In every state, people are connecting directly with their food each time they bite into a local apple, grill a local steak or create a salad with local ingredients. Local food is about the products that farmers and ranchers grow and raise. It’s about the businesses that bring food from farms to our tables, and efforts to connect consumers with producers like farm to school and agritourism. And it’s about the sense of pride behind campaigns like “Buy Fresh, Buy Local,” “Appalachian Grown,” or “Idaho Preferred” that let consumers know their food dollar is flowing back into their local economy. Women play a prominent role in developing local and regional food systems that are creating jobs, pulling new people into agriculture, connecting communities, and improving health.
On Tuesday, July 17th at 3:00pm EDT, Jon Carson, White House Director of Public Engagement, and I will join inspiring women leaders in the field of local foods through a Google+ Hangout to hear their stories and answer your questions. It’s also a chance to see more stories like theirs when we unveil the 2.0 version of the USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. An innovative digital guide and map, the KYF Compass highlights USDA-supported local food projects around the country. The 2.0 version features thousands of local food projects in all 50 states and includes keyword and zip code search features. Read more »
At 11:00 am today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, will be helping open the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, hosting visitors from around the world who will come to the Mall in Washington, D.C. for this annual event. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the only federal agency lucky enough to be located right on the Mall, and this year we’re also honored to be a part of the Folklife Festival, celebrating our 150-year partnership with the Land Grant University system. “Campus and Community: Public and Land Grant Universities and USDA at 150” is one of the three themes highlighted at the Festival this year.
USDA scientists, agricultural experts and speakers will be partnering with representatives from 29 Land Grant Universities (LGUs) to showcase all the great work we do together to support agricultural production, education and rural communities across America. USDA works hand-in-hand with Land Grant and public universities to put research into action locally, regionally and globally. Read more »
On June 19, 2012, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien led the Department’s third monthly Virtual Office Hours on USDA’s role in economic development in our nation’s rural communities, including the great strides that have been made in agricultural economy and the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities, and contributing to the economy. Read more »
Rural communities are the backbone of our nation’s economy. This past year, food and agriculture exports from rural America reached their highest levels ever and the industry supported more than 1.15 million American jobs. America’s agricultural trade surplus also reached record levels. This is partly the result of a comprehensive rural strategy implemented to spur innovation, increase export levels, invest in clean energy, and expand opportunities for rural enterprises on and off the farm that create jobs. In the last few years, USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program and our Business and Industry Guarantee program has created jobs and has helped millions of rural Americans address essential challenges in health care, education, public service and public safety. And now we want to hear YOUR voice.
On the heels of the 1 year anniversary of the White House Rural Council, and to celebrate National Homeownership Month, I will host the 3rd installment of Virtual Office Hours. The topic will be economic development in our nation’s rural communities, including the great strides that have been made in agricultural economy and the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities, and contributing to the economy. Read more »
Tomorrow, May 15, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will celebrate 150 years of work on behalf of agriculture, rural America and people throughout the country and world. In anticipation of tomorrow’s activities, the 30th Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, sat down today for the May edition of our monthly Virtual Office Hours on Twitter to answer questions about USDA’s rich history as well as issues that face the Department today.
During the 45 minute chat, questions poured in for Secretary Vilsack across all issues and subject matters, and with each response, helped us to tell the story of the importance of USDA throughout history, and to paint a picture of the breadth of USDA’s vast portfolio. Our continued work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and many other issues will ensure USDA still fulfills Lincoln’s vision – touching the lives of every American, every day. Read more »
Did you know USDA brings Thanksgiving dinner to our troops serving abroad?
Did you know that USDA is responsible for fabric testing, including creating flame-retardant finishes used on products like firefighters’ uniforms and military clothing and children’s pajamas?
Did you know 1 in 5 Americans drink H2O that originated on a national forest?
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