I was honored to host a panel last week at the Department of Agriculture’s Ag Outlook Forum to showcase the impact of USDA broadband programs on so many in rural communities. Our February 25th Rural Development panel, “Building a Stronger Rural Infrastructure: Broadband,” portrayed the ripple effect these investments have.
We heard from Luis Reyes, CEO of Kit Carson Electric Cooperative, which has provided electric power to consumers since WWII. They got into the broadband business because they recognized a need. Like many with a sense of community and knowledge of how broadband affects economic development, they successfully applied for Recovery Act broadband funding from USDA’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency. “This will ultimately change the landscape of New Mexico,” Luis told the audience. “This is an opportunity for us to partner with colleges, health care facilities and the community to expand businesses, hire more employees, build markets and improve healthcare. To think that a small co-op in New Mexico can turn a project into a model program nationwide is exciting.” Read more »
Mr. Rode is pictured here with Thom Wright, a FAS agricultural attaché in India, and one of Mr. Rode’s American-origin Holstein crosses which won a milk production award at the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association show.
Halfway around the world, a farmer in India stands proudly in the winner’s circle with his cow. Mr. S. Sukharpreet Singh Rode, the farmer, is a 2008 graduate of the Cochran Fellowship Program, an educational exchange program administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Read more »
If you’ve ever remodeled an existing home, you can appreciate this problem. Sometimes things just get complicated.
The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank in Alaska needed to grow. The original 9,000 square foot building, constructed in 1997, no longer met the needs of the area, so an expansion was undertaken. That’s when the problems surfaced. A corner of the warehouse which houses USDA commodity food products had sunk, due to an old bury pit that had not been documented. That issue, plus the need for new food cooling equipment, heating system upgrades, and handicap-accessible washrooms, a waiting room, an arctic entry and more warehouse space caused the food bank to turn to USDA Rural Development for a Community Facilities Direct Loan. Read more »
Recently, the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth hosted an event to commemorate the award of grants and loans to Air Advantage LLC through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Broadband Initiative Program and discussed the progress of the project to date. This is one of the largest single awards for USDA Rural Development in Michigan and it has tremendous potential to increase the economy in the Thumb region. Read more »
Use of wind turbines for renewable energy production on farms is on the rise. Photo courtesy of USDA Rural Development.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the U.S. Department of Agriculture blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the agency’s rich science and research portfolio.
Whether visiting Napa or making my way across California’s central valley, I see more and more solar panels and wind turbines on the Golden State’s farms and ranches. And that’s not surprising to me since California has been leading the way towards energy independence and renewable energy production and use. Read more »
Today marks the end of February, and National African American History Month, which has given us an opportunity to reflect on the value of the contributions made to our great nation by African Americans, and in particular, African American farmers and ranchers. To celebrate here in Washington, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted an event on February 22 celebrating the life and work of African Americans who have made great contributions to the farming community, including the famous scientist, botanist, educator and inventor, George Washington Carver. Today, to round out National African American History Month, the Reverend Al Sharpton spoke to employees about “Civil Rights in the Age of Obama.” Read more »