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An Alaska Food Bank Expands with Help from USDA Rural Development

If you’ve ever remodeled an existing home, you can appreciate this problem. Sometimes things just get complicated.

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Alaska needed to grow.  The original 9,000 square foot building, constructed in 1997, no longer met the needs of the area, so an expansion was undertaken.  That’s when the problems surfaced.  A corner of the warehouse which houses USDA commodity food products had sunk, due to an old bury pit that had not been documented.  That issue, plus the need for new food cooling equipment, heating system upgrades, and handicap-accessible washrooms, a waiting room, an arctic entry and more warehouse space caused the food bank to turn to USDA Rural Development for a Community Facilities Direct Loan. Read more »

Broadband Project Gives Michigan a Boost

Recently, the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth hosted an event to commemorate the award of grants and loans to Air Advantage LLC through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Broadband Initiative Program and discussed the progress of the project to date. This is one of the largest single awards for USDA Rural Development in Michigan and it has tremendous potential to increase the economy in the Thumb region. Read more »

California Farmers Lead the way in On-Farm Renewable Energy Production

Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on Midwestern farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.

Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the U.S. Department of Agriculture blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the agency’s rich science and research portfolio.

Whether visiting Napa or making my way across California’s central valley, I see more and more solar panels and wind turbines on the Golden State’s farms and ranches. And that’s not surprising to me since California has been leading the way towards energy independence and renewable energy production and use. Read more »

Reflecting on National African American History Month

Today marks the end of February, and National African American History Month, which has given us an opportunity to reflect on the value of the contributions made to our great nation by African Americans, and in particular, African American farmers and ranchers.  To celebrate here in Washington, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted an event on February 22 celebrating the life and work of African Americans who have made great contributions to the farming community, including the famous scientist, botanist, educator and inventor, George Washington Carver. Today,  to round out National African American History Month, the Reverend Al Sharpton spoke to employees about “Civil Rights in the Age of Obama.” Read more »

Help Feed Hungry Kids this Summer: Join our Webinar to Learn More!

The winds of winter may still be blowing in many parts of the country, but it is already time to start thinking about the summer.   20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year through USDA’s National School Lunch Program. For many children, school meals are the only complete and nutritious meals they eat, and in the summer they go without.  22.3 million children are at risk of going hungry when the school year ends and school lunches are no longer available. Read more »

For an Iowa Family of 10, a New Home Make Dreams Come True

While the past couple years have been a financial challenge for many Americans, the goal of achieving the American Dream of homeownership remains strong. This is especially true in Iowa where USDA Rural Development has been very involved in making homeownership a reality for thousands of rural families. Thanks to additional funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a record 2,400 families in rural Iowa received $233.2 million in mortgage assistance from USDA Rural Development in 2010.  Read more »