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FSIS & APHIS Kick Off World Veterinary Year at the Opening Ceremony for Vet 2011

On Friday, members from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), as well as members of veterinarian organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), joined at the Jefferson Auditorium in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the first veterinary school in Lyon, France, in 1761.  FSIS is the largest employer of veterinarians worldwide and with APHIS at number two, it only made sense that USDA  acknowledge these individuals in a meaningful way. FSIS and APHIS held an opening ceremony and I was fortunate enough to deliver remarks on behalf of FSIS alongside Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Ron DeHaven, Executive Vice President, AVMA, and Dr. John Clifford, Chief Veterinary Officer, APHIS. This morning’s presentations may be found here. Read more »

Groundhog Job Shadow Day

Front Row:  Heath Price and  Richard Carrig, Rural Development; John Gillette, Corey John,  Lacy Hindry and Chris Henning, Centennial Job Corp Center, Lori Church, Wilder Fire District Middle Row:  De Enrico, Craig Lane, and Doug Amick Top:  Frank Kinkler

Front Row: Heath Price and Richard Carrig, Rural Development; John Gillette, Corey John, Lacy Hindry and Chris Henning, Centennial Job Corp Center, Lori Church, Wilder Fire District Middle Row: De Enrico, Craig Lane, and Doug Amick Top: Frank Kinkler

I’m at the new Fire Station in Wilder, Idaho, where Engine 821 can now be stored indoors, protected from the elements, thanks to the community approving the financing of the station through USDA Rural Development’s Community Facility Loan and Grant Program, with funding provided to Rural Development in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) of 2009. Read more »

Training the Next Generation of Top Chefs

Last fall I was honored to participate in the Job Corp’s Top Chef Competition held on at the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  I must say it was one of the most delicious assignments I’ve ever had!  The competition, inspired by Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, was a huge success.  Over 20 Food Service managers from Job Corps centers across the country competed in teams to showcase their culinary talents while applying healthy eating principles to their competition entries.

The Job Corps program is a residential education and training program that serves over 60,000 youth annually between the ages of 16 and 24.  Across 124 Job Corps centers, Food Service staff serves three square meals every day to our students.  Thus, it is critical to ensure our meals meet nutrition and health guidelines and requirements.  More importantly, we understand our role in promoting healthy lifestyle practices to our students, who will then apply what they learned in their independent lives after Job Corps. Read more »

Woodsy Owl Helps Kickoff Local School Recycling Program

Woodsy Owl and Forest Service staff members visited Braddock Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia on Friday, Jan. 14 to kickoff the school-wide Recycling Program.  Forest Service employees were part of a K-2nd grade assembly that focused on educating students about the four R’s—reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.

Tamberly Conway, Conservation Education Coordinator, along with Maritza Huerta from Sustainable Operations, gave a Spanish and English bilingual presentation to kids about how recycling benefits the environment. The students were also offered a hands-on opportunity to practice making compost, an essential part of the “rot” portion of the four R’s. Read more »

Winning the Future: Fuel Up to Fight Obesity

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Today I had the honor of joining some of our nation’s principal thought-leaders at the site of Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines an unprecedented private-public partnership committed to child health and wellness.  The co-signers included myself, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NDC CEO Thomas Gallagher and Gen YOUth Foundation CEO Alexis Glick.  During the event, I unveiled a new television public service announcement (PSA) featuring a local favorite, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, that encourages youth to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  The PSA was developed by the Ad Council in collaboration with Let’s Move!, USDA, NFL, NFL Player Association, and National Dairy Council, and will be distributed to stations nationwide this week. Read more »

USDA and Senator Brown Team Up to Fight Summer Hunger in Ohio

I never tire of meeting the organizations and individuals across our great country that help feed hungry children. In late January, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown teamed up with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks to hold a summit on preventing child hunger in the summer.

The depths of winter might seem a strange time to discuss summer feeding programs, but good planning is essential to ensure that kids don’t experience hunger in the summer. So January was the perfect time for such meeting! Read more »