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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 »

Apps and Game Designers Level Up on Healthy Eating

From left: Peter Rhee, United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Communications grabs a few photographs for the USDA Blog as former Washington Redskins Running Back Brian Mitchell competes against brothers Frederick, Antonio and Joseph Blackwell (not shown) in the the computer game, “Smash Your Food.” “Smash Your Food” is the Third Place winning app in the The Apps for Healthy Kids games competition. Frederick won the game and a signed replica Pro Bowl helmet from Mitchell. The Apps for Healthy Kids competition is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. The competition challenges software developers, game designers, students and other innovators to develop fun and engaging software tools and games to urge children, especially “tweens” (children ages 9-12) – directly or through their parents – to eat better and be more physically active. The applications are software tools or games for the web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, console or any software platform available to the public. The winners were honored at the White House, Wednesday, September 29. USDA Photo 10di15067-24 by Bob Nichols.

From left: Peter Rhee, USDA, grabs a few photographs as former Washington Redskins Running Back Brian Mitchell competes against brothers Frederick, Antonio and Joseph Blackwell (not shown) in the the computer game, “Smash Your Food.” “Smash Your Food” is the Third Place winning app in the The Apps for Healthy Kids games competition. Frederick won the game and a replica Pro Bowl helmet signed by Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns and Chris Hope of the Tennessee Titans.

Six months ago the Apps for Healthy Kids competition called upon Americans to design engaging online or mobile games and tools to educate people of all ages about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity. As part of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this challenge brought together solvers from across the Nation. Read more »

Farmers Markets as an Engine of Revitalization

The Historic Downtown Farmers Market in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The Historic Downtown Farmers Market in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

“It is our belief that by supporting our local farmers today, we can ensure that there will be farms in our community tomorrow.” - Kent Myers, former City of Hot Springs Manager

Recently Hot Springs, Arkansas dedicated its new Farmers Market Pavilion at the Historic Downtown Farmers Market in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  This dedication is the culmination of years of effort that began with a Farmers Market Promotion Program grant in 2006 from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Read more »

A Hall of Fame Worthy of Its Name

J.P. Dubey examines T. gondii parasites in swine tissue.

J.P. Dubey examines T. gondii parasites in swine tissue.

Mention the words “hall of fame” to most people, and they’re likely to imagine a stellar baseball player or someone who’s written a string of hit songs.  But at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, we have a Hall of Fame that isn’t about batting averages or popular tunes; it’s about changing the world. Read more »

Broadband Critical for the Future of Rural Illinois

Noah Campbell, vice president of community relations for Utopian Wireless; Fred Witzig, co-coordinator of Monmouth College’s Midwest Matters initiative; and Colleen Callahan, Illinois state director of USDA Rural Development discuss the benefits of broadband access for rural communities at a public forum in Monmouth, Ill.

Noah Campbell, vice president of community relations for Utopian Wireless; Fred Witzig, co-coordinator of Monmouth College’s Midwest Matters initiative; and Colleen Callahan, Illinois state director of USDA Rural Development discuss the benefits of broadband access for rural communities at a public forum in Monmouth, Ill.

Monmouth, Ill., residents Vicki and Ted Briscoe want to know when their access to the Internet will no longer be hampered by a slow dial up connection. The answer—12 to 18 months—came from Noah Campbell, vice president of community relations for Utopian Wireless Corp, at a talk show-style forum held at the Briscoes’ alma mater Monmouth College Wednesday, Sept. 22. Read more »