ARS scientist Gary Samuels extracts a sample of living plant tissue from a wild cacao tree on the bank of Rio Marañón en Peru. (Photo courtesy of ARS)
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
What a long, strange trip it’s been for newly discovered South American varieties of cacao beans—all the way from the remote Amazon Basin in Peru to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) labs in Beltsville, Md., where the beans are being studied as a possible source of future high-end chocolates that could one day be marketed, like fine wines, by geographical provenance. Read more »
Under Secretary Kevin Concannon takes a photo of his lunch mates last month at Arcola Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. Concannon presented all 132 Montgomery County Elementary Schools with Healthier US Schools Challenge Bronze awards.
Every child deserves to have the tools they need to succeed in the classroom. That’s reason enough to recognize the nutritional accomplishments of our school meals programs during National School Lunch Week, Oct. 10-14. But there is more to celebrate… Read more »
National forests provide about 60 percent of all ski areas in the United States.
The U.S. Forest Service is partnering with the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM) initiative, scheduled for January 2012, encouraging Americans to explore winter recreation activities during the upcoming winter season. Read more »
October has arrived which means cooler days, fall foliage and continued opportunities to hike on Forest Service trails. Families and friends enjoy hiking together, whether a person uses a wheelchair, is pushing a young child in a baby stroller, or they are looking for more controlled grades to enjoy together on trails that comply with the Forest Service Trail Accessibility Guidelines. People with and without disabilities enjoy recreating together. When one person in a group has a need for an accessible facility, the entire group seeks to recreate at that accessible facility together.
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Read more »
Russell Avalos, Ed Avalos, Undersecretary, Marketing and Regulatory, Max Finberg, Director, Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Al Almonza, Administrator, Food Safety Inspection Service share a laugh at the U. S. Department of Agriculture Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Food Fiesta to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at USDA in Washington, DC, Thursday, October 6, 2011. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.
Yesterday, hundreds of USDA employees gathered in the Whitten Patio to enjoy a celebratory food tasting in commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month. More than two dozen employees volunteered as chefs to bring their homemade Hispanic cuisine to headquarters for the event. Among them was Under Secretary Ed Avalos, who cooked Red Chile, a traditional red sauce with meat spiced with New Mexico’s chile peppers. The Food Fiesta was truly a USDA family affair—Russell Avalos served portions of his father’s red chile, beans, and tortillas to lines of guests wrapped around the Patio. Read more »
Winyan Toka Win Garden, a 1.5 acre naturally raised garden, which is a major component of the Sustainable Systems initiative.
Whether it is youth midnight basketball tournaments or a writing class in the library, the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota is always bustling; serving the youth of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation and community. In the fall however, the CRYP is even busier with fall harvest from their Winyan Toka Win Garden, a 1.5 acre naturally raised garden, which is a major component of their Sustainable Systems initiative. Read more »