President Obama has made openness a high priority, committing his Administration to an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” on his first full day in office.
Since then, the Administration has disclosed more and more information requested under the Freedom of Information Act. We have made voluminous information available on USDA.gov and other government websites and we have used technology in innovative ways that harness government information to improve the lives of ordinary citizens. Read more »
Here at USDA, we work every day to help American farmers. It is important to us to hear how we are doing and how we can improve, and that is why I was happy to have the chance to speak with a group of local producers in Louisiana recently.
These Rural Roundtable sessions are being held across the country by senior Administration officials on behalf of the White House Rural Council to explore ways federal, state and local officials can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs, and to increase awareness of USDA programs and services. Read more »
Map in the ERS Food Desert Locator showing the location of food deserts in downtown St. Louis, with popup window displaying detailed information for a specific tract
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Ensuring that Americans eat well and lead healthy lives is among our greatest goals at USDA. First Lady Michelle Obama, of course, has taken an important role on this front – leading a national conversation and administration-wide effort. As part of the Lets Move! initiative USDA is taking on the challenge of food deserts. These nutritional wastelands exist across America in both urban and rural communities where parents and children simply do not have access to a supermarket. Read more »
Home page of online mapping tool, the Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America
Today, the Economic Research Service (ERS) posted a new and innovative interactive mapping tool that makes it easy to visualize and compare rural economic and social conditions among counties, states, and regions. By creating county-level maps of the United States, users can see how socioeconomic conditions vary across the United States, or within a state. Read more »
The Fruit and Vegetable Programs of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is intensifying its educational outreach campaign to the industry and consumers.
Customers regularly refer to the Fruit and Vegetable Programs as the “best-kept secret in the produce business” because valuable resources are often underutilized. The program maintains a lot of beneficial information for the industry, but we had to find different ways to present it. To improve transparency, we embarked on a communication campaign that now offers an industry newsletter, a series of webinars, and enhancements to our website. Read more »
The wait is over! The U.S. Forest Service unveiled its proposed Forest Planning Rule today. This proposed rule is the outcome of the most participatory planning rule development process in Forest Service history. Based on your feedback gathered online and during more than 40 public meetings hosted across the nation, we think we’ve crafted a proposed rule that reflects the public and Tribal input received so far, our expertise, current science, and regulatory requirements. The proposed rule would establish a new national framework to develop land management plans that protect water and wildlife and promote vibrant communities. Now, we are seeking your comments on the proposed rule to help us develop a final rule that will have broad support and endure over time. Read more »