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USDA Forest Service’s Fuels for Schools program Turns Biomass into Energy

The USDA Forest Service’s Fuels for Schools and Beyond program promotes and encourages the use biomass to energy as a renewable and natural resource.

Recently the U.S. Forest Service recognized the Darby School District in Montana for success in the Fuels for Schools Program for their innovation, cost savings and energy efficiency and in particular Darby High School’s biomass system. It’s part of a pilot program funded by a grant from the Forest Service’s National Fire Plan. In 2003, the Darby School District was the first in the state to have a biomass system. Read more »

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights Trade During Visit to St. Louis

L to R-- Mike Baroni, vice president of economic policy, Archer Daniels Midland Company; Dr. Jon Hagler, director, Missouri Department of Agriculture; Secretary Vilsack; Senator Claire McCaskill; Jim Fisher, pork producer, Fisher Farms

L to R-- Mike Baroni, vice president of economic policy, Archer Daniels Midland Company; Dr. Jon Hagler, director, Missouri Department of Agriculture; Secretary Vilsack; Senator Claire McCaskill; Jim Fisher, pork producer, Fisher Farms

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spent part of last week in St. Louis, Mo., making several stops to promote trade and agriculture and to announce the opening of a new office in St. Louis for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Read more »

Tracking a “Bad News” Bacterium

Microbiologist Manan Sharma (center) and student Sean Ferguson (left) use a specialized microscope to observe whether fluorescent E. coli cells are internalized into roots of baby spinach plants, while microbiologist David Ingram (right) prepares spinach tissue for observation.

Microbiologist Manan Sharma (center) and student Sean Ferguson (left) use a specialized microscope to observe whether fluorescent E. coli cells are internalized into roots of baby spinach plants, while microbiologist David Ingram (right) prepares spinach tissue for observation.

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

Here’s a vision fit for a nightmare:  a “family reunion” of every type of Escherichia coli. Read more »

Forest Service Honors 2010 Engineers of the Year

The U.S. Forest Service honored the 2010 Engineer of the Year award recipients at a ceremony held in Washington D.C. Monday, April 4, highlighting the scope and scale of the contributions that engineers make to every program across the agency.

This year’s four recipients display a wide-ranging set of work assignments and responsibilities, and fulfill vital roles in their respective areas. Collectively, these four recipients are responsible for elements of construction, recreation and heritage, contracting and contract management, vehicle and fleet operations and administration, training and technical guidance in their respective assignments. The four recipients for 2010 are: Read more »

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 »