USDA Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner speaks at the groundbreaking for Morton Township Library.
Recently Morton Township, Michigan held the groundbreaking ceremony for its library expansion. Located in the Village of Mecosta on the western side of the Lower Peninsula, the event was a wonderful example of how a rural community can come together to support a project. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
In March 2011, USDA Special Nutrition Programs Regional Director Julie Mikkelson and I met Chef Paul Penney at a HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) award celebration in Canton, Michigan. Chef Paul, a volunteer with the First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative, was in the kitchen at Dodson Elementary School helping school foodservice staff prepare mashed sweet potatoes and apples and Michigan cherry chili.
Both dishes, recipes he created for the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, were making their debut at Dodson that day. At the lunchroom entrance, Chef Paul greeted each student and handed out 2 ounce “tasting cups” of the chili and the sweet potatoes. (He credits Plymouth-Canton foodservice director Kristen Hennessey with the idea.) Read more »
Recently, a USDA Rural Development project received one of the 2011 Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. The ceremony was held in the state Capitol rotunda and dozens of citizens and legislators from across the state turned out.
Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Gary Heidel opened the ceremony by noting the rich historic heritage of Michigan’s towns and cities and how the preservation of these sites is vital to keeping our state a place where people work, live and spend their leisure time. Read more »
Last week, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited the campus of Michigan State University to participate in a tour of the cellulosic ethanol pretreatment lab at MBI International and conduct a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders in Michigan’s biofuels community.
MBI is owned by the Michigan State University Foundation and its purpose is to “de-risk” emerging technologies, making them more viable for commercial application. One of MBI’s current projects is developing ways to scale cellulosic ethanol from the laboratory to the marketplace. Read more »
NRCS District Conservationist Edwin Martinez conducts a wetland determination assisted by Earth Team Volunteer Tula Ngasala near St. Johns, Mich. Ngasala, a Tanzanian engineer, assists the St. Johns Field Office one day a week.
Tulakemelwa Ngasala is a Tanzanian civil and water resources engineer currently living in Michigan. While in the United States she is caring for her three young girls while her husband works toward his Ph.D. in geology at Michigan State University. Read more »
As I talk to farmers across the country, regardless of what they produce or where, they all share one common challenge: how to best move product from the farm to the marketplace. This is especially crucial for small and midsize farmers who may not have enough capital to own their own trucks, their own refrigeration units, or their own warehouse space. They might not have the resources to develop sophisticated distribution routes, build effective marketing campaigns or network with regional buyers and customers.
Without infrastructure, logistical and marketing support, these producers might be growing the sweetest strawberries or raising the most tender beef, but they lack the infrastructure support to get their exceptional products to your table. Read more »