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

Former SNAP Recipient Helps Increase Access to Fresh Produce at Farmers Markets

Corey Chapman, EBT Coordinator for City of Chicago farmers markets, processes a woman’s benefits card so she can purchase items at the market.

Corey Chapman, EBT Coordinator for City of Chicago farmers markets, processes a woman’s benefits card so she can purchase items at the market.

If there’s one thing Corey Chatman is passionate about, it’s making sure everyone has access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Maybe it’s because he knows what it’s like to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for nourishment. Read more »

A USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Helps a Minnesota Business Create New Jobs

If you’re searching for positive stories among all the recent talk of economic struggles and budget deficits, look no further than Spring Valley, Minn.

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer and other officials recently visited the community of 2,500 in southeastern Minnesota to celebrate the expansion of AMD Distribution, a local business that specializes in insulation distribution. Read more »

Dakota Farmer’s Success Catches On

Dan Forgey has always had an abiding respect for the land that he’s farmed for more than 40 years, which is why, as manager of the 8,500-acre Cronin Farms in Gettysburg, South Dakota, he strives to build soil health—and yields—sustainably. First, he shifted the farm to 100 percent no-till in 1993. Then in 2006, after spending years developing diverse crop rotations, he received a grant from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, a USDA-funded grants and outreach program, to test the introduction of cover crops into his system. This move has given him higher yields with fewer inputs, and therefore better profits. Read more »

Macon, Missouri Seniors get a New Center with USDA Support

Lying in the heart of Mid-America and the historical crossroads of two US highways, Macon, Missouri is a city with a rich cultural heritage and strong vision for the future. Macon offers the amenities of a small friendly city with the advantages of a growing city. History acknowledges the fact that in 1872 a man named John Beaumont, a real estate man and promoter, donated 10,000 young maple trees in payment of taxes of $116.00 to the City of Macon.  Now Macon is known as the “City of Maples” with over 275,000 maple trees.

As the senior population increases yearly, the Senior Center of Macon saw an increasing need for nutritious meals to be provided to the older residents.  Plans were made, blueprints were drawn, and the search for funding was begun in earnest. Read more »

Webinar for Tribal Leaders: Beginning Consultation for Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

Our commitment to American Indian and Alaska Native leaders, members, and communities is one of great importance to the Obama administration and to me as USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. This past fall, the White House concluded its second Tribal Nations Conference which provided a venue for tribal leaders to engage in dialogue with high-ranking officials on a wide range of social, economic and political challenges facing Indian country.

I would like to continue the dialogue and invite tribal leaders or their delegated representatives to formally consult on how we can improve the health and nutrition of our children in Indian Country. Read more »

Valuing Drinking Water – From Forests to Faucets

More and more these days we recognize that clean water is one of the most important products of our forests.  Forest lands are the source of nearly two-thirds of water in the 48 contiguous states — the clean water that fills our rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands, sustains our fisheries, or flows from the taps of our homes and businesses.  Forests serve as a living sponge to capture, store and slowly release precipitation as well as trapping and transforming the chemicals and nutrient deposits that come in the rain or from adjacent runoff.  All the benefits that forests provide—like erosion and sediment control, maintenance of water quality, regulation of flows, and provision of clean drinking water—are called ecosystem services, and in this case can be called watershed services. Read more »