June is Dairy Month. In agricultural circles, the term “Value-Added” often implies a business venture through which an agricultural producer, or group of producers, further process a commodity in the value-chain that leads to the ultimate consumer. But sometimes, the value-added of a value-added venture moves well beyond further processing of a commodity. Read more »
It’s officially summer and the USDA Farmers Market is back in full swing. An increasingly popular destination for Washington, D.C., residents and visitors of the National Mall, the market regularly attracts hundreds of customers each Friday during the summer and early fall. Come see some of your favorite vendors and USDA staff during the 2012 outdoor season. Read more »
USDA Deputy Under Secretary Hosts Rural Business Leaders at a White House Rural Council Regional Innovation EventPosted by
One of the best things about working for USDA as a deputy under secretary for Rural Development is the ability to meet with so many brilliant business leaders from around the country. Last week, at the White House, I met with dozens of folks to discuss economic development and community renewal efforts.
We talked about Regional Innovation, one of several topics the Obama Administration is emphasizing to revitalize rural areas. Improving access to capital, building out broadband, developing renewable energy and establishing regional food systems will increase productivity and economic growth in rural America. Read more »
I am a scientific illustrator on staff with the Systematic Entomology Lab, in the Plant Sciences Institute, ARS, located in the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Secretary Vilsack, who was interested in several of my paintings of newly described species of insects that I entered in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 2012 Employee Art Exhibit. As I answered his questions, it occurred to me that people may not associate USDA with artistry or illustration and that my job as “Scientific Illustrator” may in fact seem unusual to many. Read more »
On June 19, 2012, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien led the Department’s third monthly Virtual Office Hours on USDA’s role in economic development in our nation’s rural communities, including the great strides that have been made in agricultural economy and the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities, and contributing to the economy. Read more »