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Forest Service Roadmap Addresses Climate Change and Develops Scorecard System

By Robert Westover, USDA Forest Service Office of Communcations

Working to implement and respond to the USDA strategic plan, the Forest Service’s National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change sets priorities for responding to a changing climate. USDA’s strategic plan was announced in mid-June. The plan describes the Department’s major programmatic policies and covers the myriad programs and services that USDA administers. Under the plan, Forest Service field units will be held accountable for showing progress each year. Read more »

Endangered Birds Benefit from Wetlands Reserve Program

By Ron Morton, Assistant State Public Affairs Specialist, Athens, Georgia

In the 1930s, a rural Georgia wetland was drained to help control the spread of malaria. As the land dried, water-loving wildlife like the endangered wood stork had to find a new home or perish. Eventually, the land became dry and tillable and was converted to farmland. Read more »

USDA Deputy Under Secretary Promotes Business Development in Ohio

By Michael Jones, Ohio USDA Public Information Coordinator

Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur invited USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Cheryl L. Cook to attend a district sponsored USDA Resource Fair earlier this month. Cook and about 90 business owners, agricultural growers, local community leaders and residents gathered to evaluate available financial and technical assistance resources at multiple events in the Toledo and Huron County area. Read more »

Help Shape USDA’s Renewable Energy Survey Program

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.

By Joe Reilly, Associate Administrator, USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

I grew up on a small farm near Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, where my family – like many others across the United States – helped provide the food and fiber to build and sustain America. Visiting these types of farm communities today there is a distinctive change on the rural horizon from when I was a child – the presence of wind turbines, solar panels, ethanol plants, and other bioenergy tools and resources. Read more »

USDA Rural Development Kicks off “F5″ Campaign in Washington State with Elbow Grease at Thurston County Food Bank

Story and Photos by Phil Eggman, USDA Rural Development, Washington State Office

Donating a little bit of time can go a long way to making a big difference for people. Just ask the employees of USDA Rural Development in Washington State who, on July 13, donated two hours of their time at the end of a hectic day to make food packages for the elderly, young mothers, infants and children at the Thurston County Food Bank located in downtown Olympia. Read more »

Traveling Across the Great Plains of South Dakota

By Tammi Schone, USDA Rural Development Public Affairs Specialist, South Dakota State Office

South Dakota State Director Elsie M. Meeks and Don Harris, Outreach Initiative Team Leader, National Office (Washington, DC) logged over 1,400 miles traveling across the state in mid June, reaching out to local residents to talk about how our programs help repair homes, make homes more energy efficient, and locate an affordable housing residence or safe and sanitary housing apartment building we helped fund.  In addition, they participated in the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Housing Fair held in Sisseton, SD. While promoting the vital importance of homeownership in a community, they were able to witness firsthand the integrity, dedication, hard work and perseverance homeowners possess in vying for their first home, making repairs, or acquiring an apartment. Read more »