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Town of Peterborough New Hampshire Breaks Ground for Wastewater Improvements Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

By Lori Duff, USDA Public Affairs Specialist New Hampshire

The town of Peterborough, New Hampshire has been working diligently to upgrade its wastewater treatment facility for the town’s 6,222 residents since 2000 – when they learned that Environmental Protection Agency requirements for treatment plants were changing. By 2006 the need was critical. Read more »

Pennsylvania Families Build Their Own Homes with Help From USDA

Written by Dawn Knepp, Pennsylvania USDA Public Information Officer

In a small, quaint housing development in south-central Pennsylvania, families are realizing the American dream of homeownership with the help of a unique government program.  USDA Rural Development’s Self-Help Housing Program provides mortgage financing to the homeowner and a technical assistance grant to a non-profit agency, in this case, Interfaith Housing Alliance. Interfaith supervises the homeowners who do much of the building of their own homes. To date, 20 families have completed homes and moved into the 39 lot development. Read more »

Apps for Healthy Kids Competition Submission Period Closes

By Jackie Haven, Director, Nutrition Marketing and Communication Division, USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

The Apps for Healthy Kids submission period has officially come to a close yesterday and there was a flurry of entries submitted the last few days and hours! All submissions will now be reviewed for eligibility and qualified entries will be posted in the www.AppsforHealthyKids.com application gallery by July 14. Some entries are already available on the site to try-out; but with more being posted daily, you’ll want to be sure to keep stopping by to try out the latest game or app. Read more »

Illinois Talk Show Brings Home the Value of USDA Home Loans

Written by USDA Public Relations Intern Megan Harrison

In celebration of June as National Homeownership Month, I had the privilege of travelling all over the state of Illinois (from Freeport in northern Illinois to 400 miles south in Carterville, and a few places in between) with Illinois Rural Development staff to watch a “talk show” hosted by our state director, Colleen Callahan. Read more »

USDA Self Help Housing Puts Families in Homes in South Texas

Written by Ana Placencia, Area Specialist, Uvalde Sub-Area Office;  and Gayle Cargo, Texas USDA Public Information Coordinator

Last month in the south Texas community of Uvalde, Texas State Director Paco Valentin witnessed how USDA Rural Development and the Self Help Housing Program can touch the lives of families in rural Texas.  Family, friends and collaborating Agencies gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of three homes that will forever change the lives of these new homeowners. Read more »

Food for Progress Initiatives Produce Real Results- And Strawberries

By John Brewer, Foreign Agricultural Service Administrator

As our group sat near the strawberry fields, in Jutiapa, Honduras, it was hard not to be impressed with the positive outcomes stemming from a USDA grant in 2006. On Tuesday, June 29, I inaugurated the “Biotechnology and Food Security” Conference and later that day I found myself in the strawberry fields—I’ll get to those in a minute. Read more »