After years of working in corporate America, Relinda Walker volunteered to be laid off to come home to Georgia and take over the family farm.
Being first can have its advantages and disadvantages. Relinda Walker knows that all too well.
Walker’s Organic Farm was one of the first organic operations in South Georgia. It took root in 2005 during a time when eating organic was for foodies and white table cloth chefs. Read more »
Law enforcement officers with the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests joined forces with about 70 other professionals recently to showcase their careers at Clarkesville Elementary School in Clarkesville, Ga.
Officer Derik Breedlove gives potential future Forest Service law enforcement officers an opportunity to try out the view from an ATV seat. Photo credit: USDA Forest Service/Stuart Delugach
The Forest Service is a regular participant in the school’s career day. Captain Stuart Delugach and Officer Derik Breedlove talked with the students about jobs in Forest Service law enforcement. This year they met with approximately 500 students and showed off some of the tools of the trade, including their All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and law enforcement vehicles. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House Council on Environmental Quality blog:
I was recently in Atlanta, Georgia to speak at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference about Working Lands for Wildlife, a new effort to focus both conservation dollars and wildlife management expertise on the recovery of seven at-risk, threatened or endangered wildlife species. This unique approach to conservation concentrates federal resources on private working lands—home to a majority of candidate and listed species under the Endangered Species Act. Working Lands for Wildlife was developed by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior through their membership in the White House Rural Council.
Working with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners is critical to President Obama’s vision of an economy built to last, one where rural communities provide clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat to generate economic opportunities for outdoor recreation and jobs, while protecting farm and ranch traditions. Working Lands for Wildlife demonstrates the President’s focus on the rural economy and his commitment to keep working lands working. Read more »
In one of the first of its kind studies in the South, a research social scientist with the Forest Service Southern Research Station recently examined Latino access to local public lands in Hall County, Ga.
Census-track-based information from studies like this can help municipal and county planners develop strategies to address public land access by minority communities.
Researcher Cassandra Johnson Gaither found that since 1990, Latinos have migrated or immigrated to nontraditional areas of the South—basically states other than Florida—at unprecedented rates. The Latino populations in some southern states have increased by 300 to 400 percent. This growth places demands on these areas from a pure numbers standpoint, but the associated cultural shift can’t be ignored. Read more »
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 »
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Wheat Street Gardens, a unique urban garden, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Ga., not far from the famous civil rights historical Ebenezer and Wheat Street churches. The garden was once a housing project that was demolished and many of the former residences’ families still come to the garden telling stories of where their parents used to live and reliving the memories as they purchase fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. The old housing project land, owned by the Wheat Street Church, was donated for the garden.
Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture (TLW), which is a 501(C)(3) Non-Profit, runs the garden, which produces organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs, grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. The garden is also a farmers market selling as a direct farmer to the community and welcomes customers who spend Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. Read more »