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A Clear Answer to Clean Water

Gary, right, and Sue Price have been implementing conservation practices for more than 35 years they on their "77 Ranch" and they have submitted an application for the new national water quality initiative.

Gary, right, and Sue Price have been implementing conservation practices for more than 35 years they on their "77 Ranch" and they have submitted an application for the new national water quality initiative.

Cross posted from the White House Council on Environmental Quality blog:

How important is water? Well, it’s not a question I have to think too hard about. What I can tell you is that without it, there wouldn’t be any humans or critters roaming the earth. Read more »

The Food Safety Discovery Zone Wraps Up Its Spring 2012 Southeastern Tour

The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone has finished its spring 2012 tour, taking hands-on food safety lessons across the Southeast.  Stopping in the smallest towns and big cities like Dallas, we were able to educate over 175,000 people on preventing foodborne illness. Real food safety experts who work in meat and poultry plants near each town—like veterinarians, investigators, and other FSIS personnel—came out to staff the events. FSIS Administrator Al Almanza even came to the last stop in San Antonio. Here are some of my favorite moments along the way: Read more »

Create Your Own Cookbook with the SNAP-Ed Connection Recipe Finder!

Are you an educator looking for a unique new way to motivate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to eat healthfully and cook more at home?  Or do you just love browsing, collecting, and arranging new recipes? Either way, you’re going to appreciate the latest feature added to SNAP-Ed Connection’s Recipe Finder—the ability to create your own personalized cookbook using our recipes. The process is easy, and the result is a cookbook that meets your needs and inspires healthy eating.

The Recipe Finder includes almost 600 low-cost, healthy recipes to choose from for your cookbook.  Add as many or as few as you’d like. Read more »

The Best Day Ever

Having two small active kids who are happily prone to drinking water and low-fat milk 99% of the time and who also love to eat nutritious foods (not quite like their mom), I was particularly excited to celebrate opening day of the USDA Farmers Market.

Bronson in the People’s Garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC. On the opening day of the USDA Farmers Market on June 1, 2012, kids had the opportunity to participate in  a day filled with hands-on activities to help enhance their commitment to healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Bronson in the People’s Garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington, DC. On the opening day of the USDA Farmers Market on June 1, 2012, kids had the opportunity to participate in a day filled with hands-on activities to help enhance their commitment to healthy eating and 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Read more »

Calling All Champions of Change

Hunger is an issue that touches the lives of people all around us. Whether it’s the single mother struggling to feed her family of four while simultaneously making ends meet or a person living in rural America who has to drive 50 miles to the closest grocery store, hunger affects us all.

That is why I am calling upon all community leaders who have committed themselves to ending this struggle to apply to the “White House Champions of Change:  Alleviating Hunger at Home and Abroad” program.  The purpose of this program is to recognize individuals who are using innovative community-based approaches to reduce hunger and ensure that people have access to enough food both in the United States and internationally. Read more »

NASS Reaches Out to Farmers for its Mid-Year Surveys

The first few weeks of June are always some of the busiest weeks for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Our agency reaches out to more than 100,000 farmers and ranchers across the country as we conduct three major surveys: June Area, Crops/Stocks and Hogs and Pigs Inventory surveys.

Having worked in management positions in NASS’s Georgia and Washington offices, I can honestly say that conducting these surveys is not an easy task. We dedicate the first two weeks of the month to gathering the information and process it in the next two. The data has to be ready to go by the last Friday of June (June 29 this year), when NASS publishes its June Acreage report, setting the first official estimates for the upcoming harvest. Read more »