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NIFA Honors Outstanding Grantees with Partnership Awards

Betsy Greene (L) and Kathy Anderson (R) were honored with one of four Partnership Awards from NIFA for their outstanding work on the eXtension HorseQuest Leadership Team.

Betsy Greene (L) and Kathy Anderson (R) were honored with one of four Partnership Awards from NIFA for their outstanding work on the eXtension HorseQuest Leadership Team.

Every time we close out a fiscal year and report on the outcomes our grants have supported, I am always astounded by the vast scope of work accomplished by the thousands of grantees who have received awards from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). During our annual awards ceremony this week, we took time out to honor the outstanding work of the best of the best — four grantees received NIFA Partnership Awards for their exemplary work and contribution in support of the USDA mission and for their positive impacts on agriculture. Read more »

USDA Co-Sponsors Forum on Accelerating Progress Toward Sustainability

Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, addresses the symposium on sustainability.

Ann Bartuska, Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, addresses the symposium on sustainability.

USDA science agencies recently joined the National Research Council, Farm Foundation, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, and Organic Farming Research Foundation in a symposium to discuss implementing the recommendations of the National Research Council report, “Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century.” Read more »

Oregon’s Coquille Indian Tribe Hosts USDA Consultation at Traditional Native American Plankhouse

A Plankhouse on the southern Oregon coast was the site of a tribal consultation meeting last week with USDA officials.

A Plankhouse on the southern Oregon coast was the site of a tribal consultation meeting last week with USDA officials.

A new, yet traditional cedar Plankhouse on the southern Oregon coast provided a culturally appropriate setting for American Indian Tribal leaders to gather with USDA Rural Development last week. At the meeting, Tribes from across the state provided feedback to help improve the delivery of USDA Electric, Telecommunications, Broadband, and Water and Environmental Programs in Indian Country. Read more »

4-H Makes Good Scientific Sense

Acaimie Catron is a 16 year old 4-H member from Tippecanoe County, IN.  She is interested in pursuing a career in food sciences or business management.

Acaimie Catron is a 16 year old 4-H member from Tippecanoe County, IN. She is interested in pursuing a career in food sciences or business management.

This post is part of a special series written by students celebrating 4-H’s commitment to science.

What is 4-H? Does 4-H offer youth any opportunities to learn about science? As a very involved eight-year 4-H member, I believe I hold the key to unlocking the answers to these questions. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Finances a Southwest Ohio Health Clinic Expansion With Recovery Act Support

(From left) Dr. Gene Wright, HPWO board chairperson and his wife Jeanne; Randy Runyon, Ohio Association of Community Health Centers President/CEO; Tony Logan, Ohio Rural Development State Director; Patricia Morones, Golden Acres Ministrant Center; Phillip Morones, Golden Acres Ministrant Center; Richard Zsambok, Mayor New Carlisle City Council; Janis Sunderhaus, HPWO CEO; and (Cutting ribbon) Lorena Royer, New Carlisle Center Director; gather during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the newly renovated health care clinic serving Clark and surrounding counties.

(From left) Dr. Gene Wright, HPWO board chairperson and his wife Jeanne; Randy Runyon, Ohio Association of Community Health Centers President/CEO; Tony Logan, Ohio Rural Development State Director; Patricia Morones, Golden Acres Ministrant Center; Phillip Morones, Golden Acres Ministrant Center; Richard Zsambok, Mayor New Carlisle City Council; Janis Sunderhaus, HPWO CEO; and (Cutting ribbon) Lorena Royer, New Carlisle Center Director; gather during a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the newly renovated health care clinic serving Clark and surrounding counties.

Helping to bring quality health care to Ohio’s rural residents requires more than a passing interest; it demands a commitment that enables an organization to navigate the challenges that come with such a vision. Ohio Rural Development State Director Tony Logan joined the leadership of Health Partners of Western Ohio (HPWO) at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open their larger, newly renovated health clinic. Read more »

Merrigan Meets Main Street in Momence, Illinois

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan stopped at Yannis Restaurant on her tour of businesses that benefitted from a revolving loan program funded by a USDA grant to renovate their historic buildings. From left, Main Street Momence board member Fran LeBeau, USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan, Merrigan, Main Street Momence Executive Director Janine Loftus, and building owner John Valaveris.

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan stopped at Yannis Restaurant on her tour of businesses that benefitted from a revolving loan program funded by a USDA grant to renovate their historic buildings. From left, Main Street Momence board member Fran LeBeau, USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan, Merrigan, Main Street Momence Executive Director Janine Loftus, and building owner John Valaveris.

This week, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan toured the Main Street of Momence, Il, to view the positive growth made possible by USDA’s investments in rural revitalization. The community was decorated with corn stalks and fall mums to welcome Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan to this town of 3,200 people, located 50 miles south of Chicago.  Merrigan and Momence residents enthusiastically toured several businesses that received financing thanks to a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), administered by the USDA Rural Development agency.  Last year USDA provided a $99,000 grant to “Main Street Momence,” a preservation and volunteer based economic development program, to help them establish a revolving, low-interest loan fund.  The program is designed to help small businesses locate or remain in Momence’s historic downtown area. Thirteen months later, four businesses have taken advantage of the increased access to credit by taking out loans. As a result, these businesses have created 27 new full time jobs and saved another 21 in this past year alone. Read more »