Veterans returning home from overseas tours-of-duty face many challenges as they readjust to civilian life, and one of the most daunting ones is finding employment. Last year, a new program — the Soldiers to Civilians (S2C) Project — was started in rural west Tennessee to give local veterans the training and skills they need to enter into the field of precision agriculture. Thanks to grant assistance from the Department of Agriculture (USDA), project leaders will now be able to expand the S2C program beyond west Tennessee to help even more veterans living in the rural delta areas of east Arkansas and west Mississippi.
The expansion was funded, in part, through USDA’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program, which promotes development of small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Rural Business-Cooperative Service Administrator Lillian Salerno announced the award during a visit to the Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a bioscience-oriented nonprofit organization that is a partner on the S2C project. Memphis Bioworks is one of more than 130 projects in 30 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico that are receiving RBEG funds. Read more »
U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Kristine Fairbanks and K9 "Hero." (U.S. Forest Service photo)
They are fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, and sisters and brothers. They served in remote corners of the forests and grasslands, helped lost recreationists find their way and arrested people who were violating the law.
They were our friends and colleagues who lost their lives in the line of duty. Read more »
Scouts from Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 dig a hole for a new interpretative sign. (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)
On a recent cool, crisp spring morning in the mountains of Virginia, the Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 followed in the footsteps of the first “boys” of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC.
The first CCC camp, Camp Roosevelt, was established April 17, 1933 at the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Over time, the forest had 14 camps. Read more »
Shade-grown coffee helps protect water quality and coral reefs like this one in Puerto Rico. NOAA photo.
I work for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, an agency that helps farmers voluntarily implement conservation practices on their lands across the U.S.—including land on my home, Puerto Rico.
I am extremely proud of recent NRCS efforts here to help farmers, ranchers and landowners make significant strides in conserving the Guánica Bay/Rio Loco watershed. This watershed, which is about 100 miles southwest of San Juan, is one of the most diverse and complex in Puerto Rico. Read more »
Cross posted from the disability.gov blog:
Today, I was thinking about the last entry I wrote for Disability.gov’s blog just about a year ago and considering our accomplishments in 2012 and the opportunities that are ahead for 2013.
The need for food assistance remained high in 2012, with an average of 47 million people participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) every month. Program participation increased in response to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Isaac in Louisiana and Hurricane Sandy in the New England states. However, overall the program grew at a slower rate and even flattened toward the end of the year. SNAP continues to be the cornerstone of the national hunger safety net by helping those in need put healthy food on the table. Read more »
Earlier this month, USDA Rural Development-Puerto Rico held an Intermediary Relending Program Roundtable meeting for area stakeholders.
Our staff provided a brief overview of the program followed by a very dynamic question and answer session. The most significant issues discussed were the current barriers to access capital for small businesses and the need to complement their services offerings through common inter-organizational effort.
The main objective of the meeting was to gather all main Intermediary Relending organizations and share their current best practices and current lending challenges. The meeting also proved to be an excellent opportunity to make services networking, exchange organizational information and identify new funding opportunities. Read more »