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Enjoy the Holidays: Preparing Healthy and Safe Meals!

Special holiday series – Blog 3 of 5

Starting to plan your holiday menu? USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elisabeth Hagen and I want to help. This week we are providing low-cost holiday recipes that incorporate simple food safety tips to help you prepare healthy and safe holiday meals. So far, we’ve posted delicious turkey and stuffing recipes. Today we’re featuring a Baked Apples and Sweet Potatoes recipe, which will make a great side dish for any occasion. Make sure to look for our next blog which will feature another low-cost, easy to prepare –recipe—Green Bean Sauté.  Enjoy!! Read more »

USDA-Endorsed Trade Shows Help Seattle Cracker Company Thrive Internationally

What started as a family-owned bread company in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in 1991 is today a thriving, artisan Italian cracker company that sells gourmet products around the world.

La Panzanella’s international success is, in part, thanks to their participation in USDA-endorsed international food and beverage trade shows, which is one way that USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) helps U.S. companies increase international sales. Read more »

It’s A Sticky Situation – In The Best Possible Way!

USDA Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator Judith Canales and Ohio Rural Development Director Tony Logan recently paid a visit to Troy, Ohio’s 3 Sigma Corporation to see how the company is utilizing its $2.25 million USDA Business & Industry loan guarantee. Among other things, the funds are helping finance the purchase, transportation and installation of a 78-inch wide aqueous (water-based emulsion) coater, financed through First Financial Bank of Dayton.

In business since 1980, 3 Sigma specializes in custom pressure-sensitive products and specialty coatings. But this technology goes well beyond diaper fasteners and sticky tape! Have you ever noticed those clever little holographic tags inside ball caps and on other wearable items? That’s a 3 Sigma-engineered counterfeit-detection system. The peel-off coupon that doesn’t shred your Sunday morning paper? 3 Sigma. That authentic backstage pass to your favorite rock star’s show? Chances are 3 Sigma may have had a hand in its creation. Read more »

Second Generation Veterinarian Weighs in on World Veterinary Year 2011

Hello, I am Dr. Rosslyn Biggs.  I am a Field Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services stationed in southwest Oklahoma.

My mother was also a veterinarian, so I was exposed to the profession at an early age.  She later worked as a VMO for USDA APHIS VS as well.   I always had an interest in veterinary medicine as a career because I liked the combination of animals and problem solving.  After veterinary school, I worked in a mixed animal practice for approximately three years before joining the staff at APHIS in the spring of 2007. Read more »

Tuskegee Airman Inspires FNCS Employees at Veterans Day Ceremony

How often do you have an opportunity to learn history from a living legend?  At FNCS we were thrilled to have Dr. Ivan Ware, an original Tuskegee Airman, as the inspirational speaker for our Veterans Day observance on November 9.

I was particularly excited to meet him as my own father had shared stories from his service in the segregated forces of the U.S. Army where he was among the troops landing on Normandy in June 1944. Read more »

Deputy Secretary Merrigan Sowed Seeds for Community-Based Agriculture in Baltimore

Livia Marqués and Juanita Ewell stand in front of the tool shed at Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden in the 900 block of Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore City, Maryland. The mural was painted by Towson University student John Rice.

Livia Marqués and Juanita Ewell stand in front of the tool shed at Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden in the 900 block of Cherry Hill Road, Baltimore City, Maryland. The mural was painted by Towson University student John Rice.

I’m thrilled that I could join Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan last week when we announced the recipients of the People’s Garden Grant Program in Baltimore, Maryland.  The backdrop for the $60,000 grant announcement to Towson University was set at the Eat Healthy Live Healthy Urban Garden in the Cherry Hill neighborhood. Cherry Hill is an approximately one square mile, geographically isolated, food desert neighborhood. These residents are impoverished and experience some of the highest rates of chronic disease in Baltimore city. Read more »