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

USDA-Funded Water Quality Project Leads to Industry Expansion and Creation of Almost 400 New Jobs

It is the goal of every USDA Rural Development program to help improve the economy and the quality of life in rural communities across this country – but with some projects, the impact of agency investment is not always obvious in the early stages. Once in a while, however; you have one that creates an economic domino effect with a return on investment that is nearly immediate.

A great example of such a project is taking place in Mercer County, Kentucky, and involves the expansion and upgrade of the Harrodsburg Water Treatment Plant.  In 2010, Rural Development provided loan and grant funds to increase the plant’s capacity from four to six million gallons per day (MGD). Read more »

Aloha! Mount Lebanon Elementary School

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

You don’t have to go to Hawaii to get a taste of the islands. In fact the students at Mount Lebanon Elementary School in Pendleton, S.C. were cooking up what can only be described as a paradise for the taste buds  in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. Our judges made their way down to Pendleton as the competition continued its tour across the country to find the top recipe that schools can easily incorporate into National School Lunch Program menus.

Mount Lebanon’s recipe, called Crunchy Hawaiian Chicken Wrap (entered in the ‘Dark Green and Orange Vegetables’ category), was among the 15 recipes chosen out of the 340 entries submitted, five were selected in each of three categories: whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and dry beans and peas. Read more »

NEI Event in Delaware Highlights Regional Businesses, Exports

Last week, I was honored to travel home to Delaware to address the importance of the President’s National Export Initiative (NEI). As a proud former agriculture secretary for this great state, I know well that for thousands of Delawareans, agriculture is not only a livelihood, but also a way of life.

Delaware boasts nearly 2,500 farms covering almost a half-million acres of land. In 2009 those farms generated more than $1 billion in cash receipts and exported $240 million in agricultural goods. Approximately half of the export value came from poultry, making Delaware the United States’ 12th-largest poultry exporter. Read more »

Childhood Landscape Inspires a Conservation Career

Caryl Radatz with her parents, Charles and Coralyn Radatz, in front of John Deere tractor used to install contour strips in 1943.

Caryl Radatz with her parents, Charles and Coralyn Radatz, in front of John Deere tractor used to install contour strips in 1943.

The views are breathtaking in what’s known as the “driftless area” in the upper Midwest, which encompasses parts of southeast Minnesota, southwest Wisconsin, northeast Iowa and northwest Illinois. This unique area was bypassed by retreating glaciers during the end of the last Ice Age several thousand years ago, leaving a steep, rugged landscape in their wake. It also inspired at least one local, Caryl Radatz, to pursue a career in conservation. Read more »

Agencies Work Together to Offer Workshop on Generating Opportunities in South Dakota Under the Small Business Jobs Act

South Dakota banks, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and others took part in a one day workshop held in Chamberlain, South Dakota on May 12, 2011.  Attendees were given the opportunity to learn more about the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and SBA and USDA programs and their benefit to the nation’s economy as well as local economics.

Hailed as a success, the workshop gave all those in attendance an opportunity to network and share a combined vision in increasing access to capital and creating jobs in South Dakota. Read more »

The Entire Team – Ready to Support Louisiana

Cross-posted from FEMA’s Blog

For weeks, we have been monitoring the potential for significant flooding in Louisiana, along with the other states currently being impacted by the Mississippi River flooding and historic water levels. And similar to their actions to mitigate the impacts of flooding in Missouri several weeks ago, today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza Spillway in Louisiana to help minimize damage to property, structures, and to protect millions of people from historic flood levels. Read more »