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Posts tagged: AskUSDA

Thanks for Making the #AskUSDA School Meals Chat a Success!

Today I hosted my very first twitter chat.  Seeing all the conversations fly by in real-time on Tweetdeck was overwhelming at first but I quickly got the hang of it.  I was happy to see so many tweeters send questions to our @USDA Twitter account for me to answer. I really hope that the chat was informative and interesting to all of you who participated.  It certainly was for me!

As a mom, grandmother and someone who spent many valuable years working in schools, I understand—first-hand—the great feedback that people provided. There are challenges in meeting the needs of growing children, and I believe the improvements we’ve made to school meals will go a long way toward meeting those challenges. I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do so far. Read more »

USDA Has Made Major Improvements to School Meals. Got a Question? #AskUSDA

Now that the school year has started, everyone is abuzz about the healthier meals being served at schools all over the country.  As a result of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, starting this fall, school meals are featuring more whole grains, both fruits and vegetables at every meal, and less sodium and trans fat.  Portion sizes are adjusted for age, among other improvements.

As a result, you may have questions like:

What kinds of new foods will my child’s school offer?

What prompted the changes?

What can I do to help my child eat healthier at home? Read more »

Local Food: Not All Answers Come From Inside the Beltway

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, hosts a live Twitter chat focused on the Department’s support of local and regional food systems and the recent release of the 2.0 version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass on Tuesday, July 4, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, hosts a live Twitter chat focused on the Department’s support of local and regional food systems and the recent release of the 2.0 version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Washington, D.C.

When we first launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass in February, we knew you would use this digital record to explore USDA’s work on local and regional food.  And you have. Read more »

Got Questions on Local Food? Join Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan Next Tuesday and #AskUSDA

Based on the overwhelming participation in our recent Google + Hangout, we know you have lots of questions about local food in your community and what USDA can do to help.  Some of your questions may be like these:

I’m in Wisconsin and know USDA funded a grocery store featuring local food in Connecticut. How can I find out more?

How many local food projects does USDA fund in Wyoming?

I live in Maine. Who grows local produce in the winter here?

Where is the closest food hub that can help me with distributing my produce into my local school? Read more »

Commemorating 150 Years at USDA – Join a Live Twitter Chat with Secretary Vilsack and #AskUSDA

Did you know USDA brings Thanksgiving dinner to our troops serving abroad?
Did you know that USDA is
responsible for fabric testing, including creating flame-retardant finishes used on products like firefighters’ uniforms and military clothing and children’s pajamas?
Did you know 1 in 5 Americans drink H2O that originated on a national forest?

Read more »

Domestic Energy in 140 Characters or Less

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responds to questions, with the assistance of Office of Communications Director of Web Communications Amanda Eamich, during the first Virtual Office hours live "Twitter" session held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 4, 2012. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack responds to questions, with the assistance of Office of Communications Director of Web Communications Amanda Eamich, during the first Virtual Office hours live "Twitter" session held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, April 4, 2012. USDA photo by Lance Cheung.

In the fast paced technology world there are a lot of firsts coming at us all the time. But if you had told me that I’d be present for the first ever USDA Virtual Office Hours on April 5, 2012, in our 150th year, I assure you I never would have believed you. The event allowed USDA, a department  President Lincoln referred to as the People’s Department –– to reach hundreds of thousands of people, 140 characters at a time.  What really struck me was how many insightful questions came in about energy and USDA, and, in particular, one that was asked on our Facebook page shortly before the hour long chat.

Read more »