In Florida, saving water and reducing nutrient runoff are top priorities for state and federal agencies. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Brooksville Plant Materials Center staff and the faculty at two University of Florida Research and Education Centers are collaborating on the development of a seed-producing, improved, low-maintenance native groundcover that can substitute for more high-maintenance grass turf in areas with low foot traffic. Read more »
Job creation in rural America begins with local leaders, a vision for improving the local economy and then bringing together financing partners to make the vision a reality. I had the honor of joining Congressman Hal Rogers and representatives from Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul’s offices today to celebrate such job creating efforts in Laurel County, KY. As we walked through this 9,600 square foot business accelerator, you can understand why it is referred to as the BIG Center. Read more »
Things were cookin’ in Nashville last month, and not just the July weather in this vibrant southern city. At the historic Opryland Hotel, we joined our partners at the School Nutrition Association’s annual convention to show how USDA Foods are increasingly vital to the health of our nation’s schoolchildren.
The culinary demo was led by local chef and Nashville public school dad David Owens, who wowed convention attendees and members of the media with baked chicken in fruit sauce, vegetarian chili, and vegetable rice. But the exhibition was about more than creating great tasting meals. Along with Nashville Education and Training Coordinator Deborah Walker, Chef Owens emphasized practicing safe and healthy preparation, choosing reasonably priced options, and integrating ingredients relevant and appealing to the modern school nutrition program. Read more »
When it comes time to transition from service in the military to a civilian job, many veterans do not immediately think to look for positions at the USDA. There is an assumption that jobs with USDA are all farm-related – even those in the Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS). In reality, there is a wide variety of opportunities within AMS and USDA as a whole.
There are a number of jobs at AMS that overlap with different military specializations. The agency has auditors who evaluate programs to make sure producers follow international standards and practices. Positions in compliance and analysis, budget analysis, and information technology rely on skills like attention to detail and effective project management that are an essential part of armed services training. Read more »
Why does land wear out? This great agricultural mystery led generations of farmers to simply move when the land no longer supported agricultural production. That changed in 1905, when a soil scientist unearthed the key to sustained productivity by linking soil erosion and degradation of soil quality. Read more »