Turning on a light, running water from a faucet, or calling a friend are activities that most of us take for granted. Rural utility providers are the lifeblood in their communities offering services important in our everyday lives and in supporting rural industries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides support to expand and modernize these services.
Recently, Acting USDA Rural Utilities Administrator John Padalino visited North Dakota to host a meeting, which focused on creating partnerships that benefit the future of rural America. Key players in this conversation were the water, electric, and telecom providers. Padalino noted that without basic infrastructure, we would have no support for our rural economies, which are critical to the success of our nation. All of us depend on rural America for our food, water, and energy. Read more »
Over the coming weeks, the landscape in Oklahoma will change dramatically as state-of-the-art combines comb meticulously through fields of golden wheat, allowing Oklahoma farmers to deliver an estimated 150 million bushels to their local grain elevators. The varieties harvested were exhaustively developed to maximize yield and minimize susceptibility to pests, while improving milling and baking qualities.
Such innovation allows today’s farmer to feed over 150 people, each farmer producing five times as much as our grandparents, and doing it with less land, water, energy, and fewer emissions. Agriculture has advanced significantly over the 150-year history of the department charged with its support. Read more »
Today, on Teacher Appreciation Day, we have an opportunity to say “thank you” to America’s educators. In particular, I’d like to send a brief message of thanks to our teachers working in small towns and rural communities across the United States.
A quality education is imperative to the lives of children in every corner of our country, no matter where they live. This can be more challenging in smaller rural schools that face unique geographical challenges, tight budgets and barriers to technology in the classroom. Read more »
Farm in Taylor County, IA, July 28, 1958.
As USDA celebrates its 150 year anniversary; we remember many milestones such as the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) establishment in 1935. In the 1930’s, only about 10 percent of rural folks had electricity while people living in town had 90 percent coverage across the nation. With the assistance of REA funding, by 1942, nearly 50 percent of US farms had electricity, and by 1952 almost all US farms had electricity. Read more »
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel; Under Secretary for USDA Rural Development Dallas Tonsager (right) ; and Maine Congressman Michael Michaud at a Rural Roundtable in Maine About two dozen Maine business leaders discussed business development issues with Federal officials.
It was a unique opportunity for Maine leaders to share their thoughts on the challenges and prospects for Maine’s economy at a Rural Roundtable held earlier this month, at the Rural Development State Office in Bangor. The Roundtable, facilitated by USDA Rural Development Maine State Director Virginia Manuel, brought the participants together with Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and Maine Congressman Michael Michaud for a candid discussion. Read more »
The ranks of the people who fought in, and personally remember World War II, the people journalist Tom Brokaw called “The Greatest Generation” are rapidly thinning. My mother, who heard the announcement over a Zenith radio that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, is now in her 90’s. My father, who served in Europe during World War II, died in 1987. Many families share similar histories. Virtually every American family was touched in some way by World War II. Many lost loved ones in the conflict. But with the war over 60 years in the past, personal memories of the war are fading.
Those memories and the recollections of those who fought are vividly alive in Abilene, Texas, at the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum. Recently, the museum was awarded part of a USDA Distance Learning Grant. That grant will be used to provide materials to explain the War and its aftermath to future generations. Read more »