Migratory species play unique ecological roles because of their intrinsic beauty and significance in culture and identity. Despite this, bats, birds, butterflies and dragonflies face a multitude of threats both in the US and in Latin America and the Caribbean where they migrate during the winter. If these habitats are not protected, the tremendous US domestic investment in conserving these species is wasted.
Receiving the award for “Communities in Conservation” are Luisa Lopez, Counselor at El Valor and Vincent Jordan, participant in El Valor's Adults with Different Abilities Program. They are holding one of the products of this program—a monarch butterfly made for Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.
An award ceremony for conservation of birds, bats and butterflies was recently held in Atlanta. The 2012 Wings Across the Americas event paid special tribute to partnerships that contribute to conservation efforts. Read more »
Does your citrus tree have spotted leaves or fruit with brown raised spots or small lopsided fruit? Good news, USDA released a free Save Our Citrus iPhone app that makes it easy to identify and report the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab.
In just a few steps, the Save Our Citrus app, available in English and Spanish, allows you to report the symptoms, upload a photo and receive an individual response back from citrus experts. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visits the Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium at Kansas State University, in Manhattan, KS, on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. USDA Photo by Jessica Bowser.
Yesterday, I celebrated USDA’s 150th Anniversary with the people of Manhattan, Kansas. For 150 years, USDA has supported the tremendous growth and success of American agriculture, conserved natural resources and built stronger communities and a stronger America. That legacy gives us a lot to be proud of. Read more »
Many of Michigan’s American Indian tribes are returning to traditional foods to improve nutrition and sustain their culture. One of these foods is walleye, a native fish harvested from lakes and rivers.
Now USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is helping the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, raise walleye in order to restock local waterways.
Treaties between the United States government and Michigan Indian tribes give tribal members the right to harvest fish, including in some areas through spearfishing, and to hunt and gather. To ensure that walleye populations are not depleted, tribes stock the fish in lakes and rivers. Read more »
Dr. Nancy Atkins’ devotion to animals is deep-rooted and widespread. She says she knew she wanted to be a veterinarian before she even knew what a veterinarian was, and now she oversees the welfare of poultry and livestock across ten states. Dr. Atkins is a District Veterinary Medical Specialist at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which means she applies her compassion and 40 years of veterinary experience to make sure the animals intended for food in the western United States are handled humanely.
Dr. Atkins admits her job is tough, but she considers her position “the best job in the agency.” She is inspired by Dr. Temple Grandin, a fellow veterinarian and animal welfare advocate whose work continues to influence the way FSIS views animal handling. Dr. Atkins’ philosophy is, “Be vigilant and diligent. Animals are giving up their lives for us and they should be treated with the greatest respect and kindness under these circumstances.” Read more »
As Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, I know that our 15 nutrition assistance programs help a wide variety of people around the country. But there’s nothing like getting out of the office to personally witness the boots on the ground efforts by those who administer and promote our programs on a daily basis. I recently traveled to the FNS Southwest Regional Office in Dallas to meet federal and state personnel and partners and to tour several centers that make up the first line of defense in creating our nation’s safety net against hunger.
One place that I found particularly impressive during my travel was the Dallas Community Baby Café, sponsored by the City of Dallas WIC program. The Women Infants and Children or WIC program provides aid to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding mothers, and their children up to age five who are at nutritional risk. Conveniently co-located next to a WIC clinic that serves over six thousand participants a month, the café is the newest member of a family of 12 centers located around the United States. It provides a relaxed, non-clinical place for pregnant and breastfeeding moms to get advice about lactation from professional and certified consultants free of charge. Read more »