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Posts tagged: Know Your Food

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Visits Vermont’s Brattleboro Food Coop

Earlier this week, I had the privilege of touring the southern part of Vermont with US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Kathleen Merrigan.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan with Alex Gyori, General Manager of Brattleboro Food Coop.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan with Alex Gyori, General Manager of Brattleboro Food Coop.

On Monday, we went from farm to farm along the Route 9 corridor and  met with some of the incredibly courageous farm families who are putting their lives back together after Tropical Storm Irene.  Loss of land, loss of crops and feed are just a few of the many challenges they are facing with amazing dignity. The purpose of the tour spearheaded by State Ag Secretary, Chuck Ross, was to make sure that those in need were aware of all of the programs USDA and the State had to offer.  In addition, he wanted our Washington visitor to see the stunning resilience of Vermont’s farm families.  A group that included Bob Paquin, FSA; Vicky Drew, NRCS; staff of Sen. Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch also shared their admiration for the strength of these individuals. Read more »

Deputy Secretary Celebrates Opening of a Non-Profit Pennsylvania Kitchen for Use by Food Entrepreneurs

The crowd applauded as Deputy Secretary Merrigan, YCEDC and local officials cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the YorKitchen shared kitchen incubator in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

The crowd applauded as Deputy Secretary Merrigan, YCEDC and local officials cut the ribbon to signify the official opening of the YorKitchen shared kitchen incubator in downtown York, Pennsylvania.

Tucked in the back of York’s historic (circa 1754) downtown Central Market, YorKitchen, a shared commercial kitchen incubator officially opened its doors this morning. The crowd of nearly 40 local supporters applauded as Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, York County Economic Development officials and local officials cut the ribbon at the entrance to the state-of-the-art kitchen.  The kitchen was funded in part through Rural Development. Read more »

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan Kicks Off Her 2011 College Tour

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan meets with local producers at the North Carolina University's student run Farmer's Market in Raleigh, NC, on Feb. 9, 2011.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan meets with local producers at the North Carolina University's student run Farmer's Market in Raleigh, NC, on Feb. 9, 2011.

Before kicking off this year’s ‘Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food’ college tour in North Carolina, I took a moment to reflect on why these college visits are so important. As President Obama said in his State of the Union address, we must out-educate the world in order to win the future.  Indeed, during the eight years that I spent as a college professor, I was constantly reminded that investing in our nation’s young minds is investing in our nation’s future. With this in mind, this year, members of USDA leadership will join the Secretary and myself in engaging America’s youth in a critical dialogue about our food system, our rural economy, and the economic opportunities associated with local and regional markets. Read more »

People’s Garden School Pilot Program

Cross-Posted from the Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Blog

Anyone ever tell you that if you ate peas a vine would grow in your stomach? Or that broccoli is just a miniature tree?  Well the Food and Nutrition Service and the People’s Garden would like to help kids set the record straight.

We are announcing a $1 million pilot program to develop community gardens at schools across the country.  We want to teach students about healthy eating while providing their schools, families, and communities with some extra produce.  This program is also about teaching kids that food doesn’t come from a grocery store or a cafeteria – it comes from healthy soil, hard work, and an understanding of plants and animals.

If you think that your school and community may be interested in a community garden, and you’re not sure whether a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, click here for more information about the program.  Don’t forget – applications are due October 8th!