Every year, the Christmas tree that graces the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol originates from one of our country’s National Forests. It may not be widely known that the USDA’s Forest Service is instrumental in facilitating the Capitol Christmas Tree’s transport from the forest to the Washington, DC, yet it’s a proud tradition that has steadily gained attention each year with the growing popularity of social media tools. The 2011 annual trek is our number 6 favorite social media moment. Read more »
Some people may not guess that Lindsay Campbell works for the U.S. Forest Service. After all, she does not work on a national forest. Rather, she loves her job in New York City and frequently travels the globe as a member of the U.S. National Team for fencing. Read more »
USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 23-24, will present 25 breakout sessions, including “Preventing Disease From Crossing the Border: SPS Initiatives for Global Food Security” and “Fighting Foodborne Illness.” While the first session will focus on the contribution of animal health to global food security, I’ll be moderating the second session that looks at Salmonella and the most recent progress made in fighting its threat to public health.
Since a coordinated response to outbreaks is a vital component of protecting American animal agriculture, the “Preventing Disease From Crossing the Border” session includes cooperative perspectives. Dr. Jose Diez, Associate Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Veterinary Services Emergency Management and Diagnostics Service will address “Global Emergency Response.” Dr. Mo Salman, Colorado State University, will discuss “Enhancing International Capacity to Meet SPS Standards;” and Former Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Agriculture, Jason Hafemeister, addresses “SPS Issues and Free Trade Agreements.” Read more »
During the holiday season, food banks across America experience a spike in demand and this year is no different. Today that seasonal demand is also bolstered by a significant rise in client numbers because of the current U.S. economy.
One of those food distributors seeing an uptick in demand is the Capital Area Food Bank, a food hub with more than 700 partners that distribute commodities to locations in the District of Columbia, northern Virginia and parts of Maryland. Read more »
“Heaven on Earth” – it’s the popular sentiment of residents living in Southeast Alaska. If you’ve ever taken an Alaskan cruise no doubt it was through the Southeast Panhandle where miles of wild beauty delights the eye.
It’s no wonder Southeast Alaska is a premier destination for U.S. and international travelers. With that in mind, it may come as a surprise this singularly picturesque region has endured an economic hardship that continues to loom over its residents. Since the downturn of the once thriving timber industry the majority of rural communities in Southeast have experienced a downturn in their local economy along with declining populations, fewer job opportunities and increasing energy costs. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
With the holiday season in full swing, many of us are thinking about the meals we’ll soon be sharing with family and friends. Whether it’s turkey and egg nog, or latkes, or a New Year’s buffet, food is always a central and cherished part of the festivities. Of course, we all know that a necessary ingredient for any meal is food safety.
When the President came into office, he said that “protecting the safety of our food and drugs is one of the most fundamental responsibilities government has.” He pledged to strengthen our food safety laws and to enhance the government’s food safety performance. Read more »