Recovery Act funding saved this bridge, the only direct thoroughfare to the town of Ripley, Tenn.
Steve Koonce, a Civil Engineering Technician with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), remembers swimming in Tennessee’s Cane Creek as a youngster, when he and friends would jump from a bridge into the water 15 feet below. But today, because of a catastrophic erosion problem, that activity would be a lot more dangerous. Read more »
Harvest day at the Cotton Patch, a People’s Garden in Memphis, Tenn. The cucumbers, okra, radishes and squash harvested by USDA employees and community members are all donated to the Mid-South Food Bank. Photo courtesy Jeff Carnahan, Agricultural Marketing Service
This summer, the Cotton Division of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) established a People’s Garden in Memphis, Tenn. The garden, suitably named “the Cotton Patch,” is a collaborative project developed and maintained by USDA employees and residents in the surrounding community. The exotic garden features raised vegetable beds and a colorful Japanese maple tree, as well as flower and rose gardens. Read more »
Earlier this month, Secretary Tom Vilsack received a warm welcome from the record breaking crowd of more than 6,000 farmers, ranchers and farm industry leaders at the General Session of the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville. The night before, an audience of more than 250 farmers, conservationists, renewable energy experts, farm-industry leaders and students packed the Secretary’s Town Hall Meeting, “Blueprint for a Rural America Built to Last,” broadcast live on Rural TV with questions coming in from callers in 18 states and a nationwide audience.
Both events included spirited discussion on the future of commodity prices, crop insurance and other details for the next Farm Bill being considered by Congress this year. However, the biggest applause and cheers came at both events when the Secretary answered questions on farm-based renewable energy. 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 »
How did USDA employees raise over 1.7 million pounds of food this summer for Feds Feed Families? The stories below provide a cross-country flavor of the many examples of generosity and creativity demonstrated at USDA field office’s food drives around the country.
On the West Coast, two field offices in California worked with producers to gather thousands of pounds of local produce for food banks. The Oroville Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Center partnered with Pacific Coast Producers to donate an astonishing 4,367 pounds of canned fruits to North State Food Bank. The Dixon Service Center partnered with Robben Farms to collect 2,513 pounds of bagged, dry canario beans for the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. Read more »
Tennessee Gourmet Co-Owner and Cumberland Culinary Center Manager Sue Sykes shows off new equipment purchased with help from a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant at Cumberland University's Cumberland Culinary Center.
Born and raised in New England I can’t claim to know the finer details and intricacies of the delicious and competitive world of barbeque. So when I came to Tennessee to highlight economic development opportunities at Cumberland University’s Cumberland Culinary Center I was pleased to see first-hand just how intense that competition can be and how that competition is fueling small business opportunities and growth in rural Tennessee. Read more »