As we reflect in celebration of USDA’s 150th anniversary, it’s easy to take pride in the problem-solving abilities of agricultural scientists since 1862.
The challenges in America have been great, including the Dust Bowl, wars, human health threats, and attacks on crops and animals from pests. Researchers have met these challenges and will continue to do so, while enabling growers to produce abundant food that is safe to eat. Read more »
Employees at Hillside Green work in the pack house certifying fresh vegetables for export. Photo credit: Ayub Otieno
In 2009, Eunice Mwongera decided to expand Hillside Green Growers and Exporters Company, her family-owned fruit and vegetable business. A graduate of Nairobi University and former finance officer at the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Mwongera, applied for the USDA Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology (Borlaug) Fellowship Program. Not long after, she was paired with a mentor at Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center for six weeks to learn U.S. best practices in agribusiness development and management. The fellowship was part of a program that provided U.S.-based agribusiness and collaborative research training to African women. Read more »
I recently returned from Nairobi, where I got a firsthand look at USDA’s food aid programs. Due to volcanic ash in Europe, my arrival was delayed by 36 hours. I tried to outmaneuver the cloud by taking the scenic route — Washington to Boston to Amsterdam to Paris to Nairobi. While I enjoyed my multi-airport tour, Mother Nature still got the best of me. She added further insult by holding my luggage in a city other than Nairobi.
During my time in Africa, I gained an appreciation for the excellent results that the World Food Program (WFP) and private voluntary organizations are producing with resources provided by the U.S. food aid programs.
Senator George McGovern and I visited programs that are helping adults and children with HIV and AIDS. While it was heartbreaking to see so many infants, children, and adults with this disease, U.S. Government programs are providing relief and hope to these children and families. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack speaks for the children and staff of Stara Rescue Center School outside Kibera.
Chris Mather, USDA Director of Communications, traveled with Secretary Vilsack to Kenya for the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Summit. Today she shares her thoughts on segments of the trip when they traveled beyond the city limits of Nairobi for educational events.
Last week, Secretary Vilsack traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, as a participant in the 2009 African Growth and Opportunity Act Summit. Amid bilateral talks and attending the opening meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United States Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk, the Secretary had an opportunity to travel to the countryside to learn more about the agriculture industry in Kenya and see firsthand some of the efforts USDA has been supporting. Read more »