The basic rule for organic agriculture is to allow natural substances and prohibit synthetic. For livestock like these healthy cows, however, vaccines play an important part in animal health—especially since antibiotic therapy is prohibited. (Photo courtesy Pleasantview Farm, an Ohio certified organic dairy farm)
This is the second installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations.
Organic standards are designed to allow natural substances in organic farming while prohibiting synthetic substances. The National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances—a component of the organic standards—lists the exceptions to this basic rule. Read more »
Apples sold at a winter farmers market in Somerville, Mass. Farmers markets are an important source of fresh local foods and can also be key to the economic success of farms and businesses within their communities.
As I’ve traveled the country, I’ve talked with more and more consumers who want a personal relationship with their food and are demanding to know more about it, where it came from and how it got to their plate. I’ve also talked with more and more producers who see the growing market demand for local food as a ripe business opportunity. One of USDA’s goals is to connect the two. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrity cook Rachel Ray at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 to speak with faculty and parents about the United States Department of Agriculture’s new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols
Today we celebrate an historic achievement on behalf of kids across America. We have accomplished a critical step on the road to deliver healthier, more nutritious food to our nation’s schoolchildren. Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final rule that sets the standards for critical improvements to the child nutrition programs that serve millions of children across the country every day. Read more »
Last night, in his State of the Union address, President Obama outlined his plan to build an economy that lasts – one that fulfills the basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement. He laid out his vision for a nation where everyone gets a fair shot and an economy that makes, creates and innovates. I know we can get there, because we’ve been there before. That’s how things have always worked on our farms, in our businesses, and especially in small towns and rural communities.
Visit HERE to read or watch the President’s State of the Union address, or to submit questions to the White House about the speech.
Relay stations send water quality data via satellite to Clemson University's high-performance computing center. Data is collected by sensors in a patent-pending buoy in the river. The buoy also holds the patent-pending MoteStack, a battery-powered computer smaller than a Rubik's Cube that stores and transmits data to the relay station. (Photo courtesy Clemson University.)
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
When we talk about population growth, often the first question that comes to mind is, “How are we going to feed everyone?” While an important question that needs to be addressed, rising populations also put increasing and competing demands on our natural resources. And these demands are putting local and state economies at risk. Within the next decade, solutions will be necessary to optimize water use while preserving rivers and streams. Read more »
Rain poured through the roof of the old Black Canyon, Arizona, fire station, making the floor slippery and rusting the tin that covered the roof. Nonetheless, the one ambulance and fire truck that would fit into the aging metal shed still faired better than the other five vehicles parked outside. Those vehicles were not only pelted by rain and hail, but Arizona’s scorching sun baked them during much of the year—rotting the tires, fading the paint, and drying out the parts and equipment. Parking the vehicles outside also meant that the theft risk was greater, which increased insurance rates. Read more »