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New ERS Report Discusses Climate Change Policy and the Ways Livestock Producers and Dairy Operators can Benefit from Anaerobic Digesters

As American Agriculture moves into a new century, producers are working to reduce greenhouse gases and nutrient runoff from their operations.  It is even better if, while doing so, they also develop a new revenue stream.  Anaerobic digesters deliver on that objective and also contribute to Obama Administration’s commitment to promote renewable energy and green technology. Deploying anaerobic digesters is not only good for the environment, and for the Nation’s energy outlook, it signifies renewed efforts to invest in America, part of the President’s strategy to “Win the future.” Read more »

USDA Fresh Fruit and Veggie Program Earns Rave Reviews from Dayton Students

First graders at E. J. Brown Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, eat cauliflower with lowfat ranch dip, as part of their school’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. According to school nurse Virginia Noe, the students “gobbled up” the cauliflower, with and without the dip.

First graders at E. J. Brown Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, eat cauliflower with lowfat ranch dip, as part of their school’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. According to school nurse Virginia Noe, the students “gobbled up” the cauliflower, with and without the dip.

Recently, an interesting letter came across my desk. The letter was from an Ohio school nurse who wanted USDA to know that students at E. J. Brown Elementary School in Dayton, Ohio, LOVE their USDA-funded Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), now in its second year.  And that makes E.J. Brown’s school nurse Virginia Noe, who wrote the letter, a huge fan of the program and its many positive effects on student eating behavior, health and learning.  Noe shared her thoughts in the enthusiastic and heartfelt letter. Read more »

How Much Do Fruits and Vegetables Cost?

Last week, USDA unveiled the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and among the key recommendations was to increase the intake and variety of fruits and vegetables.

Last week, USDA unveiled the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and among the key recommendations was to increase the intake and variety of fruits and vegetables. (photo credit Shutterstock)

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

It’s an all-too-familiar truism: Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables. Last week, USDA unveiled the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and among the key recommendations was to increase the intake and variety of fruits and vegetables.  A practical tip in the new Guidelines is to fill half of each plate of food with fruits and/or vegetables. Read more »

Designing, Creating, and Teaching in Schoolyard Gardens

One way to help reconnect today’s children to the outdoors is through gardening. Schoolyard gardens are places where students not only learn about wildlife species and ecosystems, but also become outdoor classrooms where they hone their academic skills and nurture their innate curiosity and creativity.

Register for the web seminar for teachers from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 8. Presentations will demonstrate how gardens can be started, maintained, and incorporated into instructional activities. Read more »

Recipe for Recovery of Rural Communities

Rural communities will play a critical role in the nation’s economic recovery, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in Omaha, Nebraska on January 28, 2011. Vilsack pointed out that producers learned well about the dangers of debt during the 1980s’ farm crisis and took heed, which has placed them and their communities in a better position during the recent downward trend in the economy.

Innovation has been key to producers as they find new ways to boost production. Ethanol and bio-fuels are an important factor for continued growth and the strong exports of U.S. crops are supporting jobs in rural America, Secretary Vilsack said.  He also commented that it is probable that the most successful part of our economy today is agriculture. Read more »

Draw Up a Winning Game Plan with Nutritious Foods and Physical Activity

What do dairy farmers, NFL stars, and the Secretary of Agriculture have in common? They all braved the winter weather and traveled to the site of Super Bowl XLV to support the Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60) program. FUTP60 conducted a kids’ football clinic at the NFL Experience, an interactive theme park at the Dallas Convention Center. The clinic, aimed at kids,  focused on the fundamentals to improve nutrition and physical activity in their schools and personal lives. Read more »