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Communities on the Move Video Challenge Winners Announced

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

The winners of the Communities on the Move Video Challenge have been chosen!  Since First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Video Challenge in February, Let’s Move Faith and Communities has been inspired by every congregation and community that submitted a video highlighting how they are promoting healthy lifestyles for kids.  From putting on nutrition-themed puppet shows in Connecticut to advocating for safer play spaces in Colorado and preaching healthy living from the pulpit in Florida, the ideas in these videos demonstrate the commitment that communities across the country have to reversing the trend of childhood obesity within a generation.

The Video Challenge encouraged faith-based and neighborhood organizations to create one-to-three minute videos highlighting the work they are doing to make their communities or congregations places of wellness. The challenge recognized efforts that promote healthy lifestyles for kids in three areas: encouraging nutritious eating through USDA’s MyPlate icon, increasing physical activity, and ensuring access to healthy, affordable foods. The winners and honorable mentions will be invited to Washington, D.C. for a Let’s Move! event. Read more »

New Marine Shipping Container Report Sheds Light on Available Opportunities

The Ocean Shipping Container Availability Report. The weekly report provides a snapshot of shipping equipment that is available at 18 different intermodal locations. Photo courtesy of Port of Los Angeles.

Access to market information is a critical component in the success of any business. This is the case in the agricultural export industry, where locating available marine shipping containers is often difficult.  For many in this industry, finding available containers can be like searching for buried treasure.  To make the search easier, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) developed the Ocean Shipping Container Availability Report (OSCAR).  Read more »

AgrAbility Helps Farmers Continue Working

NIFA’s AgrAbilty Project recipient uses modified lift to transfer from wheelchair to tractor.  Photo credit:  National AgrAbility Project at Purdue University.

NIFA’s AgrAbilty Project recipient uses modified lift to transfer from wheelchair to tractor. Photo credit: National AgrAbility Project at Purdue 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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report issued in June 2011 there are 4,861,000 people with disabilities in the workforce, and 3.3 percent are involved in agriculture and related industries. In addition, a 2010 report from BLS predicted that between 2008 and 2018 the most jobs lost by people with disabilities will be among farmers and ranchers. Read more »

South Dakota’s Top Chef is Job Corps Educator Too

Boxelder Job Corps certified culinary essentials educator, Dave Levesque, center, works with culinary arts students, Trevor Robertus, left, Mathew McGirr and Duanna Martin, right, as they create cherry puffs with chocolate sauce on June 1. Levesque was chosen as Chef of the Year for the American Culinary Federation's South Dakota Chapter. (Rapid City Journal Photo/ Tim Appel)

For the past eight years, students in the Boxelder Job Corps Center culinary arts program have benefited from chef Dave Levesque’s wide-ranging cooking experiences.

Located in the Black Hills National Forest near Nemo, the Boxelder Job Corps Center has 24 students in its culinary arts curriculum, which is one of 10 different trades taught at the school. Read more »

Know Your Meat: Global Meat Specifications Becoming a Reality

The UNECE team at a plant in Rosario, Argentina. During their visit to the plant, the team tested standards for new cuts of meat.

The Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Livestock and Seed Program Standardization Division recently participated in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) meetings in Buenos Aires to work on international meat standards.  The global agricultural quality standards developed by UNECE facilitate U.S. agricultural exports, which set a record this past year at $136 billion. Read more »

Publishers of forestcamping.com Start their 18th Year of Research

Fred and Suzi Dow, authors and publishers of ForestCamping.com, have devoted 18 years to visiting, personally researching, and providing the public with free, detailed information about 175 national forests and grasslands and more than 2,400 personally surveyed campgrounds. (Photo/Suzi Dow)

Fred and Suzi Dow, publishers of the U.S. National Forest Campground Guide Website have visited every Forest Service national forest and grassland but they don’t see their project as completed. They have set off for another six months of visiting, surveying, and exploring national forests that might have been thought of as completed more than a dozen years ago. Read more »