Goats in a natural meadow. Browse and Grass Farmer Association, an independent association focused on grass-fed sheep and goats in Downing, Wisconsin, will expand their offerings to local consumers and increase training in good agricultural practices (GAP) through a project supported by USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program. (Photo courtesy browseandgrass.org.)
While most people associate farmers markets with fresh fruits and vegetables, farmers and ranchers actually bring a much more diverse range of products to the table every week. This year’s portfolio of grant recipients under the Farmers Market Promotion Program, administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), reflected that diversity in its range of projects. Among the grant recipients are several enterprises in the Midwest that overcome barriers for small livestock producers to get their healthy meat options into local markets. Read more »
LES participants Amit Aradhey (India), Jennifer Wilson (United Kingdom), Fana Sylla (Senegal), Junyang Jiang (China), and Asmat Raza (Pakistan) discuss cattle feed with Jim Rohe while on a tour of the Rohe Dairy Farm in Freeport, MN.
Some of USDA’s international employees were in the United States last month, exchanging information with their stateside counterparts and learning firsthand how U.S. agricultural systems and processes work. Read more »
When the final wall was raised on Jessi Mattila’s new home, it symbolized another step toward homeownership for the mother of three in Mountain Iron, Minn. It also symbolized the strength of a new partnership between USDA Rural Development and the Habitat for Humanity.
Rural Development is financing Mattila’s home through its direct home loan program and the North St. Louis County Habitat for Humanity is partnering with the Mattila family to provide support through the building process. Read more »
At two town hall meetings in Minnesota this week with Food Safety and Inspection Service employees, I had the pleasure of unveiling a new plan for food safety over the next five years. I’m very excited about our new Strategic Plan for FY 2011 through FY 2016, which will serve as the agency’s roadmap to ensuring that food produced under FSIS’ authority is safe for the American public.
This Strategic Plan should allow every single person in FSIS to have a direct line of sight between what they do every day and our objectives, and each of us should see ourselves as accountable to the public for protecting them from foodborne illnesses. We are putting forward detailed strategies and measureable tactics to reduce foodborne illness and chart our progress over the next five years, so this will serve as a foundation document for both the long-range and day-to-day operations of the Agency. Read more »
USDA Rural Development’s State Director checks out one of two new forklifts at ProWorks, Inc. in Litchfield, Minn.
For almost 50 years, ProWorks Inc. has provided valuable day services to Minnesota adults living with disabilities. For the last 30 years, ProWorks has counted the USDA as one of its partners.
ProWorks started as a pilot project in 1962 in the basement of an old school building in West Central Minnesota. About 30 years ago, ProWorks used a USDA Rural Development loan to build its current facility in Litchfield, Minn. ProWorks also has a facility in nearby Dassel. Read more »
The line of cars stretched out of the parking lot and onto the street at the Glencoe Co-op Association on a recent warm afternoon in August. With financing from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the co-op recently installed the first flex fuel pump in McLeod County, and several flex fuel vehicle owners in the area wanted to be among the first to fill up.
“We’re glad to help stimulate the economy and support clean air and agriculture. That’s what the co-op is all about,” said Dale Heglund, Co-op Director. Read more »