That's an "almost home" smile! Photo of Maj. Matt McCoppin, USDA employee, taken at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Photo courtesy: Matt Branson. Photos used with permission.
As we mark the Independence Day holiday, it’s an important time to remember the honorable service of our nation’s active duty and reserve service members, and our veterans. More than 10,000 veterans are on our team at USDA – and still more are currently serving in National Guard and Reserve units around the country. The Ohio Rural Development office recently shared stories of two employees currently serving.
For many USDA employees, “moonlighting” means late nights on the tractor or in the barn. It’s hard work that offers great personal reward. Likewise, two Ohio Rural Development team members recently undertook a special kind of second job: one that, a little like farming, entails great discipline and family sacrifice. Read more »
Firefighter trainees dig out a fire line during the Forest Service and California Conservation Corps joint training session. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
The U.S. Forest Service has partnered with the California Conservation Corps to provide firefighter training for military veterans.
“Fire and Aviation Management is particularly appealing because of the significance of our mission and our well-defined organization,” said Robert Baird, deputy director of Fire and Aviation Management for the Forest Service. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack tours Renmatix's state-of-the-art bioindustrial facility at Renmatix headquarters in King of Prussia, PA on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, and to commission the company’s new multiple-feedstock processing BioFlex Conversion Unit. Photo property of Renmatix.
If you want proof that rural America is a land of limitless opportunity, go to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.
Last week I accompanied Secretary Vilsack as he toured a state-of-the-art bioindustrial facility in Pennsylvania that converts multiple feedstocks into cellulosic sugars. The plant, operated by Renmatix, will test and convert a range of non-food plant materials through a proprietary process. The goal is to move forward in development of next-generation renewable energy and high value bio-based alternatives to petroleum-based products. It is a goal that bears enormous promise for rural America, potentially creating many thousands of jobs, untold economic activity and new markets. Read more »
As the drought continues today, USDA and other Federal agencies are doing all we can to help farmers, ranchers and communities who have been impacted.
Unfortunately, our tools are limited. Due to inaction by Congress, many parts of the 2008 Farm Bill expired October 1, and other aspects of the law will expire in the coming months.
This brings tremendous uncertainty for rural families – particularly livestock producers who have lost access to disaster programs, and dairy producers who no longer have access to dairy support programs.
The lack of a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill also limits USDA from continuing our record investments in homegrown American energy. Since 2009 USDA has worked hard to ensure that rural America plays a key role in our nation’s energy strategy. Read more »
Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Agriculture Sarah Bittleman talked about the Agriculture perspectives on advanced drop-in biofuels, at the Industry Roundtable held in the Jefferson Auditorium, U.S.Department of Agriculture Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday, May 18, 2012. Her talk discussed which feedstocks the USDA sees as coming advanced drop-in biofuels industry, what a transition from a food to a non-food related feedstock looks like and when/if they are required, and a detailed overview of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) programs. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Great things continue to happen as America moves forward in developing an “all of the above” strategy to become more energy independent. For example, an agreement was signed between aviation industry leaders and Midwest stakeholders to develop and commercialize sustainable biofuels. USDA will act as an advisor to this effort. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Highlights USDA’s Efforts to Expand Aviation Biofuels at the Paris Air Show
On Wednesday in Paris, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack earned the distinction as the first U.S. Agriculture Secretary to attend a Paris Air Show, the largest gathering of the world aerospace industry. The Secretary spoke at the Alternative Aviation Fuels Showcase to a crowd of about 75 aviation business leaders about how USDA is among the forefront of U.S. federal efforts to support the development of bio-based fuels. USDA has established memoranda of understanding with several government and aviation-related agencies, including the Department of Energy, the Air Transport Association, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Navy, on efforts to research and develop renewable energy and the infrastructure to support it. Read more »