In business, location means everything. Not only do businesses need to understand where their customer base exists, but they also need to know where their competitors are. The same applies to farmers markets: they must understand their customers and competition to determine the potential for profit. The location of a farmers market can influence a vendor or customer’s decision to support a particular market. Read more »
It is quite a phenomenon to be the first of anything and to be recognized for it. It is especially noteworthy when you have a passion for the land, and are willing to work and care for it as a volunteer. That’s what Gloria Owen did as the first official volunteer in the U.S. Forest Service’s history. Owen was recently honored for providing her time and talent in the Northern Region working as a volunteer camp cook, camp tender and crew member on the “Mary Mary” trail on the Moose Creek Ranger District, Nez Perce National Forest in Idaho. She was presented with an embroidered Pendleton blanket and certificate recognizing her role and service by Regional Forester Leslie Weldon. Read more »
We are approaching Veterans Day, a time to honor the men and women who have served this nation in uniform. Whether they are soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen or coastguardsmen – our veterans were part of the finest military the world has ever known. Their selfless and courageous contributions over generations have helped Americans enjoy the freedom and liberty our founders imagined.
And USDA – through our work in rural America and on a host of other issues – has a strong connection with those who have served. Today, about 6.1 million veterans live in rural communities, a higher concentration than anywhere else in the country. Read more »
On Oct. 22, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the 84th National FFA Convention about the critical need to recruit and support the nation’s next generation of farmers and ranchers. In June, I had a chance to sit down with Landan Schaffert, National FFA Secretary, to talk about what the future holds for him in farming. Read more »
One of USDA’s most important missions is providing healthy meals to school lunch programs across the country. In a unique partnership, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) agencies teamed up with Rachael Ray’s Yum-o! non-profit organization, the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) system and Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality to create and serve a new healthy, tasty and exciting school lunch recipe.
To do this, Bob Bloomer of Chartwells-Thompson, the provider of meals in most of Chicago’s schools, worked with the Agricultural Marketing Service to acquire fresh, unprocessed chicken. After issuing a solicitation and competitive bids from domestic suppliers, the Agricultural Marketing Service awarded the first contract for two truckloads—that’s 80,000 pounds —of raw chicken leg quarters for shipment to Chicago’s schools.