Maykia Yang (right), is trying to educate Hmong farmers in North Carolina about Farm Service Agency programs. Pictured with Maykia is her husband Jim (left) and son Marcus.
It’s not a pleasant memory for Maykia Yang. Fleeing on foot from her native home of Laos at age eight and following her family to Thailand where she spent two years in a refugee camp.
“My father was a soldier and worked for the CIA during the [Vietnam] war. After the CIA pulled out, the Vietnamese took over Laos and we fled on foot for about a month,” said Yang, who now owns a chicken farm in North Carolina. Read more »
A new calf, new life on the ranch, is reason for Annie Woodson, 100, to step out into the pasture and the Texas sunshine.
Ms. Annie Faye Woodson has been directly involved in farming and ranching in Texas for the last 76 years. At 100 years-old she stays up-to-date on Farm Service Agency (FSA) program news and still makes trips to the Fannin County FSA office to sign up for farm programs and to certify acres. It is no surprise that Woodson has seen many changes throughout her life on the farm.
“I rode in a wagon, buggy and tractor,” said Woodson. “Technology is the biggest change I’ve seen in my lifetime.” Read more »
As a youngster growing up in rural Jasper County, Miss., Anthony Lovett never forgot the words of his late grandfather, who told him, “Take care of the land and the land will take care of you.”
Cattle and poultry farmer Anthony Lovett and Supervisory District Conservationist Ron Read monitor the success of conservation practices, such as the incinerator and cross-fencing, on his Jasper County farm.
That advice from his beloved grandfather has guided him during his career—the poultry and cattle farmer is no stranger to conservation. In fact, Lovett’s family has worked with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) since the 1990’s to ensure the land is productive and healthy. Read more »
By James Miller, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services
Earlier today I announced, on behalf of Secretary Tom Vilsack, an opportunity for landowners to enroll environmentally sensitive land into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). CRP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Read more »
Today, driving out to visit the Castillo farm in Plant City, Florida, Secretary Tom Vilsack and his staff took a moment to stop at a roadside stand selling a wide variety of local produce.
We we’re pleased to see that they accept SNAP benefits with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. And their boiled peanuts were delicious.
At the farm Secretary Vilsack had a great conversation with Fidel and Hilda Castillo. He learned how they have expanded their operation from just one acre to the more than 60 acres they farm today. The Secretary then went out into the cantaloupe field and checked out the irrigation system.
Up next, Secretary Vilsack will attend an event with agriculture leaders from across the state at the University of South Florida in Tampa to talk about the strength of Florida’s agricultural economy.
By Bobby Gravitz
Farmer’s Market near Plant City, Florida accepts SNAP benefits with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card.
By Suzanne Pender, NRCS
On a tour of Gully Branch Tree Farm, in Bleckley, Georgia, NRCS leaders and partners witnessed first-hand the benefits of the new Forestry Incentives Initiative of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Through conservation activities including woodland management, prescribed burning, cultivation of native plants, and pond management, Earl and Wanda Barr have created habitat for diverse wildlife species on their land.
The Barrs have been extensively recognized for their work and won the 2010 Georgia Governor’s Agriculture Stewardship Award. As foresters and committed conservationists, the Barrs have provided educational programs at their farm for over 7,000 students throughout the years, using the forest as a classroom.
NRCS Regional Assistant Chief Leonard Jordan, NRCS State Conservationist James E. Tillman, Sr. and partners from the local Soil and Water Conservation District, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Wild Turkey Federation, and others toured the farm and saw conservation in action. Red cockaded woodpeckers followed our wagon in the early morning mist, as we viewed native plants as groundcover, a future silvopasture site, nesting habitat and wetland area.
At one moment in the middle of the forest, we all closed our eyes to fully appreciate the symphony of diverse bird songs. Their song of conservation was brought to life in one of the largest forestry states in the country. Forests are home to 900 species of wildlife and 3,600 species of plants filter water and air and provide thousands of products.
Foresters and Conservationists Earl and Wanda Barr take NRCS and conservation partners on a tour of Gully Branch Tree Farm, Georgia.