Last week, President and Mrs. Obama hosted France’s President, Francois Hollande for a State Dinner on the South Lawn of the White House. State Dinners are a way to celebrate U.S. relations with international friends and allies. Past dinners at the White House during the Obama Administration have hosted visiting heads of state from nations including India, Mexico, China, Germany, and Great Britain. In many ways, these events are an opportunity to demonstrate and celebrate for invited guests and the world, the cultural and culinary heritages of our country.
The State Dinner last week was an excellent example, highlighting the diversity of American agricultural and rural products that our nation has to offer. The dinner celebrated the “best of American cuisine” and featured dry-aged rib eye beef from Colorado, trout from Maine, cheese from Vermont, chocolate from Hawaii, and potatoes from New York, Idaho, and California. The wines served at the dinner included excellent selections featuring California, Washington State, and Virginia offerings. However, beyond the menu itself an equally impressive feature was the visible presence of American cut flowers that decorated and added a stunning visual touch for guests at the White House. The floral arrangements displayed at the dinner included: Read more »
Florida International University Agro-Ecology graduate student Thelma Velez, right, explains an agricultural research project to area high school students.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Some say careers in agriculture are a thing of the past, but don’t tell that to Krish Jayachandran, a professor and co-director of Florida International University’s (FIU) Agroecology Program. He will tell you that agriculture is the wave of the future—and he is backing that statement with nearly a decade of work to ensure the next generation of agricultural scientists are ready.
“If we are going to feed more than 9 billion people in the future, we have to get creative in how we use our soil and water resources—not to mention our over-reliance on the same kind of germplasm decade after decade,” Jayachandran said. “I tell students that agriculture research is not farming, it is science and technology. It’s thinking about bio-geo-chemical processes and nutrient cycling; on-farm and off-farm remediation measures, surface and groundwater management, and bioenergy.” Read more »
One of 40 new maps showing major crop-producing areas in the United States and other nations.
A total of 40 new maps have been prepared, showing major crop-producing areas in the United States, China, India, Pakistan, and South Africa. Earlier versions of these maps appeared in the Major World Crop Areas and Climatic Profiles (MWCACP) handbook that contains climatological data, agricultural statistics, and crop calendar information for major agricultural areas worldwide, and serves as a reference for evaluating the effects of weather on world crop production. The new maps, listed by country and commodity, supplement the MWCACP publication by updating illustrations of cropping patterns in these countries: Read more »
Chef Sachin Subbaiah of India prepares a salad during a live cooking demonstration at SPAR Hypermarket in Bangalore, India, as part of the U.S. Food and Beverage Independence Festival. The festival was the first multi-retailer U.S. food and beverage promotional campaign held throughout cities in India from June 29 to July 22.
While many Americans enjoyed time with family and friends grilling and preparing their favorite foods this past Independence Day, Indian consumers were learning about some of those same U.S. foods during a month-long promotional campaign. Read more »
Louis Guy Michael, the "Father of FAS."
The concept of ensuring access to foreign markets for U.S. agricultural products dates nearly to the founding of the Republic, when Thomas Jefferson was posted to Paris to, in his own words, ensure “the receipt of our whale-oils, salted fish, and salted meats, on favorable terms; the admission of our rice on equal terms with that of Piedmont, Egypt and the Levant; a mitigation of the monopolies of our tobacco by the Farmers-general, and a free admission of our productions into their islands.” Read more »
Mr. Rode is pictured here with Thom Wright, a FAS agricultural attaché in India, and one of Mr. Rode’s American-origin Holstein crosses which won a milk production award at the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association show.
Halfway around the world, a farmer in India stands proudly in the winner’s circle with his cow. Mr. S. Sukharpreet Singh Rode, the farmer, is a 2008 graduate of the Cochran Fellowship Program, an educational exchange program administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Read more »