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Baby Steps in Conservation

Meredith Koch is a 16 year old 4-H member from Marshall County, MS.

Meredith Koch is a 16 year old 4-H member from Marshall County, MS.

From the waters that run deep through the earth to the moisture that composes clouds in the sky, water hydrates all life forms on earth. Water also affects global weather that makes earth hospitable for living creatures and plants. This resource is all around us yet we rarely understand the need to conserve and protect our water. Read more »

“Spuds Unearthed!” Exhibit Digs Up History of the Potato

Jean Ristaino of North Carolina State University used USDA funds to sequence late blight disease, pictured, responsible for the Irish potato famine. Her research is leading to new ways to combat the disease.

Jean Ristaino of North Carolina State University used USDA funds to sequence late blight disease, pictured, responsible for the Irish potato famine. Her research is leading to new ways to combat the disease.

The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop and is the largest vegetable crop in the United States. The crop originated in the Andes Mountains in South America, and in the ensuing 7,000 years, has spread across the globe. Potatoes have played an important role in saving populations of people around the world from starvation. However, the potato has had a tumultuous history, suffering from late blight disease, which caused the Irish potato famine and a severe outbreak in 2009 in the United States. Read more »

Rural Development Employees “Pour Sweat Equity” Into Home Building

Volunteers secure the north end wall of the house after it is lifted into place.

Volunteers secure the north end wall of the house after it is lifted into place.

A nice break in the recent rainy weather in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia offered perfect timing for a Self-Help Build day.  The event which was held September 29, 2010, has become an annual occurrence during which volunteers gather to help families build their homes. Read more »

2010 Robert Bateman Get to Know Contest Launches on October 1

Renowned wildlife artists Robert Bateman and Wyland, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, invite American youth to “get to know” their wild neighbors of other species. The Get to Know contest encourages young people to develop a deeper appreciation of biodiversity through art, writing, photography and video. Entries based on a first-hand experience with nature can be submitted at www.gettoknow.ca from October 1 to November 30, 2010. Read more »

The Eldridge Family: A Tennessee Family Living the Ag Life and Loving It

Pictured is (back l to r) Tony Eldridge, Winston Lewis, Ron Eldridge; (middle l to r) Hoover Eldridge, Denese Eldridge, Courtney Lewis and Kaelin Wilkins.

Pictured is (back l to r) Tony Eldridge, Winston Lewis, Ron Eldridge; (middle l to r) Hoover Eldridge, Denese Eldridge, Courtney Lewis and Kaelin Wilkins.

Farming for the Eldridge family began in the late 1800’s when Hoover Eldridge’s grandfather settled in the eastern portion of Stewart County, Tenn. Through the years the farming operation has consisted of producing crops such as corn, soybeans and tobacco, as well as a variety of livestock such as goats, chickens, pigs and beef cattle. Read more »

The Recovery Act in Your Community: Conservation for the Next Generation

Recovery Act funds helped install riparian fencing on Elizabeth Cunningham’s ranch.

Recovery Act funds helped install riparian fencing on Elizabeth Cunningham’s ranch.

Three family farms in California’s Stemple Creek Watershed recently received much-needed conservation assistance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). Read more »