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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 »

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan Cuts Ribbon on North Tiverton, Rhode Island’s New Pump Station-Funded through the Recovery Act

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined Senator Jack Reed and North Tiverton, Rhode Island Fire District Moderator James Donnelly on Friday, September 10 to cut the celebratory, ceremonial ribbon that was wrapped around the towns’ new pump station. Read more »

Thousands of Residents in Kentucky and Tennessee will benefit from a USDA Recovery Act Broadband Project

Federal, state and local officials display a map that highlights the coverage areas in which expanded and improved broadband service will be offered. They include (from left) Tom Fern, State Director for Rural Development (Ky.), Trevor Bonnstetter, CEO of WK&T, RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Bobby Goode, State Director for Rural Development (Tenn.), and Jonathan Miller, Ky. Finance Cabinet Secretary.

Federal, state and local officials display a map that highlights the coverage areas in which expanded and improved broadband service will be offered. They include (from left) Tom Fern, State Director for Rural Development (Ky.), Trevor Bonnstetter, CEO of WK&T, RUS Administrator Jonathan Adelstein, Bobby Goode, State Director for Rural Development (Tenn.), and Jonathan Miller, Ky. Finance Cabinet Secretary.

USDA Rural Utilities Administrator Jonathan Adelstein visited Western Kentucky recently to announce the start of one of the largest broadband projects in the country. Read more »