Shade-grown coffee helps protect water quality and coral reefs like this one in Puerto Rico. NOAA photo.
I work for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency that helps farmers voluntarily implement conservation practices on their lands across the U.S.—including land on my home, Puerto Rico.
I am extremely proud of recent NRCS efforts here to help farmers, ranchers and landowners make significant strides in conserving the Guánica Bay/Rio Loco watershed. This watershed, which is about 100 miles southwest of San Juan, is one of the most diverse and complex in Puerto Rico. Read more »
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed extends across 64,000 square miles. (Graphic courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program)
Urban and community forests, agroforestry, fish and wildlife habitat, mining areas and contaminated lands are the targets of a restoration strategy aimed to help the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S.
The final Chesapeake Restoration Strategy, a multi-agency effort released this month by the Forest Service, relies heavily on collaboration among partners in federal, state and local governments, watershed and community organizations and private partners. Read more »
2012 Specialty Crop Block Grant will help expand existing efforts by the Fallon Small Farm Collaborative for create new market opportunities for Churchill County farmers, like the ones pictured above. Photo courtesy Fallon Farmers’ Collaborative
Earlier today, Secretary Vilsack announced the Specialty Crop Block Grant awards totaling $55 million dollars. These grants will fund over 748 initiatives across the United States and its territories, and help expand opportunities for local and regional farmers.
Specialty crops produced in the U.S. include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, and are often a key source of income for America’s farmers. Through this program, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service grants money to the state and territory for them to directly support projects creating new business opportunities, boosting efficiency and productivity, and improving food safety.
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Grass and cotton fields in the Texas High Plains study. Credit: Vivien Allen (Texas Tech University).
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 USDA’s rich science and research profile.
Words like eco-friendly, green, fair, climate-friendly, community-based and organic are popping up daily – in the news, in ads and labels, and in conversations ranging from kitchen tables to international conferences. All of these and more come under the umbrella of sustainability, which people often describe as caring for people, planet and proceeds all at the same time. Read more »
Nicola Macpherson, agroforester, with her mushrooms and a lot more on her Missouri forestry farm.
Nicola Macpherson knows the benefits of agroforestry. After all, she has the success of her farm, Timber Farms in the Sink, and her business, Ozark Forest Mushrooms, as proof. Read more »