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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan recently visited Viroqua, Wisc. to promote USDA’s new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. While she was there, she took the time to meet with Timothy Bennish, a volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Earth Team volunteer program.
NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to implement voluntary conservation practices that will not only protect the nation’s natural resources, but also maintain or increase the productivity of the land. Read more »