Did you know that USDA manages 193 million acres of land; occupies approximately 89 million square feet of office and laboratory space and operates over 23,000 buildings? And if this isn’t enough, USDA also operates a fleet of over 40,000 motor vehicles and equipment.
Photo of green roof on court 5 of the South Building. Saves energy and reduces excessive stormwater runoff (which supports our efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay).
With statistics like these, it is no wonder that USDA remains focused on reducing its rather significant environmental footprint by using clean energy while working towards improving the environment. To accomplish this, USDA conducts its operations in a sustainable manner, complies with environmental laws and regulations and walks its talk. Read more »
After 6 p.m. February 24, USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum speaker presentations will be available online. The Forum, which occurs annually, was a celebration of USDA’s 150th anniversary, featuring eight former Secretaries of Agriculture discussing the future of agriculture with Secretary Vilsack. Read more »
A blueprint guides the decisions of an entire team of craftspeople toward a common goal of creating something that serves a purpose and withstands time and the elements. Over several decades now, U.S. agriculture has become the second most-productive sector of our economy. Today, net farm income is at record levels while farm debt has been cut in half. Overall, American agriculture supports 1 in 12 jobs in the United States and provides American consumers with 83 percent of the food we consume. In other words, U.S. agriculture is both resilient and a productive economic driver.
While America’s farmers, ranchers and growers are the primary architects of U.S. agriculture’s success, there is large team in place that helps to drive the success of our agriculture industry, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency is a proud member of that team. And FSA’s guide in building a more modern, efficient service organization that is closely in tune with the long-term vitality of rural America is the Blueprint for Stronger Service. Read more »
As we reflect in celebration of USDA’s 150th anniversary, it’s easy to take pride in the problem-solving abilities of agricultural scientists since 1862.
The challenges in America have been great, including the Dust Bowl, wars, human health threats, and attacks on crops and animals from pests. Researchers have met these challenges and will continue to do so, while enabling growers to produce abundant food that is safe to eat. Read more »
Following a morning plenary session featuring eight former Secretaries of Agriculture and Secretary Vilsack’s keynote speech, the USDA’s annual Outlook Forum will begin the programs breakout sessions featuring more than 80 speakers. The sessions will focus on a broad range of topical issues related to agriculture and global food security; foreign trade, financial markets, and economic development; conservation; energy; climate change; food safety; food hubs; extension programs; and next generation farmers. Read more »
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of touring the southern part of Vermont with US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture, Kathleen Merrigan.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan with Alex Gyori, General Manager of Brattleboro Food Coop.
On Monday, we went from farm to farm along the Route 9 corridor and met with some of the incredibly courageous farm families who are putting their lives back together after Tropical Storm Irene. Loss of land, loss of crops and feed are just a few of the many challenges they are facing with amazing dignity. The purpose of the tour spearheaded by State Ag Secretary, Chuck Ross, was to make sure that those in need were aware of all of the programs USDA and the State had to offer. In addition, he wanted our Washington visitor to see the stunning resilience of Vermont’s farm families. A group that included Bob Paquin, FSA; Vicky Drew, NRCS; staff of Sen. Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch also shared their admiration for the strength of these individuals. Read more »