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Community Captures ‘Can-Do’ Attitude

By Megan Harrison, USDA Rural Development Public Relations Intern

As part of USDA Rural Development celebrating June as National Homeownership Month, I travelled to Carlock, Ill., to visit the site of six brand-new homes.  These weren’t just ordinary homes, however.  Not only were they “green” homes, but they were part of a self-help project where the families helped each other build the homes. Read more »

Making Access to Nutrition Assistance a Reality in Los Angeles

The USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships co-hosted with USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and USDA FNS Western Regional Office Administrator Allen Ng, another successful community roundtable. More than 100 people attended, including State, county, and city leaders; promotoras; and representatives from faith-based organizations, community groups, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles Food Bank, area hospitals, and the Mexican Consulate. Special guests included California Endowment Director Dr. Beatriz Solis and the legendary farmworkers’ advocate Dolores Huerta. Panelists included John A. Wagner, Director of the California Department of Social Services, and Philip Browning, Director of Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. Read more »

USDA Forest Service Recreation Program Contributes to Local Economies, Promotes Healthy Lifestyles

The USDA Forest Service has released an updated report today that documents how national forests provide economic, health and recreational benefits.

The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) Report states that recreation activities on national forests and grasslands have helped to sustain an estimated 223,000 jobs in rural areas and have contributed approximately $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Read more »

Apps for Healthy Kids: All Hands on Deck to End Childhood Obesity

Cross-Posted from the Let’s Move Blog

By Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer

Thank you for your participation! By the time the Apps for Healthy Kids competition submission period closed last week, we had 160 submissions in hand and nearly 20,000 supporters. Now we are reviewing all submissions for eligibility and will have them all up on the www.appsforhealthykids.com website and ready to view by July 14. Our intention through this endeavor was to inspire software developers, game designers, and students from across the United States to develop fun and engaging tools to inspire and empower children to eat better and be more physically active. We are very excited to have received your many creative submissions, and equally excited to transition now to the voting phase of the competition. Read more »

Science and the Food Supply

By Roger Beachy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Yesterday’s Science Tuesday post about growing tomatoes that last longer on the shelf in the store or on the kitchen counter has generated much really useful discussion about the role of science in growing our food supply.  Science in the U.S. is a social enterprise, and the decisions about what technologies are appropriate and acceptable are societal, not purely scientific decisions, so this conversation is critically important to us all. Read more »

Response to Wildfires – How the Forest Service Operates

By Phil Sammon, USDA Forest Service Public Affairs

As part of the federal response to wildland fires, The USDA Forest Service Fire and Aviation management team follows stringent guidelines to provide the most capable, experienced, well-trained and equipped men and women in both initial attack and sustained fire fighting operations anywhere in the US and overseas. Our leaders at all levels, our crews, our equipment, and our interagency support and cooperation are unequalled anywhere in the world. This level of proficiency, logistics support, and decision-making processes, didn’t happen overnight and it does not maintain itself in a haphazard manner. Read more »