First-grader Cassidy Stone clears her tray of soy nuts, whole wheat pizza stick, broccoli and jello, saying “the food tastes good.”
As Child Nutrition Director for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, one of my top priorities is to improve the nutrition and health of our nation’s children. With the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization, we have an opportunity to pass legislation that will combat childhood hunger and obesity among schoolchildren by providing schools with the tools and resources needed to help children develop healthier eating habits. Read more »
Front Row: Cheryl Zwingman-Bagley, CNO; Suzanne Crawford, Board Vice Chair; Michael K. Lally, CEO; Virginia Manuel, USDA Rural Development State Director; Mona Van Wart, Breast Cancer Survivor; Back Row: Camela Deschene, Director of Practice Management; Kristi Saunders, Director Human Resources and Compliance; Bonny Beausoleil, Mammographer; Bernie McAdam, CFO; DeeDee Travis, Director Community Relations, Development and Customer Service.
On the first day of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2010, USDA Rural Development and Calais Regional Hospital came together with the mission of saving lives. The hospital’s outdated mammography machine was being replaced with a state-of- the-art digital mammography machine, funded in part by a $200,000 USDA Rural Development Community Facilities grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Read more »
USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel and USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Don Todd at a Biofuels Forum held in Presque Isle, Maine
USDA Rural Development and the Farm Service Agency held a Forum on Expanding the U.S. Biofuels Market on October 15 at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. I participated in this important Forum, which sought input from local biofuels producers and stakeholders on the USDA’s interim plan on how to develop a successful biofuels market. The plan outlines the development of a successful biofuels market capable of achieving the U.S. Renewable Fuels Standards mandate of producing and using 36 billion gallons or renewable transportation fuel per year by 2022. Read more »
From left to right: USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Juan Hernandez; Manna Ministries Executive Director Bill Rae; USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel; USDA Farm Service Agency State Executive Director Don Todd
USDA Rural Development, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency employees delivered a bounty of fresh vegetables to Manna Ministries in Bangor on September 10. It marked the eleventh delivery of garden vegetables this summer. The heaps of fresh tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers and other offerings were from the recent harvest of The People’s Garden, a collaborative effort of the three USDA agencies. In addition, donations from staff members’ own gardens were also accepted. Read more »
By Virginia Manuel, Maine Rural Development State Director
Diabetes, obesity, alcoholism and cancer are health problems that all of America faces, but a study showed that incidents of these problems are higher among Native Americans. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs are taking action to change those statistics. Read more »
Written by C. Jeffrey Bergeron, Acting USDA Public Information OfficerUSDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager and Maine Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel visited a Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) project in Ogunquit, Maine while attending the 2010 National Association of Credit Specialists Annual Convention earlier this week.
The project was at the Meadowmere Hotel in Ogunquit, which with the aid of a USDA Rural Development REAP Grant of $49,625 was able to install a state-of-the-art commercial solar thermal hot water system to preheat a significant portion of the domestic hot water for the building.
The approximate 30 percent savings the Meadowmere Hotel will recoup in energy costs will allow the hotel to continue to sustain its business and 53 jobs. “This project is a perfect example of how Rural Development is working to help keep the Maine economy on track” said Manuel, as she and Under Secretary Tonsager visited the hotel and viewed the solar thermal system. Manuel said, “The solar thermal hot water system is a great source of clean renewable energy, and USDA Rural Development is dedicated to supporting the rural Maine economy by funding green projects like this one.”
Standing in front of the solar panels on the hotels roof are (Left to Right) Allyson Cavaretta, Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager, Owner Phillip Cavaretta, and Maine State Director Virginia Manuel. The energy saving panels were funded in part with funds from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program.