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An End to Toxic Runoff at Abandoned Mine Thanks to Forest Service Recovery Act Funds

Where no clean soil was encountered under the waste pile, removal crew cleaned the site down to within 1/2" of bedrock. USFS photo.

Where no clean soil was encountered under the waste pile, removal crew cleaned the site down to within 1/2" of bedrock. USFS photo.

For over a century, toxic runoff from the Blue Ledge Mine destroyed  aquatic life and fisheries in Joe Creek, a tributary to the world-famous Rogue River in Oregon. Read more »

Food and Nutrition Service Heeds the Blueprint for Cost Savings

In the three months since Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s “Blueprint for Stronger Service,” the Food and Nutrition Service has continued to develop cost-saving and efficient strategies that will save taxpayers money and streamline operations.

The “Blueprint for Stronger Service” was designed to modernize and accelerate service delivery while improving the customer experience through the use of innovative technologies and business solutions. When the plan was announced Jan. 9, it called for USDA to close 259 domestic offices and facilities, as well as consolidating, standardizing or centralizing a number of other products and services. Read more »

Forecasting Supply and Demand for World Agricultural Markets

U. S. food is stored in cargo holds on freighters at Lake Charles, Louisiana waiting to be shipped overseas on May 1972. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.

U. S. food is stored in cargo holds on freighters at Lake Charles, Louisiana waiting to be shipped overseas on May 1972. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.

USDA’s Chief Economist Joseph Glauber and his staff advise the Secretary on economic issues but are also charged with producing official USDA supply and demand projections and forecasts.  The Office of the Chief Economist’s (OCE’s) monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that is  recognized globally as the benchmark report for world agricultural commodity markets.  The WASDE report provides valuable planning and decision-making information to U.S. farmers, commodity traders, the agricultural industry, and USDA policymakers. Read more »

How to Get Summer Food PSAs on Your Local Radio Station

Most kids cannot wait for school to let out in June.  However, for some parents and other caretakers, when school is out for summer, they begin to worry about how they will feed their children a nutritious breakfast or lunch.  USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) fills this summer meal gap for many low-income families by feeding children when school meals aren’t available.  Although USDA funds SFSP, local organizations all over the country make the program work by becoming sponsors that serve nutritious meals and snacks at schools, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, churches, day camps, summer camps, housing projects, and Indian reservations.

To help get the word out that the program is available to school-age children and in need of more sponsors, we’ve created free radio public service announcements (PSAs) that you can air in your community. There are 4  under 30 second PSAs to choose from— 2 that focus on recruiting summer meal sponsors and volunteers and 2 that let families know where they can go to receive summer meals. Read more »

Volunteering Through the Camera’s Lens

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (left) and Ohio Earth Team volunteer Alex Snyder in Zanesville, Oh., in Sept. 2009.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (left) and Ohio Earth Team volunteer Alex Snyder in Zanesville, Oh., in Sept. 2009.

Graduate student Alex Snyder finds inspiration through the lens of his camera. While completing his graduate degree at Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability, Snyder found time to volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through its volunteer program, Earth Team. Read more »

Volunteers Offer Helping Hands on the Bankhead National Forest in Alabama

Wild South Helping Hands volunteers work together to remove fallen trees from the Bankhead National Forest.

Wild South Helping Hands volunteers work together to remove fallen trees from the Bankhead National Forest.

For numerous years, the Bankhead National Forest has worked in partnership with a group of dedicated volunteers known as the Wild South Helping Hands Volunteer Group.

Every year, more than 50 volunteers return to the Bankhead National Forest to help protect and restore the native ecosystem of the southeast. Read more »