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Posts tagged: Environmental Quality Incentives Program

Extending the Season, Expanding Variety and Growing Locally

healthy plants growing in abundance under the protection of a high tunnel.

I remember when I first moved to Alaska, the only vegetable I ate was potatoes. Fruits and veggies were expensive and weren’t even fresh! Up here, produce is shipped or flown up from the lower 48, and by the time it gets to off-road communities it can be nearly rotten. Plus, the nutritional value of produce declines each day after picking. But now, the last frontier is seeing a paradigm shift in favor of flavor: high tunnels. Read more »

Rural Champions Utilize USDA Programs to Promote Sustainable Farmland Practices

Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell, Down to Earth Energy, Georgia

Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell, Down to Earth Energy, Georgia

Cross posted from the White House Rural Champions of Change website:

When Rick Huszagh and Crista Carrell purchased part of her family’s farm in 1995, their focus was on farmland preservation as much as the creation of a successful business enterprise. Read more »

Disability Not a Barrier to Conservation Planning

A planning meeting with Freitas at the Redding Service Center.

A planning meeting with Freitas at the Redding Service Center.

Shasta County landowner Karen Freitas has worked with the staff of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since 2009, when she sought help recovering from a devastating wild fire that had burned much of her 160-acre tree farm the previous summer. Read more »

Hoop House Hoopla

Sometimes those of us in Washington DC take ourselves too seriously.  I’ve fallen into that trap more than once.  So, when it came time to shoot our video on the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) hoop house offering, launched last year as part of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative, we decided to have some fun.  On a beautiful late November day, I joined White House chef Sam Kass to put small hoops over the garden beds at the First Lady’s garden.  This video captures the fun we had.

Dan Glickman, former Secretary of Agriculture, has always placed high value on humor.  Writing last August in the Wichita Eagle, he wrote:

One of the most underestimated tools in politics, leadership and life is a sense of humor — the ability to laugh not just at others but at ourselves. More than ever, we need humor’s deflationary influence in the nation’s capital. It’s an essential release valve, a check on all the overheated rhetoric and a bridge to real dialogue.

Mark Twain got it right when he said, “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Humor alone can’t solve our problems. But it can open the door to greater civility, a little more humanity and some much-needed productivity in our nation’s governance.

Restoring Historic Habitat and Creating Outdoor Education Opportunities for Youth

The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.

The centerpiece of Camp Binachi is this 250-seat dining hall with its distinct A-frame shape. Surrounded by green grass and beautiful pines, it is a truly picturesque scene year-round.

Camp Binachi is a Boy Scouts of America camp located in rural Lauderdale County, Mississippi, that focuses on teaching scouts about ecology and the conservation of natural resources. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina caused severe damage to Camp Binachi, which is managed by the Choctaw Area Council. But the council was able to get assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to reconstruct the damaged areas. Read more »