S. Agricultural Statistics – A History – and New Historical Timeline

Report cover from the Division of Statistics, 1863

Report cover from the Division of Statistics, 1863

U.S. interest in dependable agricultural statistics can be traced back to the very foundation of our country. George Washington was the first U.S. President to realize the need for reliable answers to questions like: How much grain can the United States export? How much does farmland cost to buy or lease? In his 1796 State of the Union speech, President Washington proposed a “Board of Agriculture” to find the answers to these questions. Read more »

Two Hundred and Fifty Feet up with Only a Rope to Get Down

Pacific Northwest Rappel Academy students practice their trade. US Forest Service photo.

Pacific Northwest Rappel Academy students practice their trade. US Forest Service photo.

Rappellers are firefighters who are delivered to remote and inaccessible wildfires by means of dropping down a rope from helicopters hovering 250 feet high.

Earlier this month over 50 veteran Forest Service rappellers throughout the West prepared for a new fire season with training and recertification classes in Oregon and Idaho. Read more »

USDA Funding Means Jobs, Increased Production for a Minnesota Tractor Manufacturing Company

Walking through AGCO’s campus in Jackson, Minn., almost feels like walking through a small city. There are large buildings, busy people heading in different directions, vehicles humming up and down roads and the constant buzz of activity and production.

If AGCO was its own city, it’d be growing.

Officials from USDA Rural Development and Federated Rural Electric Cooperative recently visited AGCO to highlight how a Rural Economic Development Loan is partially financing an expansion project that will increase production and create about 200 jobs. Read more »