Fire Management Officer Mike Drayton, left, escorts Driss Misbah, a regional forester in northern Morocco during a prescribe fire demonstration on the Ocala National Forest. Photo Credit: Susan Blake, Public Affairs Specialist, National Forests in Florida
Fire experts from the Ocala National Forest and instructors from the Prescribed Fire Training Center in Tallahassee, Fla., recently hosted a delegation of natural resource specialists from the Moroccan Government.
The three-day long program in Florida focused on fire management techniques and observing actual prescribed burns.
“We’ve been cooperating with a Moroccan government agency called the High Commission, an agency akin to the Forest Service as they manage forests and watersheds across their country,” said Natasha Marwah, Middle East and North African Program Specialist with the U.S. Forest Service. “For the past five years, we’ve been providing technical assistance on forest conservation and health, rangeland and watershed management, and most recently, fire management.”
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L-R: Orlando Housing Authority President Vivian Bryant; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Rural Development Florida State Director Richard Machek and Rural Development Florida Single Family Housing Program Director Daryl Cooper participated in a business roundtable in Orlando, Fla., last Friday. They discussed the USDA Rural Development Home Refinancing Pilot Program which is available to USDA borrowers in 19 states.
When most people think of Orlando, Florida, they envision exciting theme parks, Cinderella’s castle and a mouse with big ears. But when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Orlando on February 24th, it was with a different vision in mind. Read more »
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan meets with members of the at Fifth Generation Farms fresh market in Lake City, Florida on Friday, Jan. 27, 2012. USDA Photo by Ellen Boukari.
Last week, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited Fifth Generation Farms fresh market in Lake City, Fla., a farm family owned market selling local meats and produce. When Fifth Generation Farms market opened in August 2011, it was the realization of a dream not only for Delvey and Cindy Dicks, but for their entire family as well. For five generations, the Dicks family has been involved in farming and ranching in the North Central Florida area. The Dicks knew that if the family farm was to remain productive for future generations, they would have to offset rising production input costs and the loss of summer tobacco crops. Read more »
Natural Resource Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida looks on as a high school student sets his sights on the archery range. Nearly 500 students from area schools attended the recent More Kids in the Woods event. (Photo Credit: Susan Blake, Public Affairs Specialist, National Forests of Florida)
What makes 500 middle and high school kids from area schools near Tallahassee, Fla., happy? Getting outside and embracing the great outdoors during a week-long U.S. Forest Service event known as ‘More Kids in the Woods.’
During the five-day outdoor event , the kids developed new skills related to archery and using BB gun ranges, discovered wild turkey hunting, and immersed themselves in wildlife interpretive and forestry information, including a demonstration of a prescribed burn to learn more about the role fire plays in managing ecosystems. Read more »
One of the first FRESP project sites, as the water began to flow into the former grazing land.
Over 100 years ago, public agencies and private landowners began to transform central and south Florida. Then an extensive system of water management implemented in the 1930s and 1940s, including irrigation, flood control, canals and other structures, interrupted historic water flows to Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. Read more »
Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton (center right) and American Culinary Federation Chef David S. Bearl (center left) pose with RB Hunt Elementary first graders from Christine Skipp’s and Lori Hall’s class as they show off pumpkins. Thornton and Bearl visited the school located in St. Augustine, Fla., on Oct 18, to celebrate Farm to School Month and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Chefs Move to Schools initiative. The pumpkins were harvested from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural farm, Hastings, Fla., and were also used in the school’s lunch for the day. (Photo by Lanna Kirk)
Nothing says autumn like pumpkins fresh from the farm! And since it’s Farm to School month, It’s fitting that I joined Christine Skipp, Lori Hall and their first grade class at RB Hunt Elementary School, in St. Augustine, Fla. to sample 11 different varieties of pumpkins. We took advantage of this fall’s harvest from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences farm in Hastings, Fla. Read more »