I was privileged to be part of a recent celebration in Little Rock, Arkansas. Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe hosted a press conference with Share Our Strength and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance to announce the achievements of the first year of their state-wide campaign to end childhood hunger.
Last October when the initiative was launched, Arkansas had the highest rate of childhood hunger in the nation. The governor was appalled and decided to do something about it. The Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign kicked off with the main strategy of increasing participation in existing federal nutrition assistance programs. Their first-year goal was to increase participation in SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by five percent, and to increase participation in the Summer Food Service Program by 10 percent. Read more »
Western juniper trees expanding into and displacing sagebrush and bitterbrush habitat. (USFS photo)
The annual ritual dance by the chicken-sized male Greater sage grouse attracts potential mates and perpetuates the species. However, this important mating ritual is a rare experience in the Devil’s Garden, a region in northeastern California where the greater sage grouse populations are in serious decline. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) speaking at Hanoi University of Agriculture, Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.
There are many things that Americans are known for, including dreaming big, working hard to turn those dreams into a reality, and reaching out to help others who are also trying to make their dreams come true. During his trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack—whose own personal story and history of public service epitomizes these very characteristics—challenged a packed auditorium of more than 600 students and faculty at the Hanoi University of Agriculture (HUA) to be the generation whose dreams transform their communities, their country and their world. Read more »
A Jackson Middle School student enjoys a healthy yogurt parfait with fresh fruit at lunch time.
I recently joined Jackson Middle School students in San Antonio, Texas, to help kick-off their Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The timing was right since September was National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Read more »
NRCS provided technical assistance to the Choctaws in the creation of Lake Pushmataha, a 285-acre lake in Neshoba County.
November is American Indian Heritage Month and offers a great time to recognize the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians for their stellar record as stewards of the environment. Read more »
Not everyone knows it, but most Americans use biofuels to help power their car or truck every day. Using biofuels we produce here at home creates jobs, raises incomes for farmers, and saves us all money. The ethanol mixed into the gas we buy at the pump saved American drivers almost 90 cents per gallon last year.
Moving forward, we’ll see Americans running their cars with more biofuels mixed into the gas – like E85, a mix with 85 percent ethanol. And USDA will help install thousands of new pumps at gas stations so drivers can pick the sort of fuel they want. Read more »