Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin W. Concannon (right) tries a few words of Spanish with Marlon DeBose (green shirt), and other students in this 2nd grade Spanish class seated at this table, in the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. The school is the first Washington, D.C. school to achieve the Gold Award of Distinction from the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). They will now hold the certification and distinction for four years. The goal of the HUSSC is to improve the health of the Nation’s children by promoting healthier school environments. (U.S. Department of Agriculture photo by Lance Cheung)
I had the pleasure of celebrating the top notch achievement of the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School as USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon and District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley presented this great school with a HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award of Distinction. The award represents the highest honor a school can achieve in the Challenge and they couldn’t have done it without the committed leadership and staff at this special school. This school is truly a role model and the award puts them on the map as the first school in the nation’s capital to earn the Gold Award of Distinction. E.W. Stokes is a diverse pre-school and elementary school providing instruction in two languages. Their unwavering commitment to sharing the benefits of physical activity and making good food choices is evident in everything they do! Read more »
In a past visit to the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, USDA Rural Development State Director, Elsie, M. Meeks, viewed the boxes and boxes of toys to be delivered on Christmas Eve. Each year CRYP collects “Dear Santa” letters from over a 1,000 children on the Cheyenne River reservation, solicits funds and in-kind donations from organizations and individuals around the world, matches the Santa lists with just the right gifts and delivers the beautifully wrapped packages to eager children — and their grateful families. Read more »
The massive snow storm that covered half of the United States, producing two feet of snow in some parts of the Midwest and bringing a wintery mix of ice and snow in the Northeastern parts of the nation, could also cause serious harm to livestock.
With some pasture and forage areas destroyed with the remnants of what has been labeled “Snowmageddon,” many producers also are losing their animals to cold and hypothermia, and are seeking ways to help recuperate their losses. Read more »
Riverside kids enjoy a free summer BBQ
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Nutrition Services Director, Rodney Taylor, knows the face of hunger in his community. On a daily basis, Rodney’s team serve lunch to about 34,000 RUSD kids, 61 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced price meals. While the RUSD staff offer these students a fresh, healthy, nutritious meal during the school year, where do students eat during the summer? In previous years, many students ate lunch at summer school. However, steep budget cuts in 2008 and 2009 forced many school districts, including RUSD, to drastically reduce their summer school sites to only three schools, leaving about 25,000 kids without a place to eat. Without the summer school program, where would those kids eat? That is where the RUSD’s summer barbeques come in. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack announced there will be a CRP sign-up beginning March 14, with a goal of enrolling 4 million acres.
It’s not every day that a civil servant gets to feel like a rock star.
But at the 2011 National Pheasant Fest in Omaha, Nebraska this past weekend, employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) were a bit like celebrities to thousands of hunters and land managers who love pheasants. Pheasant Fest is a trade show that focuses on wildlife conservation, upland game bird hunting and wildlife habitat management and restoration. Read more »
Recently I had the honor to participate in the 2011 American Sheep Industry Conference.
It made me feel proud to participate as a representative of USDA, as a public servant; talking, listening and learning from sheep and goat producers as well as other stakeholders in the food, livestock and agricultural sectors. Read more »