When Dina Brewster’s grandparents bought their place in Ridgefield, Connecticut, in 1936, the town was dominated by small farms. Many of those farms eventually disappeared to development, or were leased or abandoned. But now some are being revitalized—sometimes, as in Brewster’s case, by the grandchildren of the original owners.
Brewster is the first family member to farm the homestead since her grandmother ran it as a sheep farm. After her grandparents stopped farming, the land lay fallow for years and then was leased to another farmer. Brewster took over the farm in 2006 and set about converting it to a certified organic operation. Read more »
One of the things I started to do when I became Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA was to hold town hall meetings with Food Safety and Inspection Service field staff and Administrator Al Almanza. This week I had the pleasure of holding such a meeting with our headquarters staff in Washington.
I began the town hall meeting by asking a question: How many people in this country get sick every year from the food they eat? The answer is 48 million people – 1 in every 6 people. Of those, 128,000 will be hospitalized and 3,000 will die from something as basic as the food they eat. That’s a major public health issue, and the work we do is all about bringing those numbers down. Read more »
In 1995, the Girl Scouts of the USA adopted “Linking Girls to the Land,” a program supported by the U.S. Forest Service and one that echoes the non-profit organization’s nearly decade-long legacy of helping to build girls of courage, confidence and character, and who make the world a better place.
On Saturday, March 12, as they have all week during National Girl Scout Week, the organization will honor founder Juliette Gordon Low, who organized the nation’s first Girl Scout Troop with just 18 girls in Savannah, Ga., 99 years ago. Congress chartered the Girl Scouts of the USA on March 16, 1950. Read more »
First grader at Reavis Elementary School, a Chicago Public School, eats breakfast in the classroom. (School Breakfast Week, March 2009)
More and more of the nation’s children are starting their school day well-nourished and ready to learn with a nutritious breakfast at school. Studies confirm the importance of breakfast in optimizing children’s learning, attendance and classroom behavior. Drawing a conclusion that our mothers knew all along – that breakfast matters! Read more »
General David Petraeus, ISAF Commander, and Haji Habibi, Director General for the Greenery Department, water a newly planted tree during a ceremony in honor of Nowruz at the Bi Bi Mahro Park on Wazir Akbar Khan Hill in Kabul, Afghanistan. (S.K. Vemmer/Department of State)
Kabul, Afghanistan probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the phrase “garden city.” But, surprising as it may be, that was the long-held moniker of a city once famous for advanced irrigation systems and vast orchards. Today, the city is closer to regaining that past image of vitality thanks to a cooperative effort to shore up its natural resources. Read more »
Rodents cause millions of dollars in damages to field crops, stored grain and farm equipment each year. In addition, they are the major carrier for more than 60 diseases that are transmissible to humans, companion animals, and livestock.
In the new book titled, “Agricultural Production,” by Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Felix C. Wager (editor), researchers from the USDA and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) present a review of the latest information on rodent damage management as it relates to worldwide agricultural production. The review can be found here. Read more »