As Associate Administrator of USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), one of my duties is to lead all-employee meetings with the Agency’s field offices across the country. During my travel, I often visit local projects and success stories in agriculture that have connections with USDA projects. Recently, I visited one of RMA’s outreach partners in Raleigh, North Carolina— the Longview School and Inter-faith Food Shuttle.
RMA is funding this unique urban agriculture project through a current partnership agreement with the North Carolina Farm Transition Network. The project, in coordination with Patrick Faulkner, Longview FFA Chapter, and Sun Butler of Inter-faith Food Shuttle, provides hands-on training for students and the community on managing risks associated with gardening and horticulture, improving health, building collaborations, reducing hunger, and potentially, enhancing career skills related to the local food system and the food value chain. As a part of this project, Mr. Faulkner has taken students to on two field trips for educational purposes: A national workshop on growing food at Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wis., with Will Allen, and a trip to Washington, D.C., for the National FFA Leadership Conference. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack speaks with the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) leadership at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, DC, on Thursday, July 28, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
The economy its affect on agriculture was a common theme among leaders of the (former) Future Farmers of America who met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack as part of the National FFA State President’s Conference. Read more »
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan listens to and answers questions from seniors from Calvert High School Calvert, Texas Jamarion Ramirez, Andre Ross, Telisa Grimes, LaKendra Crowley Ja’Marcus Ashley, Blair Burns and Shameka Grimes.
It wasn’t supposed to happen.
There wasn’t supposed to be an agriculture curriculum. There wasn’t supposed to be an instructor. And there definitely wasn’t any money to send seven African-American students from one of the smallest and lowest income towns in Texas to Washington, D.C., to speak with high-level USDA officials. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appears on RFD TV in Nashville, TN, with RFD News Director Mark Oppold, on Monday, May 23, 2011. USDA Photo.
After a great event yesterday morning on the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, Secretary Vilsack headed to RFD-TV for a live show titled, “Homegrown Energy, Fueling America’s Future.” With an in-studio audience of about 275 people and others watching live, the Secretary kicked it off by talking with RFD-TV host Mark Oppold about how we need America to be a country that makes, creates and innovates. He talked about USDA programs and rural America’s ability to meet our country’s energy needs through renewable energy. Read more »
USDA Rural Development State Director, Vernita F. Dore announced an award of more than $3.1 million to the Town of Iva for sewer improvements as part of an Earth Day celebration in Iva, South Carolina. After the ceremony, Ms. Dore, Town of Iva Mayor Bobby Gentry and members of the Crescent High School Future Farmers of America commemorated Earth Day by planting a Japanese red maple tree outside the Iva Civic Center.
Earth Day is observed annually on April 22nd to raise awareness about the role each person can play to protect vital natural resources and safeguard the environment. Since the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, the event has expanded to include participation by citizens and governments in more than 195 countries. Read more »
Across our communities, young farmers are taking out loans, rolling up their sleeves and taking part in the American Dream in hopes of becoming future farmers with the ability to own a farm of their own one day.
Rebecca Hatcher and Jake Broadway are members of the Grundy County High School Future Farmers of America. When they decided to participate in the 4-H market steer project they contacted the Winchester Farm Service Agency (FSA) office about a youth loan. After receiving the loan, each purchased a market steer to show in 4-H shows in the area and the nearby county fair. Their plan is to market and sell the steers this summer and save the profit for college. Rebecca’s father, Wade Hatcher, is sponsoring both steers at his farm. Read more »