This spring the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is tallying up the number of schools buying from local and regional producers. Photo credit: Lindsay Morris
Crisscrossing the country, from Maine to California, and from Florida to Washington, farm to school programs exist from coast to coast in small, rural towns and large, urban metropolitan areas alike. We know school cafeterias are brimming with local and regionally sourced foods, giving kids more opportunity than ever to understand where their food comes from. Read more »
Rural Development is the lead Federal agency that works to ensure that rural families have access to safe, well-built, affordable homes. In February 2012, the agency initiated a two-year, pilot refinancing program in 19 states hardest hit by the Nation’s housing downturn to help eligible USDA borrowers reduce their monthly housing costs.
Today, USDA announced that the program is expanding to include eligible rural residents in Puerto Rico, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Read more »
Snow surveyors approach SNOTEL site on Mount Hood.
Koeberle’s job carries her over mountains by helicopter and horse, snowshoes and skis. She has encountered grizzly bears, avalanches and wolves and visited ridges that few people have seen.
Koeberle is a hydrologist and snow surveyor for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and works on the agency’s snow survey team—a group of specially trained scientists who maintain snow gauges that are important to farmers, business owners and many other people in the West. Read more »
The Oregon grape in its fall coloring is a collage of green and pinkish-red leaves and blue fruits that resemble grapes. Photo copyright by Al Schneider.
Several plant species around Montana make their transition from summer to winter unique. This is highlighted in the Bitterroot National Forest.
The Oregon-grape (Mahonia repens), a sub-shrub evergreen, maintains its leaves throughout the winter. In the summer, its leaves are green while it produces yellow flowers. In the fall, its leaves create a beautiful, eye-catching palette of reds in contrast to its purple berries. Oregon-grape is found throughout the Ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir forests. Read more »
Work in progress on the Mineral Hospital Biomass Generator in Superior, Montana. Photo provided by Mineral Community Hospital
Mineral Community Hospital in Superior, Montana received an $190,000 Woody Biomass Utilization Grant from the U.S. Forest Service. The new Mineral Hospital Biomass Generator will use woody material such as beetle-killed trees removed from forests to help prevent wildfires. The material will then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce green energy for heating and electricity. Read more »
Evelyn Eagleman, 63, remembers driving the long distance off Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, Mont., to rescue her grandson when he was two. His father was serving in the military and his mother had been arrested on drug charges. The boy needed a new start.
She brought the child home to Rocky Boy, where she and her husband, Francis, became the child’s foster parents. Her grandson, now a teenager, will soon graduate from high school and plans to major in forestry in college. Eagleman said she and her husband are proud of the man he has become and gives much credit to the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program at Stone Child College, in Box Elder, Mont.
“There are a lot of legal issues involved with foster parenting, and I can’t remember them all, but with this program, I know where to go for help,” she said. “We learned about our rights as foster grandparents.” Read more »