Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that small business owners will have an opportunity in June to learn how to grow and support their businesses by partnering with USDA and other Federal Agencies. The North Carolina event supports the White House Initiative on Small Business Contracting.
Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan invited small businesses to participate in educational workshops and networking sessions in Durham, North Carolina on how to do business with USDA and other Federal agencies. Topics include acquisition needs and opportunities, prime contracting and subcontracting opportunities, and business development resources. Included in the sessions is an opportunity to meet one-on-one with USDA small business contracting specialists. Read more »
L-R: Orlando Housing Authority President Vivian Bryant; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Rural Development Florida State Director Richard Machek and Rural Development Florida Single Family Housing Program Director Daryl Cooper participated in a business roundtable in Orlando, Fla., last Friday. They discussed the USDA Rural Development Home Refinancing Pilot Program which is available to USDA borrowers in 19 states.
When most people think of Orlando, Florida, they envision exciting theme parks, Cinderella’s castle and a mouse with big ears. But when USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visited Orlando on February 24th, it was with a different vision in mind. Read more »
In the past 24 hours, we’ve seen a lot of chatter online regarding a story from North Carolina in which a pre-school student’s lunch was deemed “unhealthy.” We’d like to set the record straight.
As established by law, USDA promotes healthier lifestyles for our nation’s school children through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program. The Department sets science-based nutritional standards for and oversees State administration of schools that choose to participate in these national programs. In exchange for meeting those standards, USDA provides reimbursement and other resources to schools so that children get the nutrition they need to learn, thrive and grow.
USDA does not, however, regulate sack lunches or any other food children bring from home to eat at school. That is a responsibility for parents, not the federal government. The incident in North Carolina involved local education officials and a State-run nutrition program, and USDA had no involvement.
The owners of the Chapel Hill (NC) Creamery, got a grant to help them expand their cheese operation. The VAPG grant will supply working capital to help the farm meet its goals. (Photo courtesy of the Chapel Hill Herald Sun.)
Earlier today, I had the honor of joining non-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, institutions, CEOs and others involved with agriculture and economic development to kick off the “The Many Faces of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” conference hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. I was there to continue the work that President Obama highlighted in his State of the Union address last month. Read more »
Working as an Earth Team volunteer, Cartographic Technician Jonathan Bowlin pulls trash from a stream near his office in Greensboro, N.C.
Employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) work every day to help private landowners improve environmental quality on their properties. So when staff at the NRCS East Remote Sensing Lab (ERSL) in Greensboro, N.C. noticed a stream near their building had become a dumping ground, they took it upon themselves to address the problem. Read more »
Yesterday, I joined local and state leaders at an event in North Carolina highlighting the Obama Administration’s drive to provide top-quality educational and health care opportunities to rural residents. I went to James Sprunt Community College in Kenansville, N.C., to highlight USDA funding that will enable the faculty to provide college-level and advanced placement courses to students in five high schools. It’s one of 100 Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grants awarded by USDA Rural Development nationwide.
These grants, administered through the Rural Utilities Service, are in keeping with the spirit of remarks President Obama made in a State of the Union Address. If we want this country to succeed in the 21st century, we must harness the potential of every young person in this country. It’s an economic imperative that we have a highly educated, highly trained – and healthy – workforce. Distance learning and telemedicine technology can effectively eliminate the barriers of time and distance that often challenge rural areas – bridging great distances to provide quality educational and health care opportunities to individuals that are hundreds, even thousands of miles away. Read more »