USDA Census shows healthy habits are taking root across the country.
When students have experiences such as tending a school garden or visiting a farm they’ll be more likely to make healthy choices in the cafeteria. And when schools invest their food dollars in their local communities, all of agriculture benefits, including local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and manufacturers.
Good news: these healthy habits are taking root all across the country.
USDA released today results from a nationwide Census of farm to school activities. We found that 43 percent of all public school districts have an existing farm to school program in place. Another 13 percent of school districts surveyed are committed to launching a farm to school program in the near future. With purchasing local food as a primary farm to school activity, in school year 2011-2012, schools purchased and served over $350 million in local food. Read more »
Joe Fillaus and sons, Cole and Carter, standing in front of their June 2013 corn crop after restoration was made to their field. USDA photo.
Two years after the Missouri River flooding of 2011, several Charles Mix County, S.D. producers are still working to get their flooded crop land back to full production. When the flood waters receded in the fall of 2011 portions of the river bottom crop land were covered with one to six feet of sand debris. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) for debris removal was one tool that was utilized in this restoration effort.
The Emergency Conservation Program assisted the flooded farmers with cost-share of up to 75 percent for the expense of removing this debris. Charles Mix County farmer Joe Fillaus and sons Cole and Carter had substantial sand debris to deal with. He used his own equipment to spread out and till in the areas with a foot or less sand. Read more »
Memphis is emerging as a metro region where rural and urban economic opportunities suggest the need for meaningful collaborative activities. Recently, USDA staff participated in a gathering of community development workshop in Memphis where rural leaders gathered to share challenges and successes with urban counterparts. The event was sponsored by the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), the Delta Regional Authority, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.
Beginning in 2010, HUD began providing three-year Regional Planning grants to groups that were interested in developing long-range community plans that would help guide future federal investments in a more strategic manner. A number of those grants have been provided to communities in the Mississippi Delta region, and last week’s meeting gave the Delta Region grantees a chance to share successes and challenges of their efforts. Read more »
Five-year-old Joe Joe Charles celebrates being named “Cowboy Of The Year.” Photo by Bob Haentzler
He didn’t want to go to Disney World or meet his favorite superhero. All 5-year-old Joe Joe Charles wished for was one day where he could be a farmer and a cowboy.
It was a wish that FSA County Executive Director Linda Mathews and the Make-A-Wish Foundation brought to life.
“Joe Joe is the first child that had a wish to be a farmer or cowboy for a day,” said Stephanie Hampton-Boeglin, director of Mission Delivery for Make-A-Wish Missouri, “It’s the best wish I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of.” Read more »
(L to R) Administrator Trevino; Christine Rutherford, Peoples Bank and Trust; Stefanie Koester, homeowner; Janie Dunning, Missouri Rural Development State Director; Mike Mullen, Equitable Mortgage; Pam Anglin, Missouri Housing Program Director and Corey Husak, Senator Claire McCaskill’s Office. USDA photos.
Tammye Treviño, USDA Rural Development Administrator for Rural Housing Programs participated in a three-day tour throughout Illinois, Iowa and Missouri last month to highlight National Homeownership Month, a time when USDA, its federal partners and members of housing communities all across the country bring attention to the role housing plays in the economy.
As part of this tour Administrator Treviño visited Pilot Grove Savings Bank in Mount Pleasant to recognize the bank for using USDA Rural Development’s Guaranteed Rural Housing program to assist rural Iowans achieve their homeownership goals. Pilot Grove Savings Bank became an approved lender in 2001 and has used the USDA program to assist 70 families in obtaining a home in rural Iowa. Read more »
Collaboration, cooperation and coordination are good words, especially when all three can be used to describe an action. Community Foundation of Northwest Missouri (CFNWMO) and nine other Missouri community foundations are collaborating, cooperating and coordinating in the funding and creation of a Transfer of Wealth (TOW) study.
On March 5, 2013, USDA Rural Development Missouri State Director Janie Dunning hosted an event announcing the funding of a Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) to complete the TOW study. The impetus for submitting the RBOG application came when Secretary Tom Vilsack attended the foundation’s annual meeting in January 2012. Read more »