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The Recovery Act in Your Community: Protecting Farmland & Houses

The dam is put to work after a rain storm.

The Prop Canyon Dam is put to work after a rain storm.

Prop Canyon Dam was built in 1960 in the village of Bluewater, New Mexico by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Lava Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Bluewater Toltec Irrigation District. The earthen structure was erected to protect crops, residents and infrastructure from serious flooding, and for 50 years it did just that. Read more »

USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan Celebrates Farm Preservation

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan holds a sack of Rhode Island potatoes produced at Ferolbink Farm

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan holds a sack of Rhode Island potatoes produced at Ferolbink Farm

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited Rhode Island last Friday to celebrate the preservation of Ferolbink Farm, one of the State’s most iconic coastal farms. The event highlighted the success of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program, which allows for conservation easements on farmland, ensuring that such farms are preserved for the benefit of present and future generations. Read more »

Scientists Agree: Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

Support local farmers, strengthen rural communities, promote healthy eating, and protect natural resources…these goals of our Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative find a lot of support in the results of a major new scientific study by the National Research Council, Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century.  A group of fifteen experts spent three years reviewing many hundreds of scientific papers and detailed case studies of sixteen farms to understand how U.S. agriculture can “produce more crops, pollute less, fulfill consumer preferences, pay fair wages, and make a living – all with increasingly scarce natural resources such as land and water.” Read more »

Seeing ARRA’s Investment take Hold

Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton is interviewed by Marshall Owler, a journalist from KTCB Fox Channel 7 news in Austin, Texas. Dr. Thornton highlighted the impact of equipment gained through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding at Decker Elementary.

Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton is interviewed by Marshall Owler, a journalist from KTCB Fox Channel 7 news in Austin, Texas. Dr. Thornton highlighted the impact of equipment gained through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funding at Decker Elementary.

I recently traveled to the Texas State capitol of Austin for a speaking engagement in the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) “3E’s of Healthy Living 2010 FND Staff Conference.” Prior to the event I was given the opportunity to tour Decker Elementary, a recipient of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding. I met with with Manor Independent School District (ISD) staff, Principal Leslie Whitworth and TDA Assistant Commissioner Angela Olige, and we toured the school cafeteria to learn how the funding is benefiting students. It was exciting to see their new equipment, as I am quite passionate about school nutrition. Read more »

Mississippi Rural Development Marks a Record Setting Year of Service to Rural Residents

Mississippi Rural Development State Director Trina N. George (center) stands with Congressional staff members who participated in a recent briefing on Rural Development 2010 programs.

Mississippi Rural Development State Director Trina N. George (center) stands with Congressional staff members who participated in a recent briefing on Rural Development 2010 programs.

As the end of a very successful Federal fiscal year approaches, Mississippi Rural Development State Director Trina N. George and her senior staff held a briefing for staff members for offices of Mississippi’s Congressional delegation in the offices of USDA Rural Development in Jackson.  Read more »

Maryland School Improves Quality of School Meals – Thanks to ARRA!

Jerrisa Carter shows Under Secretary Kevin Concannon new equipment purchased with ARRA funds.

Jerrisa Carter shows Under Secretary Kevin Concannon new equipment purchased with ARRA funds.

I recently visited Lansdowne Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland to see new equipment the school purchased with American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant money.  I was delighted to hear Jerrisa Carter, Maryland’s Area Regional Food Service Director, say their new convection oven has improved the quality of their school meals. Read more »