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Together We Can: Webinar Series for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Please join us for our next webinar entitled, “Together We Can Feed Kids During the Summer.”

Please join us for our next webinar entitled, “Together We Can Feed Kids During the Summer.”

Last week, USDA’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships led a webinar to share with local faith and community leaders opportunities to partner with USDA to help those in need in their communities.  This webinar was the first in a series entitled, Together We Can.  The series aims to equip organizations with introductory knowledge, best practices, and contact information to help community-based organizations understand and access USDA programs. Read more »

Help Wanted: Grant Reviewers for Farmers Market Promotion Program

Must have a desire to help farmers reach new markets and to help businesses bring healthier options to local communitiesExperience & qualifications should include some knowledge of local and direct marketing methods.  Must be willing to devote 50-60 hours during the month of July to help score project proposals.  See below for more detail.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program is a competitive grant process designed to help expand opportunities for farmers and bring healthy foods into more communities.  The grants are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), and aim to help farmers throughout the country.  About $10 million is available this year to support direct-marketing projects like farmers markets, community supported agriculture, roadside stands and agritourism. Read more »

The Slippery Slope of Ramps

During April and May ramps are often served in restaurants in the eastern U.S.

During April and May ramps are often served in restaurants in the eastern U.S.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

To many of locals in western North Carolina, they’re called wild leeks.  Some call them ransoms and still others call them wood garlic because of their pungent smell. Nevertheless, ecologists simply call them ramps. This native plant has been useful to humans since inhabiting the eastern regions of the U.S. and Canada.  Still today, locals harvest ramps for food, medicinal preparations, and to sell at markets and spring festivals. Read more »

Construction Begins on a Rural Kansas Fire Station with Financing from USDA and an Electric Cooperative

The City of Quinter, Kansas, had a groundbreaking ceremony for a new fire station earlier this month.  All of the city’s fire equipment will soon be under one roof, which will help improve the fire station’s efficiencies when crews respond to emergencies in its 400 square mile service area.  The new station is being built with funding support from USDA and a local electric cooperative.

Earlier this month, the City of Quinter, Kansas, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new fire station with city employees, members of the volunteer fire department, USDA Rural Development staff, and representatives from Midwest Energy and Quinter Manufacturing & Construction (QMC). This photo was taken by a USDA employee.

Earlier this month, the City of Quinter, Kansas, celebrated the groundbreaking of a new fire station with city employees, members of the volunteer fire department, USDA Rural Development staff, and representatives from Midwest Energy and Quinter Manufacturing & Construction (QMC). This photo was taken by a USDA employee.

According to City of Quinter Administrator, Ericka Gillespie, the city of less than 1,000 needed a new fire station because the old facility was not meeting the needs of the community.  A larger space was needed for training, storage, and additional fire protection equipment and trucks.  The larger fire station will also improve the department’s fire rating, resulting in lower insurance costs. Read more »

Nebraska Commemorates the 150th Anniversary of USDA

President Abraham Lincoln’s Legacies of USDA, the Morrill Act and the Homestead Act were commemorated on May 20 at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska.  More than 225 people attended a special panel presentation in the Education Center, moderated by Dr. Kenneth Winkle, Lincoln Scholar and Professor of History at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, who introduced the work of President Lincoln.

Panelists were, for USDA:  U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, former Secretary of Agriculture; the Morrill Act:  Dr. John Owens, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Nebraska Lincoln; and the Homestead Act:  Mark Engler, Superintendent, Homestead National Monument of America.   A dialogue with the audience took place after the presentations. Read more »

Spot the Purple Trap for EAB Awareness Week May 20-26

Look for purple traps like this one during EAB Awareness Week.

Look for purple traps like this one during EAB Awareness Week.

This is Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week.  Before the Memorial Day holiday and summer travel season begin, we take this time to remind everyone to be careful not to spread the EAB unintentionally.

EAB is one of many “Hungry Pests” that can cause significant damage to our country’s natural resources.  Since first being identified in 2002, EAB is responsible for the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees in 15 states in the Midwest and Northeast. Read more »