By Virginia Manuel, USDA Maine Rural Development State Director
USDA Rural Development provided a Rural Business Enterprise Grant to assist the Maine Alternative Agriculture Association (MA3) to renovate the former Grange Hall in Starks into a modern facility for processing and distributing local farm products.
An open house was held on July 28th to celebrate the completion of the project, which now includes a new kitchen and cold storage facility. The association will contract with local farmers to provide farm products that will be collected, processed and distributed from the new facility. The farm products will be ‘beyond organic’ by emphasizing sound soil management as well as being pesticide free. Read more »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »