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Trees Help Ring in the Afghan New Year

General David Petraeus, ISAF Commander, and Haji Habibi, Director General for the Greenery Department, water a newly planted tree during a ceremony in honor of Nowruz at the Bi Bi Mahro Park on Wazir Akbar Khan Hill in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, March 6, 2011. (S.K. Vemmer/Department of State)

General David Petraeus, ISAF Commander, and Haji Habibi, Director General for the Greenery Department, water a newly planted tree during a ceremony in honor of Nowruz at the Bi Bi Mahro Park on Wazir Akbar Khan Hill in Kabul, Afghanistan. (S.K. Vemmer/Department of State)

Kabul, Afghanistan probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the phrase “garden city.” But, surprising as it may be, that was the long-held moniker of a city once famous for advanced irrigation systems and vast orchards. Today, the city is closer to regaining that past image of vitality thanks to a cooperative effort to shore up its natural resources. Read more »

Improving Agriculture Production through Rodent Damage Management

Rodents cause millions of dollars in damages to field crops, stored grain and farm equipment each year. In addition, they are the major carrier for more than 60 diseases that are transmissible to humans, companion animals, and livestock.

In the new book titled, “Agricultural Production,” by Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Felix C. Wager (editor), researchers from the USDA and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) present a review of the latest information on rodent damage management as it relates to worldwide agricultural production. The review can be found hereRead more »

Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service Present Conservation Excellence Awards

The U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service honored partnerships in four states for outstanding efforts in conservation and forest stewardship.

The National Joint Forestry Team, comprised of the Forest Service, NRCS, conservation districts, and state forestry organizations, sponsors the Two Chiefs’ Partnership Award. Award winners work in partnership with the team’s agencies and organizations. Read more »

Hard Work, Creativity Key to Successful Summer Food Service Program

Delaware youth enjoy fresh fruits during lunch at a Summer Food Service Program site in 2010.  The Food Bank of Delaware dramatically increased participation through hard work and creativity.

Delaware youth enjoy fresh fruits during lunch at a Summer Food Service Program site in 2010. The Food Bank of Delaware dramatically increased participation through hard work and creativity.

Increasing participation in the Summer Food Service Program isn’t always easy.  There are no silver bullets or magic spells.  Being successful also doesn’t require fancy outreach materials that break the bank.  The secret, according to the Food Bank of Delaware, is hard work and creativity. Read more »

Fledgling Floodplain Attracts Endangered Crane

This adolescent chick, hatched and raised at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, is one of ten whooping cranes released in Louisiana in February 2011.

This adolescent chick, hatched and raised at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, is one of ten whooping cranes released in Louisiana in February 2011.

Who would believe that within a year of the restoration of a Lawrence County, Illinois floodplain, two endangered birds could find it? This recently happened when a breeding pair of whooping cranes took a break from their northern migration to enjoy the newly restored wetland. Read more »

USDA Funds Assist in the Expansion of Bemidji’s Northern Dental Access Center

Several years ago, community members in Bemidji, Minn. realized the need for a dental health facility that would serve underprivileged and at-risk families. In December of 2008, that realization became reality when the doors of the Northern Access Dental Center opened to the public.

The Northern Access Dental Center serves people in Beltrami county and nearby areas, which includes three American Indian reservations. Because a large percentage of this northwestern Minnesotan population falls under the legal poverty line, the volume of people requiring assistance provided by this new facility was vastly underestimated. Read more »