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Posts tagged: International

The (Plant) Doctor is In

Trevor Nichols (left), Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Agricultural Bioscience CABI-Plantwise and Dr. Catherine Woteki (right), Undersecretary, Research Education and Economics signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make the United States Department of Agriculture’s research and genetic information accessible to “plant doctors” working to prevent disease and pests in developing countries at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

Trevor Nichols (left), Chief Executive Officer, Centre for Agricultural Bioscience CABI-Plantwise and Dr. Catherine Woteki (right), Undersecretary, Research Education and Economics signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make the United States Department of Agriculture’s research and genetic information accessible to “plant doctors” working to prevent disease and pests in developing countries at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

As USDA celebrates 150 years of serving American agriculture and rural communities, it is important to remember the enormous contribution of the Cooperative Extension Service, a three-way partnership between USDA and our state and county partners that forms a nationwide network of expertise.  These experts work with Americans on issues that relate to a wide range of topics including: agriculture, natural resource management, nutrition, youth development, community empowerment, household and family budgeting, and disaster assistance, among others. Read more »

Pecan Industry Cracks Foreign Markets

Tim Montz (right) of the Montz Pecan Company speaks with members of the Chinese media while displaying his Texas-grown products at the USDA-supported SIAL China food trade show in 2009. Participation in USDA events and export assistance from the Foreign Agricultural Service has helped international sales of Montz pecans thrive in recent years. Photo by Cindy Wise of the Texas Pecan Growers AssociationTim Montz (right) of the Montz Pecan Company speaks with members of the Chinese media while displaying his Texas-grown products at the USDA-supported SIAL China food trade show in 2009. Participation in USDA events and export assistance from the Foreign Agricultural Service has helped international sales of Montz pecans thrive in recent years. Photo by Cindy Wise of the Texas Pecan Growers Association

Tim Montz (right) of the Montz Pecan Company speaks with members of the Chinese media while displaying his Texas-grown products at the USDA-supported SIAL China food trade show in 2009. Participation in USDA events and export assistance from the Foreign Agricultural Service has helped international sales of Montz pecans thrive in recent years. Photo by Cindy Wise of the Texas Pecan Growers Association

In 2009 when Tim Montz first traveled to Shanghai, China, representing the Texas pecan industry, Montz had to explain what pecans were. Two years later, promoting pecans to China and other countries is “business as usual” for the father-and-son team of Tim and Jake Montz of the Montz Pecan Company. Read more »

Laughing All the Way to the Seed Bank

Mahogany seeds, one of the species the Dominican Republic is trying to reforest.  (Photo courtesy of Toby Bloom, U.S. Forest Service)

Mahogany seeds, one of the species the Dominican Republic is trying to reforest. (Photo courtesy of Toby Bloom, U.S. Forest Service)

Everyone wants to have a full bank account — including bank accounts that hold seeds.

The U.S. Forest Service recently held a workshop with the Dominican Republic Ministry of Environmental and Natural Resources in Dry Branch, Ga., focusing on ways to increase the capacity to develop and maintain a seed bank for reforestation in the Dominican Republic.

The workshop discussed methods and approaches to compiling the seeds and best practices for preservation.  The workshop included seed biology and procedures that contribute towards the success of the bank.  Dry Branch is the home of the USFS National Seed Laboratory. Participants of the workshop will manage the Nigua Seed Bank in the Dominican Republic.  Official protocols for seed purity throughout the Dominican Republic were drafted for the new seed bank based on workshop outcomes.

Technical expertise was provided by the Forest Service with the help of an agreement with the US Agency for International Development.  Through the agreement, the Forest Service aids in equipment administration as well as the training of staff and facility management.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Dominican Republic enacted the Forestry Action Plan in 1991 that established the goal of becoming a self-sufficient timber and fuelwood producer by 2016.  The seed laboratory work will contribute to the achievement of this goal and the forestry improvements that the nation plans to make towards reforestation.

In November, an unprecedented Presidential Decree was passed to solidify the Government’s commitment to biological diversity and protected area habitat conservation.  The seed bank workshop contributed to these goals.

For more information on these and other projects, take a look at the U.S. Forest Service International Programs website.

People’s Garden Helps to Strengthen a Community in Costa Rica

Sara Roy and her son, Malachi, enjoy working together in the garden.

Sara Roy and her son, Malachi, enjoy working together in the garden.

The Foreign Agricultural Service office in San Jose broke ground on its own People’s Garden in Fall 2009. Ever since that day our embassy employees and their families, as well as members of the local community, have learned about the benefits of eating fresh, healthy foods. Read more »

Protecting Natural Resources Impacted by Tourism in Chile

The sunrise over Lago Cucao with Chiloe National Park on the left shoulder of the slopes in background.  Photo courtesy of Michael Olwyler.

The sunrise over Lago Cucao with Chiloe National Park on the left shoulder of the slopes in background. Photo courtesy of Michael Olwyler.

Patagonia, Chile is known for its spectacular views, amazing scenery and great fly fishing.  The area attracts 2 million tourists annually. But only 20 percent of Chile’s natural resources are protected.  Chilean stakeholders recently partnered with the U.S. Forest Service and the State Department to develop tourism in concert with land management practices. Read more »

Russia Christmas Fair Highlights American Holiday Treats

The United States pavilion at the St. Petersburg Christmas Fair showcased American holiday treats. (Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Moscow)

The United States pavilion at the St. Petersburg Christmas Fair showcased American holiday treats. (Photo credit: U.S. Embassy Moscow)

The Agricultural Trade Office in St. Petersburg, Russia joined U.S. cooperators and the U.S. Consulate to host the first-ever American pavilion at the St. Petersburg Christmas Fair, which runs from Dec. 21, 2011 to Jan. 14, 2012. The pavilion showcases American cuisine including New York cheesecakes, Kona coffee, California almonds and American holiday treats. Read more »