Recently I got an intimate tour of a longleaf pine forest, a rapidly vanishing Southeastern ecosystem that is home to one-of-a-kind wildlife. Longleaf pines once dominated the landscape of coastal Mississippi, but deforestation and urbanization have decreased both these forests and the unique plants and animals that call them home. Read more »
Just one day after the start of autumn, the Forest Service is waiving fees at hundreds of recreation sites across the country on Saturday, Sept. 24 in recognition of Public Lands Day. Read more »
The folks in the small community of Taylor, Arizona, have a reputation for creative problem solving. Back in the late 1800’s local blacksmith Joseph Hancock came up with an ingenious solution for celebrating the Fourth of July in the tiny town. The tradition then was for towns to fire their cannons to celebrate Independence Day.
But the Town of Taylor was without a cannon. So Hancock offered up two historic anvils and the tradition of “firing the anvil” became an annual event for the town. At dawn every Fourth of July, the Jennings Band members climb onto a flatbed truck and ride up and down the neighborhoods in Taylor, stopping on street corners while the anvil is fired and patriotic music is played for the sleepy residents. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
This week, I served as keynote speaker for a special conference in Great Falls, Montana, convened by Rural Dynamics Incorporated. The theme of the conference was “Mobilizing Rural Communities” and included participants representing a host of private, public, and non-profit participants. It has been less than three months since President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the first White House Rural Council. The Great Falls conference provided an opportunity to connect with many great folks from the Northern Plains Region, who are working on a daily basis on local projects and local partnerships to further the economic development and vitality of rural areas.
The group was very interested to learn more about the work of the White House Rural Council. We discussed President Obama’s priority of ensuring that rural areas have additional opportunities for economic investment and available working capital. We also discussed the need for innovation in the areas of high-speed Internet, renewable energy opportunities, as well as enhancements in education and health care. Topics involving natural resource-related business enterprises, public works, and forestry – all key focus areas for the White House Rural Council—were also discussed. Read more »
Last week, I visited the Port of Miami to see firsthand how job creators in this country are making, innovating and exporting ‘Made in America’ goods.
The port was busy with container ships on-loading goods for export. But if the Port doesn’t make some changes to their infrastructure, they risk losing out on business from the new, larger container ships that will start flowing through the Panama Canal in 2014.
So they are beginning work on a major transportation tunnel and a deep-dredge project that will provide jobs for construction workers today, and keep the Port of Miami among the busiest in the nation. Read more »
Announcing the “Food, Fun and Sun” Contest Finalists! Now Open for Public Vote, You Decide the Winners!Posted by
Thank you to all of the USDA Summer Food Service Programs that submitted an entry into the “Food, Fun, and Sun” Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest! The competition was extremely tough as we had over 100 contest submissions representing programs in over 40 States! The first round of judging is complete. We are thrilled to present to you the four contest finalists in each of the four categories. Read more »