On January 9, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack put forth USDA’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service” which focuses on streamlining operations and cutting costs throughout the Department.
The “Blueprint for Stronger Service” calls for USDA to close 259 domestic offices, facilities and laboratories, as well as taking business-related actions such as consolidating cell phone plans across the Department, standardizing civil rights training and purchase of cybersecurity products, and centralizing activities related to civil rights, human resources, procurement and property management. Read more »
For the seventh year in a row, thinkers and leaders from the U.S. Forest Service will team up with partners across the country to discuss sustainable operations affecting the agency.
The 7th Annual Forest Service Sustainable Operations Summit will take place in Sacramento Feb. 14 – 16. Hosted by the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest region (California, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands) and the agency’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, the summit will be attended virtually by 90 percent of the participants from around the country. Read more »
Partnering with a local Alaskan native community, the U.S. Forest Service has for the first time published a dual language booklet in English and a native Alaskan language, Yup’ik, to help educate the greater community in Southwestern Alaska on invasive species.
Titled “Protecting Southwestern Alaska from Invasive Species – A Guide in the English and Yup’ik languages,” the Forest Service’s Alaska Region and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies aim to explain invasive species concerns unique to Southwestern Alaska, which is home to a large community of the indigenous Yup’ik people. The title of the booklet translated into Yup’ik is, “Kellutellra Alaskam Ungalaqlirnera Eniaritulinun Itrallerkaaneng – Maaryartekaq Kassat Yup’iit-llu Qaneryaraigtun.” Read more »
It was a sunny and warm day in Frisco, Texas, on January 13. You would never know that it was the dead of winter. It was a perfect day to drive from Dallas to the suburbs well north of the city, to attend the GRITS Regional Summit on Childhood Obesity. Yes, that’s GRITS. No, not the go-to southern breakfast food, but Girls Raised In The South, hosted by Sisterbration, a nonprofit dedicated to prevention education for women and girls living in the South.
Sisterbration partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women’s Health and the Dallas Area Coalition to Prevent Childhood Obesity for an excellent day of awareness and education against childhood obesity. Shannon Jones, our section chief of policy for Southwest Region Special Nutrition Programs, gave a presentation on food insecurity, and detailed some of USDA’s programs that create a safety net against hunger. Read more »
President Abraham Lincoln creator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
On February 12, President Lincoln’s birthday, let’s take a moment to appreciate the many impressive accomplishments that our Nation’s 16th President achieved during his four years in office. Many of those accomplishments have a direct tie-in to the success of American agriculture. Lincoln’s birthday is especially important to us because 2012 is the 150th anniversary of USDA. Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing the department in 1862. Read more »
Earlier this month, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced almost 300 Value Added Producer Grant recipients across the Nation. Each one of those recipients has a story, and a dream that, with help from USDA, will become reality. From producing pumpkin puree and gourmet cheese to expanding a caviar production operation in Idaho (Yes, Idaho), Rural Americans are using these matching grants to grow their businesses and bring high quality products to market.
Using funding provided through the USDA Value Added Producer Grant program, an Idaho producer will expand sales of gourmet caviar. Photo by Ashley Smith, Times-News staff photographer, used with permission.
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