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New Mexico Broadband & Smart Grid Summit Working to Overcome Digital Divide and Harness Broadband Technologies

Earlier today at the New Mexico Broadband and Smart Grid Summit in Moriarty, I had the opportunity to tell policymakers, issue experts and industry leaders about Rural Utilities programs (RUS) that are contributing to creating economic opportunity and increasing energy independence through broadband and smart grid deployment.  

Others speaking at the event included: National Telecommunications and Information Administration Deputy Administrator Anna Gomez, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and Federal Smart Grid Task Force Director Eric Lightner.   Together and with participants at the event, we opened a dialogue to help inform on future policy decisions regarding these important issues and the challenges we face in meeting them. Read more »

Food Safety Discovery Zone Visits Iowa State Fair

A school group poses in front of the Food Safety Discovery Zone after learning to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

A school group poses in front of the Food Safety Discovery Zone after learning to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.

This weekend, USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone is stopped at the Iowa State Fair, and the Discovery Zone’s staff of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Officers, is relishing the opportunities for food safety lessons that the fair environment provides. Daytime temperatures are exceeding the 90-degree mark, sparking discussions about how to keep food safe in hot weather, and the intense crowd means the Discovery Zone’s message is reaching tons of people. Read more »

Recovery Act Funding Improves Water Quality in Caruthers, California

Hi, my name is Jerry Mendoza, I am 15 years old and I go to Caruthers High School in California.  I am going to inform you about the wastewater treatment plant in Caruthers.  The Caruthers Community Service District is in charge of wastewater and water, and they applied for funding from USDA Rural Development to expand the wastewater treatment plant and upgrade the plant’s treatment process.  The reason they need this project is because the facility needs to be able to exceed the government’s levels for a wastewater treatment plant, also they wouldn’t be able to add additional housing in the town. Read more »

AGOA Forum Field Trip: African Ministers Visit a Family Farm in Orrick, MO

The Waters family farm in Orrick, Mo. had a few unusual guests last week when dozens of African ministers came to learn about their corn, soybean and wheat farm. To embrace the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum’s theme, “New Strategies for a Changing World,” the organizers made some innovative changes, splitting the forum between Washington DC and Kansas City, Mo. Why Kansas City? Read more »

Recovery Act Funding Provides a Bookmobile for Rural West Virginia

A new bookmobile, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A new bookmobile, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Now, for the latest on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding Raleigh County Public Library was awarded through the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities program to obtain a new bookmobile. Read more »

Missouri Proclamation Confirms Regional Partnership to Promote Economic Development

Earlier this month, I was privileged to participate in the signing of a Proclamation confirming a regional partnership through the Stronger Economies Together (SET) Program, one of the Presidential Initiatives.   The Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership has been chosen as one of the initial two regions in Missouri to participate in the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. This will be pilot program utilizing an integrative approach to assessing, composing and executing a regional economic development plan that capitalizes on the assets and complies with the goals of the region. Read more »