A young Tohono O’odham girl smiles and shows off a peacock feather. The Tohono O’odham Community Action is working to create a healthy, sustainable and culturally-vital community for the Tohono O’odham Nation’s 28,000 members. Photo by Cheryl Francisco.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Profile America Facts, the first American Indian Day was celebrated back in May 1916. Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, gathering endorsements from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians. In 1990, then President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month, and this year President Obama continued the tradition. Read more »
I had the honor and pleasure to tour the Rosebud Sioux Nation in South Dakota. The vast land of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate is rich in natural resources.
Tribal leaders, with support from Sinte Gleska University, demonstrated interest and commitment in further planning and development of these resources in ways that continually improve quality of life, yet are respectful and mindful of their ancestral teachings and cultural traditions. Read more »
MRP Under Secretary Edward Avalos with Bob Pellegrino, Director of Marketing, Connecticut Department of Agriculture at the Billings Forge Farmers Market, Hartford, CT.
During my recent visit to Hartford, I toured the historic Billings Forge Farmers Market, which featured an assortment of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, baking foods, cheeses, meats and numerous other healthy foods. Located in a food desert, the market positively compliments the “Bodegas” by providing WIC eligible food products. Read more »
I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Rebecca Blue, and I am the new Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. I’m excited to join the MRP team and to help contribute to the great work that they have been doing.
Last week I had the opportunity to travel to South Dakota and take part in the Value Added Ag Day at the South Dakota State Fair. I participated in a panel discussion with the South Dakota Value Added Agriculture Development Center where we highlighted the partnership that USDA has with the Center, and how this work enhances rural communities by creating rural agribusiness. Panelists included representatives from Hanson County Oilseed Processors, Elkton Locker, and Intraglobal Biologics. I was blown away by the innovative projects that are being developed and how USDA and the Center were able to help these small and beginning rural businesses succeed. It was great to see how these projects are keeping and creating wealth right here in America, and creating good paying jobs in our rural communities. Read more »
In June, President Obama established the Rural Council, which is chaired by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. As a result, numerous rural roundtables have been held and will continue to be held throughout the country.
Revitalizing rural America is a priority to this Administration. The rural roundtables are an opportunity for stakeholders to provide input, identify challenges and make recommendations.
On my recent trip to the great state of Alabama, my USDA colleagues from Rural Development, Farm Services Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and National Institute of Food and Agriculture supported me at a rural roundtable held in the community of Dothan. We had excellent attendance and constructive input from community leaders attending. Read more »
I just came back from Orlando, Florida where I attended a meeting of the Produce Safety Alliance, a joint project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Cornell University to provide farmers who grow and market fruits and vegetables with training and education about on-farm food safety practices.
At that meeting I talked about how America’s farmers and ranchers are one of our nation’s greatest assets. We rely on them for our food, to preserve our environment and to help strengthen our nation’s economy. I talked about the importance of the USDA and FDA working together to address on- farm food safety practices in a way that grows and strengthens America’s farms and rural communities. Read more »