At the U.S. Department of Agriculture we’re working hard to strengthen the economy across rural America – and in recent years, we have seen positive signs of growth.
At the same time, we know that areas of high poverty still exist, and many of these are in our small towns and rural communities. In fact, nine out of ten persistent poverty counties in our nation are in rural America.
Through StrikeForce, we provide intensive care for communities that suffer from high poverty. USDA identifies areas with over 20 percent poverty for the StrikeForce effort. We join together with communities in these areas that are working to build opportunity for their citizens. Our staff partner with local organizations and civic leaders, providing them with technical support and assistance to help them successfully apply for USDA programs. Read more »
Rural Americans face many unique challenges – and every day, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides assistance to help grow American agriculture and increase opportunity for rural communities. Unfortunately, 90 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties are in rural America–and we can’t allow these areas to be left behind. This week, USDA is further expanding a program to partner with rural communities and regions on projects they support to promote economic growth. Through this initiative, known as the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity, USDA helps communities leverage their resources to access programs, promote economic development and create more jobs. Read more »
Animal Care inspector Bob Markmann conducts an inspection at a commercial dog breeding facility.
USDA/APHIS’ Animal Care program enforces the federal Animal Welfare Act, which sets standards for humane care and treatment that must be provided for certain animals that are exhibited to the public, bred for commercial sale, used in biomedical research, or transported commercially. Individuals/entities that operate facilities using animals in these ways must provide their animals with proper veterinary care, adequate housing, appropriate nutrition, etc. Read more »
More than 800 students, teachers, elected officials and community leaders were present at the new Dillon Middle School dedication on Thursday morning, September 6th. Several years ago, a letter was written to Congress pleading for help to replace the 100 year old dilapidated school by then-eight grader, Ty’Sheoma Bethea.
Doug McKalip, Senior Policy Advisor for Rural Affairs with the White House Domestic Policy Council stated, “I think Ms. Bethea’s letter shows that an individual can have an impact, that the Obama Administration is listening, that we monitor closely the items that folks send by letter, email, and telephone. And that there often is action from the input.”
“This state of the art school is dedicated to the academic advancement of our children. I am pleased that the promise to the children of Dillon County has been kept,” said Vernita Dore, USDA Rural Development state director. Ms. Dore was instrumental in helping to fund construction of Dillon County Middle School, which replaces the old and dilapidated JV Martin Junior High, which was mentioned in President Obama’s first State of the Union address. Read more »
Left to right: Landowner Dennis Hiltner, NRCS Soil Conservation Technician Jackie Heuermann and District Conservationist Bruce Andrews review the conservation plan for the Hiltner property.
Dennis Hiltner truly leads a “farm-to-table” existence.
Some days, you will find Hiltner alongside his wife and business partner, Linda, in Columbia, S.C.’s Five Points neighborhood, managing their business, The Gourmet Shop. (The Hiltners opened the Columbia landmark, which is part wine shop, food and kitchenware store, and café, in 1979.) Read more »
High above the ground in a bucket truck, Blue Ridge Electric Co-op Lineman David Brown attaches a power line to a newly erected pole above the green fields of the Sumter National Forest’s Long Creek dove field. But instead of providing electric service to an outbuilding or an adjacent housing development, Brown’s hard work is aimed at improving the forest’s dove field.
Blue Ridge Electric Co-op is partnering with the forest to install “dummy” power lines at the dove field to make the area more attractive to doves, creating conditions for hunters to be more successful at bagging their game. Read more »