The USDA Forest Service, along with our Federal, state and local partners operate the largest wildland fire management program in the world. To help manage these wildland fires the partners have created interagency incident management teams. These teams have responded to many incidents including major fires, insect infestations, the shuttle recovery and hurricanes. These incidents have tested the management skills and abilities of the agency and its partners.
On September 11, 2001, within hours of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, interagency incident management teams were dispatched to New York City and Arlington, VA. I served as an Incident Commander of the California Incident Management Team that responded to the Pentagon. Read more »
President Abraham Lincoln’s Legacies of USDA, the Morrill Act and the Homestead Act were commemorated on May 20 at the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska. More than 225 people attended a special panel presentation in the Education Center, moderated by Dr. Kenneth Winkle, Lincoln Scholar and Professor of History at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, who introduced the work of President Lincoln.
Panelists were, for USDA: U.S. Senator Mike Johanns, former Secretary of Agriculture; the Morrill Act: Dr. John Owens, Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Nebraska Lincoln; and the Homestead Act: Mark Engler, Superintendent, Homestead National Monument of America. A dialogue with the audience took place after the presentations. Read more »
I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the birthplace of former Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Wallace during a recent trip to Iowa. In fact, my tour of the farm near Orient in south central Iowa happened to be May 15, the day the USDA celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Wallace was Secretary of the Agriculture from March 4, 1933 until September 4, 1940. He served as Vice President of the United States from 1941 to 1945 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was also Secretary of Commerce from 1945 to 1946.
Wallace is perhaps the 20th Century’s most well-known Ag Secretary and his accomplishments are monumental. Read more »
Nearly 150 years ago – on July 2, 1862, just two months after the creation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture – President Lincoln signed another historic measure, the Morrill Act, which created the land grant university system.
Over the years, land grant colleges and universities have had a tremendously positive impact on our nation, graduating more than 20 million students. And in partnership with USDA, more than 100 land-grant institutions and other research partners have helped conduct the groundbreaking research that remains the envy of the world. Read more »
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is celebrating the agency’s 40th anniversary today.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is celebrating the agency’s 40th anniversary today. While APHIS’ program activities and responsibilities have grown and evolved since the Agency’s founding in 1972, the mission remains the same: serving the public by protecting the health and value of American agriculture and natural resources. Read more »
From left: Jessica Shahin, Associate Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Mika Brzezinski and Former Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-Fla.) hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe and Masters of Ceremony listen to Shahin explain the emergency food assistance provided to survivors of Hurricane Katrina at the United States Department of Agriculture's 150th Anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 15, 2012. USDA photo by Bob Nichols.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly seven years since the lives of the citizens of New Orleans and surrounding areas of the Gulf Coast were changed forever in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. This epic storm demanded an immediate and unprecedented response. I was proud to be part of USDA’s team that quickly mobilized to provide disaster food assistance. Read more »