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Electric Co-op Promotes Home Energy Efficiency With “The Wall”

(Left to right)  Bob Dickey Discussing features of the Wall With North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan. Also shown: Aaron Ridenour at a North Dakota Energy Expo.

(Left to right) Bob Dickey Discussing features of the Wall With North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan. Also shown: Aaron Ridenour at a North Dakota Energy Expo.

Born in the first half of the 20th century, rural electric cooperatives drove the monumental effort to bring electricity to remote areas of the country where investor-owned utilities could not make a profit.  Owned by their members and not-for-profit organizations, rural electric cooperatives have been providing safe, reliable and affordable electric power for 75 years. Read more »

Unique Partnership between Second Harvest Heartland & Vikings Helps Feed Hungry Kids

Vikings players mingled with fans—including plenty of children--during the NFL team’s annual Taste of the NFL event.

Vikings players mingled with fans—including plenty of children--during the NFL team’s annual Taste of the NFL event.

On October 4, fellow USDA Food and Nutrition Service staffer Julie Mikkelson and I attended the Minnesota Vikings annual Taste of the NFL bash at Minneapolis’ Mall of America. This enormously popular charity event funds feeding efforts operated by Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization. Read more »

USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone Visits the Health and Human Services FreshFarm Market

The Food Safety Discovery Zone’s hardworking staff of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers take a break to pose with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin outside of the exhibit.The Food Safety Discovery Zone’s hardworking staff of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers take a break to pose with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin outside of the exhibit.

The Food Safety Discovery Zone’s hardworking staff of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers take a break to pose with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin outside of the exhibit.

The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone, in cooperation with FedStrive, made its latest stop at the Health and Human Services’ FreshFarm Market on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 307 market-goers were provided with information on how to prevent foodborne illnesses using the Be Food Safe campaign’s four easy steps: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. Read more »

Climate Change Challenges Water Resources on National Forests

Most people do not realize that more than half the water in the United States comes from watersheds managed on forests. Used in homes, on ranches, in industry and for energy production, water resources in forests provide important services to people, as well as habitat for a wide variety of aquatic life. Our rapidly changing climate, however, is challenging our watersheds with both wet and dry extremes – more severe droughts, more frequent and larger floods, more soil moisture stress and lower stream flows during the dry season, less of a snowpack reservoir, and other effects. In a unique pilot project, 11 national forests around the country are assessing the vulnerability of their water resources and watersheds to such changes. Read more »

Football Players Encourage Students to Fuel Up to Play 60

Houston Texans middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans spoke to students at the pep rally to kick off Fuel Up to Play 60 at Pershing Middle School in Houston, Texas.

Houston Texans middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans spoke to students at the pep rally to kick off Fuel Up to Play 60 at Pershing Middle School in Houston, Texas.

“Fuel, fuel;  Up, Up” and “Let’s Play 60!” were the cheers of the day at Dealey Montessori Vanguard and International Academy in Dallas on September 21.  School cheerleaders and Rowdy, the Dallas Cowboys mascot, led the school-wide pep rally to kick off the school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 program. Read more »

NIFA Honors Outstanding Grantees with Partnership Awards

Betsy Greene (L) and Kathy Anderson (R) were honored with one of four Partnership Awards from NIFA for their outstanding work on the eXtension HorseQuest Leadership Team.

Betsy Greene (L) and Kathy Anderson (R) were honored with one of four Partnership Awards from NIFA for their outstanding work on the eXtension HorseQuest Leadership Team.

Every time we close out a fiscal year and report on the outcomes our grants have supported, I am always astounded by the vast scope of work accomplished by the thousands of grantees who have received awards from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). During our annual awards ceremony this week, we took time out to honor the outstanding work of the best of the best — four grantees received NIFA Partnership Awards for their exemplary work and contribution in support of the USDA mission and for their positive impacts on agriculture. Read more »