Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Midwest Region Conference Gets States Energized about SNAP

By Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary

I recently spoke at the BIG TEN conference in Minneapolis. The BIG TEN is a USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) sponsored event focused on improving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) performance at the state and local level. Participants are from the Midwest States: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.  In the past few years, they’ve worked with decreasing resources while managing an increasing workload. So when I walked into a room full of dancing and cheering human service workers, I was taken aback. The energy was just incredible! Read more »

Arizona Rural Development State Director Alan Stephens Joins Congresswoman Kirkpatrick to Announce $10 Million Recovery Act Broadband Project for San Carlos Apaches

By Nancy Conway, USDA Rural Development, Arizona

A group was on hand for Arizona Rural Development State Director Alan Stephens announcement that the San Carlos Apache Telecommunications Utility, Inc. (SCATUI) will receive a grant of $5.2 million and a low-interest loan of $5.2 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act).  The loan/grant combination will be used to design, engineer, and construct a fiber-to-the-premises network to service the San Carlos and Bylas communities.  “This project will bring broadband and telephone services and will serve a hospital and several doctor facilities that are currently unserved in the San Carlos area,” said Stephens. Joining in the announcement was Arizona U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick. Read more »

Scouting for Conservation – NRCS Shares Its Conservation Know-How at the National Boy Scout Jamboree

By Brad Fisher, Public Affairs Specialist

Right now, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is sharing the agency’s conservation expertise with more than 42,000 scouts at the National Boy Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia.  Scout jamborees are always jammed with excitement, but this one is extra special – a celebration of BSA’s 100th anniversary. Congratulations BSA from everyone at NRCS on your century of service and adventure! Read more »

Beetles, Aphids and Flies – Oh My!

Written by Kayla Harless, People’s Garden Intern

Throughout July, the People’s Garden Healthy Garden Workshops have been focused on plants and their problematic pests – diseases, fungi, viruses, harmful bugs, and environmental stressors. Today’s workshop covered a range of these, and included lots of local examples from gardens right here on the National Mall. Read more »

Feds, Farmers and Friends Feed Families

By Debra Baczewski, USDA Rural Development, Amherst, Mass.

In support of the Feds Feed Families summer food drive, employees at the USDA Rural Development State Office in Amherst, Massachusetts have been collecting non-perishable food donations in their office. On Tuesday July 27, 105 pounds of non-perishable food items and fresh produce harvested from the Massachusetts State Office’s People’s Garden were delivered to the Amherst Survival Center (ASC.) Read more »

Deputy USDA Under Secretary Announces Grant Awards that Support Local and Regional Food Systems in Oregon

By Vicki Walker, USDA Rural Development Oregon State Director

Victor Vasquez, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, delivered a strong, upbeat message to grant recipients at the Community Services Consortium Youth House Gardens in Corvallis, Oregon on July 12.  The Deputy Under Secretary was in Oregon to highlight the USDA “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative, and to emphasize the importance of Rural Development programs in delivering on economic recovery efforts. Read more »