The state of Mississippi, recently hit with back-to-back disasters in the forms of record-intensity tornadoes in the eastern portion of the state and devastating floods in the Mississippi River Delta, was visited by two USDA under secretaries on Thursday.
USDA Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and USDA Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse spent much of Thursday in Mississippi as part of an intense whirlwind tour of flood-damaged areas of Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana and tornado damaged areas of Alabama. This tour follows visits last week by President Barack Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the tornado affected areas of Mississippi and Alabama. Read more »
Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager was in Marvell, Arkansas, on Friday to meet with over 150 people that have been affected by recent disasters. Tonsager discussed the assistance that USDA can provide to help residents, farmers, ranchers and businesses that have been hard hit by the recent floods in Arkansas and assured the crowd that their concerns would be conveyed to Washington.
Rural Development provides the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with regular information as to vacant units in multi-family housing complexes financed by the agency, and following a Presidential disaster declaration, FEMA can assist with placement vouchers to cover short-term rental costs. USDA offers a variety of resources for states and individuals affected by the recent disasters. Read more »
U.S. Department of Agriculture Acting Under Secretary Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service Michael Scuse speaks with an area resident following an outreach event on the Mississippi River levee at Vidalia, LA, on Thursday, May 19, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
The levee along the Mississippi River was busy with activity on Thursday, May 19. USDA Under Secretaries for Rural Development, Dallas Tonsager, and the Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Service, Michael Scuse along with Rural Development Louisiana State Director Clarence W. Hawkins and other USDA agencies, Southern University and LSU Agricultural Centers personnel, Congressional offices representatives, other governmental and local entities came together for residents and concerned citizens on the levee of the Mississippi River in Vidalia, Louisiana. Read more »
USDA staff in Missouri joined Governor Jay Nixon on May 10 and May 11, 2011, at five Flood Recovery Resource Meetings to an estimated 600 people in Southeast Missouri. The meetings were held in the cities of Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, Charleston, New Madrid and Caruthersville which are located in the counties devastated by the recent flooding along the Black, Current, Mississippi and St. Francis Rivers, the cresting of Lakes Clearwater and Wappapello and the removal of the Birds Point Mississippi River Levee Plug.
The meetings were sponsored by Governor Nixon in an effort to respond to the needs of individuals, families and businesses affected by the flooding. The National Guard and the Highway Patrol started each meeting began with an update on the flooding situation. Representatives of state and federal agencies were introduced and attendees encouraged visiting informational booths concerning specific issues and learning of resources available. Read more »
The Farm Service Agency is reminding crop and livestock producers throughout states that have recently experienced severe damage from flooding, wildfires and tornadoes that FSA programs may be available to assist with recovery.
According to Acting FSA Administrator Val Dolcini, whether it’s wildfires in the Southwest, flooding or tornados in the Midwest, Plains, and Southeast, learning about our FSA disaster programs is an important first step for producers in the recovery process. Read more »
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the U.S. Department of Agriculture blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the agency’s rich science and research portfolio.
I had it for dinner last night, and I’m sure more than a few of you did as well. For billions of people around the world, rice is the cornerstone of their diet. When so many people depend upon a particular crop it becomes even more important to protect it, especially from problems we can’t control, like the weather. Researchers have worked for years to breed rice that can withstand unpredictable flooding, and recently have they been successful. Read more »