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Forest Service Lines up 500 Jobs for Young Conservationists

When President Obama recently called on federal agencies to help young people find more work in the great outdoors, the U.S. Forest Service – with 193 million acres of prime outdoor space —responded quickly with jobs for hundreds of underserved youths.

The America’s Great Outdoors: Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists initiative will fund 20 projects, providing more than 500 young people with the experience of a lifetime working on public lands this summer work season. The Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation recently announced $3.7 million in competitive grants through the initiative. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Remembering Those Who Served

This Memorial Day weekend, Americans across our nation will spend time with family and friends – enjoying parades, barbeques, ballgames and the great outdoors.

But it’s important that we also take time to remember the men and women who have given their lives defending the United States. While we cannot repay the debt of gratitude we owe these service members, we can honor their memory. We can pay tribute to our veterans, as well as those who today are on active duty. Read more »

In Honor of Small Business Week, Save Mother Earth by Saving Resources

Business owners and managers around the world like to save money.  Electricity, natural gas, and water are three utilities that can drain a bank account fast.  N-K Properties, Inc., a car wash business, based in Yankton, South Dakota wanted to improve the bottom line.  The car wash business is a very utility hungry business, so energy efficient technology would benefit the business with increased comfort for employees and customers to significant dollar savings in energy, operation, and maintenance costs.

The design concept that N-K Properties was operating under for their energy efficiency improvements was – Save Mother Earth by saving resources.   Working collaboratively with USDA Rural Development, N-K Properties, Inc. was able to integrate energy efficiencies into their operation with the installation of a wind turbine to generate electricity.  The signage consists of Light Emitting Diode “LED” to save energy.  In addition, geothermal heating and cooling equipment were installed for the building. Read more »

Forest Service Eastern Region highlights Legacy Trail on White Mountain National Forest

Driving along the Kancamagus Highway  on White Mountain National Forest, Lincoln, N.H.

Driving along the Kancamagus Highway on White Mountain National Forest, Lincoln, N.H.

The Weeks Act 100-mile Legacy Trail has recently been unveiled as a virtual self-guided driving tour of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.   The tour is named after the watershed conservation legislation of 1911 known as the Weeks Act that led to the creation of national forests east of the Mississippi River. Read more »

Undersecretary Promotes “All of the Above” Renewable Energy Strategy

Rural America has great potential in helping the U.S. meet the future energy demand by deploying alternative energy and energy efficiency sources and practices, so says U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Rural Development, Dallas Tonsager, who visited the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland Wash., with other members of a technical advisory committee exploring ways to further the use and development of advanced bio-fuels.

Tonsager co-chairs the Biomass Research and Development Board, which was created by the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000.  USDA and the Department of Energy implement the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, which consists of grants made available through the 2008 Energy Act and other programs. Read more »

USDA Uses Its ‘Noodle’ to Expand Wheat Exports

Imperial Foods’ owner Ahmadou Danpuolo Baba, U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon Robert P. Jackson, President of First Bank Group Dr. Paul K. Fokam, and U.S. Consul  Edward Gallagher observe a production run of U.S. wheat- and soy-based noodles at the opening of Imperial Foods factory in Douala. Photo credit: Imperial Foods

Imperial Foods’ owner Ahmadou Danpuolo Baba, U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon Robert P. Jackson, President of First Bank Group Dr. Paul K. Fokam, and U.S. Consul Edward Gallagher observe a production run of U.S. wheat- and soy-based noodles at the opening of Imperial Foods factory in Douala. Photo credit: Imperial Foods

On my first visit to Cameroon, I had been asked to speak at the formal opening of the Imperial Foods noodle plant—a public-private partnership that helps to illustrate how USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) serves American agriculture in markets around the world. Read more »