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Conservation Partnership Helps Family Farm Thrive

After partnering with government at the municipal, state and federal levels, Bushy Hill Orchard is thriving.

Allen and Becky Clark have been farming for 17 years. When they started their small business, they grew flowers, pumpkins and corn stalks. Four years ago, they began raising goats for milk and cheese and eventually started making soap as well. The Clarks had long wanted to expand their farm but couldn’t afford the high cost of land. But thanks in part to the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), they recently realized their dream.  Read more »

USDA Partnering for Wild Rice Restoration in Wisconsin

Seeding a lake with wild rice (photo provided by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission)

Seeding a lake with wild rice (photo provided by the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission)

When summertime begins to transition to autumn in northern Wisconsin, towards the end of August and early September, Native Americans wait with anticipation for the Wild Rice Moon, the sign it is harvest time for the grain of such cultural importance to local tribes. Read more »

USDA, Co-ops Play Role in Helping Rural Residents Cut Electricity Costs

Earlier this month, Vice President Joe Biden announced a “Recovery Through Retrofit” initiative aimed at boosting energy efficiency in homes across the country. As part of the effort, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has developed Home Energy Score software that will standardize home energy audits, providing homeowners with a score, a list of possible upgrades, and a breakdown of the costs and benefits of recommended upgrades. Read more »

Recovery Act Funding Provides New Emergency Services Facility for a Flood-Damaged Iowa Community

Groundbreaking - A new emergency services building in Elkader, Iowa will improve public safety for thousands of residents in northeast Iowa.

Groundbreaking - A new emergency services building in Elkader, Iowa will improve public safety for thousands of residents in northeast Iowa.

Local fire departments and emergency service personnel play a critical role in ensuring community safety.  Every community, no matter how small, should have access to top-quality emergency services. Read more »

Progress Report on the Town of Newburg, West Virginia’s USDA Recovery Act Water System Construction Project

This is the latest in a series of blogs from West Virginia Student Reporter Abbey Hart on behalf of Bobby Lewis, State Director

On November 16, 2010, a Construction Progress Meeting was held at the Newburg Town Hall. Although progress has been slower this past month, 76 percent of the project is finished. With the exception of 3200 feet of waterline, all of Route 26 is complete. Also, approximately 50 percent of the new waterline has been pressure tested. Read more »

Share Our Strength Kicks Off No Kid Hungry in New Orleans

Students from Success Preparatory Academy lead the pledge of allegiance at the kick-off of the No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans on November 12.

Students from Success Preparatory Academy lead the pledge of allegiance at the kick-off of the No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans on November 12.

I had the honor of participating in the kick-off of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign in New Orleans, Louisiana, on November 12.  I say it was an honor because of the importance of the project and the dedication and sincerity of the partners who have come together to make it happen. Read more »