Last spring and summer I had the opportunity to investigate two 1,000 year old archeological sites on a Montgomery County farm. Working with me were archeologists from Troy University and Auburn University at Montgomery, their students and volunteers from the Alabama Archeological Society. Our goal was to determine if the two sites were important to understanding the prehistory of Alabama and should be preserved.
Troy University students conduct shovel tests in an attempt to discover how far the archeological site extends into the woods from the row crop field.
I was on the farm because I am the Cultural Resources Specialist for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama. The farmer was planning to implement conservation practices on the land with NRCS’ assistance, so my job was to review the property and planned practices to determine whether we’d be adversely affecting the two archeological sites. Read more »
L-R: Orlando Housing Authority President Vivian Bryant; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Rural Development Florida State Director Richard Machek and Rural Development Florida Single Family Housing Program Director Daryl Cooper participated in a business roundtable in Orlando, Fla., last Friday. They discussed the USDA Rural Development Home Refinancing Pilot Program which is available to USDA borrowers in 19 states.
When most people think of Orlando, Florida, they envision exciting theme parks, Cinderella’s castle and a mouse with big ears. But when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Orlando on February 24th, it was with a different vision in mind. Read more »
In June, President Obama established the Rural Council, which is chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. As a result, numerous rural roundtables have been held and will continue to be held throughout the country.
Revitalizing rural America is a priority to this Administration. The rural roundtables are an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input, identify challenges and make recommendations.
On my recent trip to the great state of Alabama, my USDA colleagues from Rural Development, Farm Services Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported me at a rural roundtable held in the community of Dothan. We had excellent attendance and constructive input from community leaders attending. Read more »
John Sudduth, Don Allison, Carl Godsey, Allen Owens and NRCS’ Wade Hill distributed the fencing supplies to tornado victims in Marion, Franklin and Lawrence Counties.
When tornadoes struck Alabama in April 2011, people across the state rushed to help their neighbors with food, shelter and basic necessities. But volunteers didn’t have much time to help cattlemen round up and secure livestock. Read more »
Cogongrass, a nonnative invasive plant, infesting a southern pine plantation. (photo by Chris Evans, courtesy of Forestry Images)
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.
Nonnative plants have hitchhiked their way into flower beds, gardens, and yards of landowners in the South for decades, invading and often harming forests and other natural areas by pushing out native plants and degrading wildlife habitat. These exotic plants often reduce forest productivity, wildlife diversity, and water quality and quantity. Read more »
What better time than National Homeownership Month to host a housing development workshop? Local officials in Pike County, Alabama, recognized the shortage of available housing for individuals and families interested in relocating to the area because of the hundreds of new job opportunities resulting from recent industry announcements and existing business expansions. As one of the steps to help address this housing issue, the Pike County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) hosted a housing development workshop last week.
During the workshop, lenders, realtors, and developers learned about a variety of Federal and State programs to finance single family and multi-tenant housing. Representatives of USDA Rural Development shared detailed information and met one-on-one with individuals following the workshop to answer their specific questions. General questions about eligibility criteria, “green-building” programs and incentives, zoning issues, and rehabilitation of existing multi-tenant housing were raised during the workshop. Read more »