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Missouri Proclamation Confirms Regional Partnership to Promote Economic Development

Earlier this month, I was privileged to participate in the signing of a Proclamation confirming a regional partnership through the Stronger Economies Together (SET) Program, one of the Presidential Initiatives.   The Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership has been chosen as one of the initial two regions in Missouri to participate in the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. This will be pilot program utilizing an integrative approach to assessing, composing and executing a regional economic development plan that capitalizes on the assets and complies with the goals of the region. Read more »

Final Days to Get Involved and Vote on Your Favorite New Game or App!

The Apps for Healthy Kids public voting period concludes this Saturday, August 14, at noon (EDT), and there is no better time than now to add your voice and vote to the competition.  To date we have received over 17,000 votes on the apps recently created by the American public in the effort to address the very serious problem of childhood obesity. We started this competition with a goal of generating innovative apps that are engaging and educational to the target audience – tweens and their parents. And the best way to judge that goal is to get the American public involved so we need you to go online try out these apps and cast your vote. Read more »

West Virginia Volunteer Fire Department Receives USDA Funds to Purchase Equipment to Save Lives

The Volunteer Fire Department in Webster Springs, West Virginia recently used USDA Rural Development funds to purchase a 12-lead cardiac monitor and a thermal imaging camera. Read more »

New Forest Service Publication Supports Need for USDA All Lands Approach to Conservation

A new publication by the USDA Forest Service, Private Forest, Public Benefits, explains how privately held forests in the U.S. are under substantial stress from the effects of climate change, wildfire, insects, pathogens and urban development. And since 55 percent of all national forested lands are privately held, how we address these stresses will affect the vitally important role private forests play in America. Read more »

A Blue Ribbon in the Fight to Feed the Hungry

2010 Wisconsin State Fair – The WI Maple Syrup producers booth, in the WI Products Pavilion - Kevin Concannonm, USDA - Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Brad Pfaff, USDA, Wisconsin , State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency, Randy Romanski, Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Perry Brown, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

2010 Wisconsin State Fair – The WI Maple Syrup producers booth, in the WI Products Pavilion - Kevin Concannonm, USDA - Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Brad Pfaff, USDA, Wisconsin , State Executive Director for the Farm Service Agency, Randy Romanski, Deputy Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Perry Brown, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

August 5th marked the opening of the Wisconsin State Fair, an event that brings in over 800,000 visitors, and perhaps more impressively, donates 180,000 pounds of food to the Hunger Task Force, a community supported organization that has fed hungry Milwaukeeans for over thirty years.

I had the pleasure of attending the opening ceremonies to celebrate Hunger Task Force Day alongside Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle. After the ceremonies, I enjoyed a tour of the fairgrounds with Farm Service Agency State Director Brad Pfaff, where we saw educational exhibits, cooking demonstrations using healthy foods you can buy on a budget, and vast displays of Wisconsin agriculture. Everywhere we turned, the fair was abuzz with hunger and nutrition education. Read more »

Illinois Feds Feed Families

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan presents food (on cart, foreground) donated by the state office in Champaign, Ill., to staff at Eastern Illinois Foodbank:  (from left) Cheryl Precious, director of marketing and development; Jim Hires, executive director; State Director  Callahan  and Matt Pieper, transportation supervisor.

USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan presents food (on cart, foreground) donated by the state office in Champaign, Ill., to staff at Eastern Illinois Foodbank: (from left) Cheryl Precious, director of marketing and development; Jim Hires, executive director; State Director Callahan and Matt Pieper, transportation supervisor.

Would you leave corporate America to work for a non-profit?  Jim Hires did when he became the Executive Director of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.  How did I meet him?  We met when I accompanied Illinois Rural Development State Director Colleen Callahan to drop off the state office’s donation to the food bank.  And why were we there?  To support the Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families food drive, of course! Read more »