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Deputy Agriculture Secretary Tours a Facility that will Improve Family Health Care in a Michigan Community

From left: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Congressman Mark Schauer, Center for Family Health Executive Director Molly Kaser and State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner discuss the new health center.

From left: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, Congressman Mark Schauer, Center for Family Health Executive Director Molly Kaser and State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner discuss the new health center.

Yesterday I accompanied Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, State Director for Michigan Rural Development James Turner and Congressman Mark Schauer on a visit to the Center for Family Health (CFH) in Jackson, a city about 30 miles south of Lansing. Read more »

This Friday: Harvest Festival at USDA

Flyer for USDA Harvest Festival, Friday October 29th, 2010

Flyer for USDA Harvest Festival, Friday October 29th, 2010

Please join us for music, food, games and other merriment at USDA’s Harvest Festival this Friday, October 29th, from 10 am to 2 pm in the People’s Garden and Farmers Market at USDA Headquarters on the corner of Jefferson Drive and 12 Street, SW in Washington, DC. Read more »

The Farm Credit System: Financial Strength Benefitting Rural America

The farmers and ranchers who use its services are also the owners of the nation's cooperative Farm Credit System. Photo courtesy Farm Credit Council

The farmers and ranchers who use its services are also the owners of the nation's cooperative Farm Credit System. Photo courtesy Farm Credit Council

Today’s farms, ranches and agricultural enterprises are more diverse and more specialized. And today’s farms and related businesses require new financial services, more equity and greater flexibility from their lenders if they are to effectively manage their businesses. Producers and rural entrepreneurs of all types need access to dedicated, specialized lenders to meet their complete credit and financial services needs. Read more »

USDA Recovery Act Loan Guarantees Spur Job Growth and Business Development

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

The estimated number of jobs created or saved through USDA Recovery Act investments in rural America continues to grow.  Today, I am in Ohio, where USDA has provided over $59.5 million in loan guarantees to help rural businesses grow, innovate and create jobs.  You can see economic activity everywhere. Read more »

Restoring Historic Habitat and Creating Outdoor Education Opportunities for Youth

The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.

The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.

Camp Binachi is a Boy Scouts of America camp located in rural Lauderdale County, Mississippi, that focuses on teaching scouts about ecology and the conservation of natural resources. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to Camp Binachi, which is managed by the Choctaw Area Council. But the council was able to get assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reconstruct the damaged areas. Read more »

Maine USDA Rural Development and Calais Regional Hospital: Saving Lives through Early Detection

Front Row: Cheryl Zwingman-Bagley, CNO; Suzanne Crawford, Board Vice Chair; Michael K. Lally, CEO; Virginia Manuel, USDA Rural Development State Director; Mona Van Wart, Breast Cancer Survivor; Back Row: Camela Deschene, Director of Practice Management; Kristi Saunders, Director Human Resources and Compliance; Bonny Beausoleil, Mammographer; Bernie McAdam, CFO; DeeDee Travis, Director Community Relations, Development and Customer Service.

Front Row: Cheryl Zwingman-Bagley, CNO; Suzanne Crawford, Board Vice Chair; Michael K. Lally, CEO; Virginia Manuel, USDA Rural Development State Director; Mona Van Wart, Breast Cancer Survivor; Back Row: Camela Deschene, Director of Practice Management; Kristi Saunders, Director Human Resources and Compliance; Bonny Beausoleil, Mammographer; Bernie McAdam, CFO; DeeDee Travis, Director Community Relations, Development and Customer Service.

On the first day of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2010, USDA Rural Development and Calais Regional Hospital came together with the mission of saving lives. The hospital’s outdated mammography machine was being replaced with a state-of- the-art digital mammography machine, funded in part by a $200,000 USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Read more »