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A New Beginning: Groundbreaking For A New Swan’s Island Library in Maine-Funded through USDA and the Recovery Act

Little groundbreakers Meri Rainford and Morgan Matthews.

Little groundbreakers Meri Rainford and Morgan Matthews.

It isn’t every day you celebrate a groundbreaking on an island 6 miles off the Maine coast- but that is just what I did last week along with United States Senator Susan Collins and other officials in order to mark the beginning of construction on the new Swan’s Island Library. Read more »

Missouri FSA Prepares College Student for Future in Cattle Business

Tyler Brune’s work ethic not only allowed him to help his father maintain cattle, but also allowed him to build his own herd while studying full-time at Southeast Missouri State University.

Tyler Brune’s work ethic not only allowed him to help his father maintain cattle, but also allowed him to build his own herd while studying full-time at Southeast Missouri State University.

Tyler Brune, of Sedgewickville, Mo., dreams of being a farmer some day, and Missouri Farm Service Agency (FSA) is helping to make his dream a reality through the Farm Loan Program and the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act). Read more »

Afghan Farmers Turning Mines to Vines

Convincing Afghan grape growers to cut off 11 of the 13 canes on each grape vine was not an easy task for Afghan extension agents in the Roots of Peace organization. This process, known as trellising, ultimately leads to bigger, healthier grapes, as the farmers soon learned. In its first year implementing this Food for Progress (FFPr) program, Roots of Peace convinced 18 farmers to utilize their technical assistance. After this, participation in the program took little convincing: 180 farmers sought their help in the second year, and over 3000 are signed up for this year. Read more »

A Fun Family Day, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone Way!

“This a great exhibit!” a family commented as they toured the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone at the Illinois State Fair last weekend. “This truck is great, I learned a lot of things I never even knew before, wattages and temperatures. Heck, I always over cooked my chicken, now I won’t!” Read more »

The Recovery Act in Your Community: A New Era in Flood Control

Glen Jean, West Virginia experiences repeated flooding to homes, businesses and roads, creating a hazard to health, property and the environment.

Glen Jean, West Virginia experiences repeated flooding to homes, businesses and roads, creating a hazard to health, property and the environment.

Thanks in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), property owners in the Glen Jean, West Virginia, area can voluntarily relocate from homes that repeatedly flood. The Dunloup Creek Watershed Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Project allows landowners to sell their property and move to safer homes, funds the removal of the structures and returns the land to a natural floodplain. The city of Mt. Hope or Fayette County will take possession of the land. Read more »

Five Years After Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, USDA Continues to Assist Gulf Residents

Samantha Hills and her children spent the last five years living with relatives. Using funds provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act she now owns her own home. Here, she holds the key to her house. August 24, 2010. (by John Audibert, USDA Rural Development)

Samantha Hills and her children spent the last five years living with relatives. Using funds provided through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act she now owns her own home. Here, she holds the key to her house. August 24, 2010. (by John Audibert, USDA Rural Development)

Cross-posted from the White House Blog

Devastation caused five years ago to the Gulf region by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita remains historic in proportion. It resulted in loss of life, families being displaced, homes and businesses destroyed, and communities left in ruins.  In the midst of this great tragedy, USDA Rural Development lent their knowledge and time to assist in the immediate hours following the passing of the storms.  It was a new, but critical role of supporting other Federal agencies in swiftly establishing 80 disaster recovery centers; assisting local residents and leaders as they faced unparalleled adversity. Read more »