Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager was in Marvell, Arkansas, on Friday to meet with over 150 people that have been affected by recent disasters. Tonsager discussed the assistance that USDA can provide to help residents, farmers, ranchers and businesses that have been hard hit by the recent floods in Arkansas and assured the crowd that their concerns would be conveyed to Washington.
Rural Development provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with regular information as to vacant units in multi-family housing complexes financed by the agency, and following a Presidential disaster declaration, FEMA can assist with placement vouchers to cover short-term rental costs. USDA offers a variety of resources for states and individuals affected by the recent disasters. Read more »
I’ve worked for the Food Safety and Inspection Service for 21 years, and for the past six years, I’ve had the opportunity to help reduce foodborne illness in a unique way outside of my usual job description—by talking to local 8th grade science students about how to “Fight Bac!” My husband, Kirkland, also works for FSIS. I am a Case Specialist, meaning I deal with consumer complaints and product recalls within FSIS’ Springdale, Ark., district, while Kirkland is a Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI). When my niece was studying bacteria in her 8th grade science class, she mentioned to her teacher that several members of her family work every day to prevent harmful bacteria in our food supply. Intrigued, the teacher called and asked if I would discuss with the class my job and how foodborne pathogens can make people sick. Read more »
On October 16 and 17, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone was able to reach Arkansas consumers at two excellent venues. The first was the Arkansas State Fair, a crowded and busy bacteria haven, and the second was a local Kroger grocery store where consumers were buying the food they should be keeping safe. The Discovery Zone was such a hit that it even made the Little Rock evening news! Sharing their food safety information with families, kids, and some misguided shoppers, the Discovery Zone staff agreed this road trip was well worth the drive. Read more »
The United States Department of Agriculture, U. S. Forest Service offers an evolving living painting of color during the fall. North, South, East or West the National Forests are a great natural resource to be enjoyed.
From New England through the south and across the upper Midwest to the Rockies and Pacific Northwest, many people anticipate that this weekend will be a showcase for a vast array of brilliant fall colors. Read more »
In response to teacher Devitta Baker’s online request, the USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone traveled to Gwynn Park Middle School in Brandywine, Maryland this past Tuesday. From 8:30 a.m. until noon, the Discovery Zone staff taught 132 students and 16 teachers and parents how to Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill—just in time to use their new food safety knowledge at lunch. Read more »
Most people do not realize that more than half the water in the United States comes from watersheds managed on forests. Used in homes, on ranches, in industry and for energy production, water resources in forests provide important services to people, as well as habitat for a wide variety of aquatic life. Our rapidly changing climate, however, is challenging our watersheds with both wet and dry extremes – more severe droughts, more frequent and larger floods, more soil moisture stress and lower stream flows during the dry season, less of a snowpack reservoir, and other effects. In a unique pilot project, 11 national forests around the country are assessing the vulnerability of their water resources and watersheds to such changes. Read more »