There are many communities across the country grappling with limited access to affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables at a time when these same communities are fighting rising rates of childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diet-related illnesses. The very definition of community—that inter-connectedness between residents, businesses, hospitals and schools—means that health or food issues that affect one part of the community can have a negative impact on the rest. Read more »
Wednesday was a monumental day for kids, families, educators, administrators, food service workers and the advocates who have led the charge and worked hand in hand to deliver healthier, more nutritious food to our nation’s school children.
For the first time in over a decade the federal government has made significant changes to school meals that will provide kids across the country with the nourishment they will need to flourish in school and in life. Read more »
This week, in his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last – an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.
The President and I believe that this is a make or break moment for the middle class. What’s at stake is the basic American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put a little away for retirement. Read more »
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to facilitate a meeting with many rural energy stakeholders that USDA Rural Development works closely with here in Iowa.
Joining me in the discussion were representatives from the Environmental Law and Policy Center, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, MidAmerican Energy, USDA Farm Service Agency, Community Vitality Center at Iowa State University, the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and many more.
Also in attendance were representatives from Senator Tom Harkin’s and Congressman Leonard Boswell’s offices. Senator Harkin helped draft the original Energy Title in the 2002 Farm Bill. Read more »
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced grants totaling $52.2 million for 18 conservation and working lands projects across the U.S. this year. The landscapes are some of the country’s most beautiful spaces and will now be protected for future generations to enjoy.
Since 1990, the Forest Legacy Program has protected more than 2.2 million acres through public-private partnership using federal and leveraged funds of more than $562 million. We work with private landowners, states and conservation groups to promote sustainable, working forests. Read more »
A recently awarded USDA Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) will fund research into bee-friendly seed mixes.
A partnership made up of the Xerces Society, University of Wisconsin Center for Integrated Agriculture Systems and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wisconsin is working to develop and test seed mixes that will provide the best habitat for native bees. CIG-funded projects use innovative technologies and approaches to address natural resources issues. Read more »