Volunteers unloading the gleaned watermelons at a food bank in Missouri.
What do the National Resource Conservation Service , Farm Service Agency, Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and 16 tons of watermelons have in common? These USDA agencies have joined together in Southeastern Missouri to donate literally tons of watermelon to the food banks in Sikeston and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. This massive donation is the result of gleaning, which is the act of collecting excess foods from farmers markets, farms, stores, restaurants, gardens and elsewhere and donating that food to those in need. Read more »
Students at Woolmarket Elementary have transformed a vacant courtyard into a nucleus of plant activity, ranging from cabbages to coastal grasses.
When horticulturist Christine Coker first learned of the People’s Garden Initiative, she searched for a registered garden in her coastal Mississippi community.
Secretary Vilsack began the People’s Garden Initiative—the name references President Lincoln’s description of USDA as the “People’s Department”—in 2009 as an effort to challenge employees to create gardens at USDA facilities. It has since grown into a collaborative effort of over 700 local and national organizations all working together to establish community and school gardens across the country. Read more »
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan recently visited Viroqua, Wisc. to promote USDA’s new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. While she was there, she took the time to meet with Timothy Bennish, a volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Earth Team volunteer program.
NRCS works with farmers and ranchers to implement voluntary conservation practices that will not only protect the nation’s natural resources, but also maintain or increase the productivity of the land. Read more »
Adria Smith started working with NRCS as a student volunteer. She is now a student trainee soil conservationist.
I first heard about Earth Team, the volunteer workforce of the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) from Eric Banks, the Kansas State Conservationist. Our families go to the same church, and he spoke with my mother about the Earth Team program, recommending I look into getting involved with it. Read more »
Earth Team Volunteer Sgt. Patrick Bower, Soil Conservationist Janet Coleman and District Conservationist Kevin Hart inspect a streambank protection jetty.
Volunteers for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) come from all walks of life.
In Tennessee, we’ve been lucky enough to have U.S. Army soldiers, who were injured while serving our nation, volunteer at the Clarksville NRCS Field Office.
Clarksville is only eight miles from Fort Campbell, Ky., a large Army base which straddles the Kentucky and Tennessee border. Fort Campbell is the home of the 101st Airborne Division, Special Forces units, a combat support hospital and sizeable medical facilities. Read more »
Mallory McDevitt of Wapakoneta, Ohio in her one-acre organic garden.
Mallory McDevitt of Wapakoneta, Ohio, is a real go-getter. This 18-year-old high school senior has been an Earth Team Volunteer with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since she was 14. She also serves as the Wapakoneta FFA Chapter Vice President. Read more »