Did you know that USDA manages 193 million acres of land; occupies approximately 89 million square feet of office and laboratory space and operates over 23,000 buildings? And if this isn’t enough, USDA also operates a fleet of over 40,000 motor vehicles and equipment.
Photo of green roof on court 5 of the South Building. Saves energy and reduces excessive stormwater runoff (which supports our efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay).
With statistics like these, it is no wonder that USDA remains focused on reducing its rather significant environmental footprint by using clean energy while working towards improving the environment. To accomplish this, USDA conducts its operations in a sustainable manner, complies with environmental laws and regulations and walks its talk. Read more »
On March 30th, the Department of Agriculture, is hosting a “match making day” at USDA, to promote connections between agricultural producers of energy feedstocks (and their related businesses) with biorefiners seeking to produce biofuels for commercial sale and consumption. Officials from the U.S. Department of Navy, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Federal Aviation Administration will attend, make presentations and answer questions.
As we move forward as a nation, identifying and implementing an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, there are key relationships that will determine our success in the effort to develop and deploy aviation biofuels. The objectives of this match making session will be to improve awareness and increase understanding of the biofuels supply-chain links between those involved in feedstock production and the processors of that feedstock into biofuels. This includes logistical challenges, potential roles of service providers, and potential pitfalls. Read more »
National CARES Mentoring Movement founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Essence magazine, Susan Taylor (red coat), met for a cross-departmental discussion with Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy personnel in the Whitten Building, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. This not-for-profit organization is dedicated to recruiting and connecting mentors with local youth and mentoring organizations to help guide under-resourced children to academic and social success across the country. This discussion provided a continuation of the White House Policy in Action conference that took place in November 2011. The focus of the discussion was about how existing federal programs and administration priorities can be leveraged with her organization, especially as it relates to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) literacy, education and rural youth. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture held a cross-departmental discussion focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) literacy with Susan Taylor of the National CARES Mentoring Network. Susan Taylor, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Essence magazine, founded the National CARES Mentoring Network while spending time in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. While in New Orleans, Susan said that she learned that over 50% of African American fourth graders are functionally illiterate. Susan came to USDA to explain the need for literacy training and other academic enrichment support for under-resourced children in low-income families in order to help students develop a broad range of 21st century literacy skills. Read more »
Boletellus russellii grows under conifers and hardwoods, particularly oaks. It is found throughout most of eastern North America, but is relatively rare. The fungus grows around and actually covers tree roots, producing a fungal "mantle" that helps the tree absorb water and nutrients. (USDA Forest Service Photo)
U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station is breaking out its 79-year-old collection of 20,000 fungus cultures – yes, the stuff that grows in dark, damp places – to help create a new 1,000-species fungal directory. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights USDA’s Efforts to Expand Aviation Biofuels at the Paris Air Show
On Wednesday in Paris, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earned the distinction as the first U.S. Agriculture Secretary to attend a Paris Air Show, the largest gathering of the world aerospace industry. The Secretary spoke at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase to a crowd of about 75 aviation business leaders about how USDA is among the forefront of U.S. federal efforts to support the development of bio-based fuels. USDA has established memoranda of understanding with several government and aviation-related agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Air Transport Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Navy, on efforts to research and develop renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it. Read more »
On Wednesday May 4th, Secretary Tom Vilsack joined tribal leaders to discuss energy opportunities across Indian Country at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Tribal Energy Summit here in Washington, DC. The event was a culmination of Energy Roundtables that had taken place across the country over the past few months and provided an opportunity for tribal leaders to hear from cabinet officials about energy programs across the United States Government. Read more »