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USDA Rural Development Business and Cooperative Programs Administrator Judy Canales Tours Ocean Classroom Foundation as a part of her Visit to Maine

Ocean Classroom Founder and President Alix Thorne talks with Administrator Canales about the business.

(left to right) Camden National Bank Senior Vice President Jack Williams; Ocean Classroom Foundation recent Discovery High School Student and Recipient of the Alix Thorne Most Outstanding Shipmate Award Charlie Campbell; USDA Administrator Judy Canales; Maine Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel; and Ocean Classroom Foundation Founder and President Alix Thorne.

As a part of her recent trip to Maine, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Business and Cooperative Programs Judy Canales visited the Ocean Classroom Foundation, in Boothbay Harbor. This unique non-profit organization teaches its students, mostly young adults, life skills through learning how to sail and navigate the open sea. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Travels the Roads of Louisiana to Connect with Community Officials and Residents

Louisiana Municipal Association Executive Director Tom Ed McHugh (Left) and Rural Development State Director, Clarence W. Hawkins at a recent outreach meeting in Louisiana.

Louisiana Municipal Association Executive Director Tom Ed McHugh (Left) and Rural Development State Director, Clarence W. Hawkins at a recent outreach meeting in Louisiana.

As part of USDA’s commitment to outreach, Louisiana Rural Development State Director Clarence Hawkins and staff went “on the road” with the Louisiana Municipal Association in June and July to continue reaching out to municipal officials across the state. These meetings were hosted by LMA’s district vice presidents in Louisiana. Read more »

Nebraska Makes Four Recovery Summer Tour Visits

State Director Maxine Moul presents plaque to the President of Allo, Brad Moline for the Recovery Act funds Allo Communications secured to improve telecommunications services in part of Nebraska.

State Director Maxine Moul presents plaque to the President of Allo, Brad Moline for the Recovery Act funds Allo Communications secured to improve telecommunications services in part of Nebraska.

USDA Rural Development Nebraska State Director Maxine Moul and staff celebrated four Summer Recovery Tour projects last month, in three days and encompassing more than 900 miles.  The success and impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment dollars in Nebraska were highlighted. Read more »

On The Right Track At The Nevada State Fair

Fall 2010 Lattin Farms corn maze inspired by the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative.

Fall 2010 Lattin Farms corn maze inspired by the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative.

Cross posted from the White House Blog.

Ed. Note: Building on the President’s commitment to address issues important to rural Americans, Administration officials are visiting State Fairs around the country, see a map of where we’ve been so far.

When you grow up in rural America, as I did, there is nothing more exciting than the state or county fair.  Showing livestock, competing in baking and quilting contests, eyeing the latest farm equipment, and dipping the season’s first apples in caramel are perennial favorites among America’s rural youth.  So when I visited the Nevada State Fair last week, I made a quick beeline to the 4H and FFA exhibits to see if things were the same as ‘when I was a kid.’ Read more »

On Civil Rights at USDA, and the Secretary’s Reflections

Two weeks ago Secretary Vilsack took a moment to share some of his thoughts about USDA’s sad history on civil rights and the progress we have made to put it behind us.  I was not surprised to see the outpouring of thoughts and comments that blog post inspired, including many from USDA employees.  Read more »

An Ag Expert Looks Back at Iraq and Afghanistan

Ryan Brewster served as an agricultural expert in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ryan Brewster served as an agricultural expert in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

This morning at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recognized the efforts of more than 20 USDA employees who served as civilian agricultural experts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The agricultural experts were part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to provide civilian assistance abroad to help promote long-term economic development. 

One of those agricultural experts, Ryan Brewster, served for nearly three years in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Here are his recollections: Read more »