Rural communities are the life blood of our great nation. Here at USDA we work every day to make sure that rural Americans have access to programs that help them create opportunity across America’s small towns and communities.
Tomorrow, I will sit down with the members of the White House Rural Council to discuss ways we can continue to address the many unique challenges facing rural America. Today, in advance of our meeting, I am pleased to highlight an effort by the U.S. Department of Transportation to strengthen one of the key objectives of the White House Rural Council by increasing access to dependable transportation in rural communities across 23 states.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explains more about this effort in a blog from the U.S. Department of Transportation Blog: Read more »
Deputy Thomas Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs at the Economic Development Administration (left); Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar (right), and Colleen Callahan of USDA prepare for the morning session at the drought conference. USDA photo.
Over 100 attendees joined Thomas Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs at the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and Colorado Agricultural Commissioner John Salazar at the second of four regional workshops to outline resources available to assist with drought recovery efforts. The Colorado regional workshop was held at the state fairgrounds in Pueblo earlier this week. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is partnering with tribes, local, state and federal partners to hold the workshops. Federal partners include the Department of Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
With over two-thirds of the country in drought, recovery efforts are underway and a new framework for delivery is being developed. Collaboration, coordination and communication were the prevalent themes at the Colorado workshop. These efforts will be needed at all levels of government and our ability to work together is crucial. Read more »
District of Columbia science classes help in an enhanced pest detection program.
The Challenge – Non-native wood-boring insects and pathogens that infest and kill trees pose a serious threat to our nation’s forests.
But monitoring trees to look for emerging insects is time-consuming and resource intensive. Exotic pests are frequently first introduced in the country’s urban areas where they go undetected until they are well established and have damaged host trees. Enhanced survey and detection methods are needed to identify new introductions of invasive insects and diseases. Read more »
An August 18 opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, ‘Obama on the Farm’, missed the underlying fact: the Obama administration understands that America’s farmers are some of our nation’s finest conservationists, and we have gone to historic lengths to support them in these efforts.
Sadly, rumors and misconceptions have become the norm, not the exception, especially when it comes to regulations and the Obama administration’s work on agriculture. First, it was that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was considering treating spilled milk like an oil spill. Not true. In terms of water regulations, EPA has made it clear that recent rules do not seek to regulate land that occasionally ponds during heavy rains. Read more »
The Obama Administration’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities initiative is led by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency with participation by USDA and other agencies. The map shown here illustrates the geographic reach of several HUD and DOT programs that are included in the Partnership.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently awarded $40 million in Sustainable Community Challenge Grants to help support local planning designed to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation. These grants are designed to foster reform and reduce barriers to achieving affordable, economically vital and sustainable communities. The funds will be used by communities, large and small, to address local challenges to integrating transportation and housing. Read more »