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Ohio USDA Rural Development Hosts First Flex- Fuels Roadshow

On April 5, USDA Rural Development in Ohio hosted the first in a series of ‘Flexible Fuels Roadshows’ aimed at broadening awareness of Secretary Vilsack’s recently announced objective of deploying 10,000 flexible fuel blender pumps into the nation’s motor fuel delivery system by 2015. The Secretary’s flex- fuel initiative will become a major focus of Rural Development’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) during the upcoming funding cycle.  For the first time, gas station and convenience store operators across the country can qualify for a package of REAP grants and loans to support the purchase and installation of flex-fuel blender pumps and related infrastructure. Read more »

U.S. Soybeans Benefit Indonesian Tempeh and Tofu Producers

Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse takes a handful of U.S. soybeans used at a ‘tempeh/tofu village’ production site in East Jakarta on April 6.  Scuse visited the village – which uses 100 percent U.S. soybeans to produce tempeh and tofu, which are soy-based stables of the Indonesian diet – during an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia that he led last week. Photographer, Danumurthi Mahendra, U.S. Embassy, Jakarta

Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse takes a handful of U.S. soybeans used at a ‘tempeh/tofu village’ production site in East Jakarta on April 6. Scuse visited the village – which uses 100 percent U.S. soybeans to produce tempeh and tofu, which are soy-based stables of the Indonesian diet – during an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia that he led last week. Photographer, Danumurthi Mahendra, U.S. Embassy, Jakarta

This is the third in a series of three blogs affiliated with USDA’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission, which was led by Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

While leading this week’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia, I’ve been gratified to see firsthand how U.S. food and agricultural products are benefitting the Indonesian people. My itinerary included a visit to a tempeh and tofu production compound, or village, in the Cipayung neighborhood of East Jakarta, where local workers are using U.S. soybeans to produce nutritious, affordable, high-quality food products. Read more »

New USDA Rural Development Energy Initiative Discussed in Indianapolis

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development conducted a meeting in Indianapolis in early April to discuss the agency’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).  The event, hosted by the Indiana Soybean Alliance/Indiana Corn Growers Association presented information on RD’s new initiative to fund flex-fuel pumps.  Approximately 50 distributors, grant writers, and stakeholders attended the event.  Representatives from the American Coalition for Ethanol, Dresser Wayne, Gilbarco, Indiana Petroleum Markers & Convenience Store Association, and others joined in the discussion. Read more »

U.S. Fresh Produce Industry Building Strong Trade Relationships in Indonesia

This is the second in a series of three blogs affiliated with USDA’s Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission, which was led by Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse.

For years, it’s been my privilege to help bring U.S. fresh fruits and vegetables to the grocery stores, restaurant menus and dinner tables of Indonesian consumers.

I represent groups within the U.S. produce industry who export agricultural goods to Indonesia. They include the Washington Apple Commission, the California Table Grape Commission and the Pear Bureau Northwest, all of which have found success in the Indonesian market. Read more »

Celebrating National Gardening Month with Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth Programs

Soon after moving into the White House, the First Lady along with local elementary school children planted The Kitchen Garden at the White House, the first garden of its kind on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II.

Weeks earlier, I celebrated the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln by starting the first People’s Garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington D.C. That day, I could only begin to imagine that a movement which began in our nation’s capital would spread to make an impact in communities across America and the world. Read more »

USDA Establishes Temporary Livestock Pens Along the U.S./Mexico Border

The importation of Mexican feeder cattle is a tradition, a way of life and important to the border economy in Mexico and the U.S.  The Mexican cattle producer is dependent on the U.S. cattle market, while U.S. feeders and packers need the Mexican feeder cattle for their operations.

However, due to the increased border violence in northern Mexico, we were not able to allow USDA personnel to travel into Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo and Pierdas Negras to inspect and dip Mexican cattle destined for export to the U.S. Read more »