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Dam Removal Enhances Massachusetts Wildlife Habitat

Fifteen hardy New Englanders stood in the cold November rain recently to watch the demolition of one of the largest dams ever to be removed in Massachusetts. The crowd was made up of representatives from a diverse group of public and private partners that have been working together toward this day. The removal of the Briggsville Dam in Clarksburg, a small town near the Vermont border, will restore the North Branch of the Hoosic River. Read more »

Dairy Barn Transformation is a Symbol of Its New Role

This 100-year old former Vermont dairy barn will soon be a school for at-risk students.

This 100-year old former Vermont dairy barn will soon be a school for at-risk students.

Construction has begun on Laraway’s new home.  Looking at this hundred-year-old dairy barn jacked up in the air on the occasion of last month’s ground-breaking, it occurred to me that this labor of renovation and rejuvenation foreshadows what happens to the at-risk kids who come to Laraway Youth and Family Services in Johnson, Vermont. Read more »

Se Aproxima la Fecha Límite para Inscripción en el Programa 2009 de Desastre para los Cultivos de Arroz, Algodón, Semillas de Soya y Camote

La Agencia de Servicio Agrícola (“Farm Service Agency” o FSA, por sus siglas en inglés) del USDA le recuerda a los productores que tienen hasta el cierre de negocio del jueves, 9 de diciembre, para solicitar asistencia por pérdidas del año 2009 bajo el Programa de Asistencia para Cultivos (“Crop Assistance Program” o CAP). Hasta un máximo de $550 millones en asistencia por desastre serán emitidos a productores de arroz, algodón, semillas de soya y camote (batata), por pérdidas elegibles debido a un exceso de humedad o condiciones relacionadas en 2009. Read more »

Application Deadline Approaches for 2009 Crop Assistance Funds

A little over a week remains for eligible producers to apply for assistance for 2009 losses under the Crop Assistance Program (CAP). Applications must be submitted by Dec. 9 for producers of rice, upland cotton, soybeans and sweet potatoes to be eligible for up to $550 million in disaster assistance for losses caused by excessive moisture or related conditions in 2009. Read more »

Turning the Page on Discrimination at USDA

Since my first day as Secretary of Agriculture in January 2009, President Obama and I have made resolving USDA’s troubled civil rights record one of our top priorities.  Today we have taken an important step forward in this work as the House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the Claims Settlement Act of 2010 to finally allow USDA to turn the page on past discrimination against black farmers.  The inequities many faced are well-documented and affirmed in the courts; however, the question of compensation has lingered. Read more »

It stands for more than the season

"Crewmembers with the Capitol Architect's Office guide the Capitol Christmas Tree into the five-foot-deep stand that will hold the tree upright throughout December on the west lawn of the Capitol building. The Lighting Ceremony for the tree is slated for Tuesday, December 7." USFS photo by Keith Riggs

"Crewmembers with the Capitol Architect's Office guide the Capitol Christmas Tree into the five-foot-deep stand that will hold the tree upright throughout December on the west lawn of the Capitol building. The Lighting Ceremony for the tree is slated for Tuesday, December 7." USFS photo by Keith Riggs

It stands as a tribute and image of the season, when we as a nation celebrate Christmas. It is the focus of a nation for the lighting ceremony and is the background of news footage, specials and photographs throughout December. It stands in the spotlight for only a few weeks and then the lights fade and it is gone. Read more »