Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Posts tagged: Veterans Affairs

South Dakota Statewide Native Homeownership Coalition on the Horizon

Federal, State, and Tribal partners work on a solution to bring safe, affordable housing to South Dakota’s tribal areas. USDA photo.

Federal, State, and Tribal partners work on a solution to bring safe, affordable housing to South Dakota’s tribal areas. USDA photo.

South Dakota USDA Rural Development, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, South Dakota Housing Development Authority (SDHDA), and the Great Plains Native Asset Building Coalition convened a vital meeting of stakeholders recently to gain input on the creation of a statewide coalition to support and promote homeownership in South Dakota Native communities.

Six of the nine Indian reservations in South Dakota, including representatives of six Indian housing authorities participated in the session, as well as Nathan Sanderson of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  In addition to USDA Rural Development, federal stakeholders included the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, and Indian Health Service. About 50 people gathered for a daylong working session to provide critical impute on the goals and priorities of a proposed coalition. Read more »

Arizona Community Garden Feeds Body and Soul

There has been little in Ruben Herrera’s life of late to celebrate. The past few years have been marred by drugs, prison, and homelessness.

A military vet who was raised on a farm in Gilbert, Arizona, Ruben remembered the sweetness of his childhood rural lifestyle even as he struggled with the realities of life on the streets of America’s sixth largest city.

In October, Ruben’s Veterans Administration counselor directed him to the Human Services Campus in downtown Phoenix where he is now finding renewed hope and purpose.

The Human Services Campus houses several social service agencies—St. Vincent de Paul, Central Arizona Shelter Services, Lodestar, NOVA Safe Haven, Maricopa County Health Services and St. Joseph the Worker employment counseling. But for Ruben, the Community Garden, rooted out of a parking lot next to the campus, has become his sanctuary. Read more »

Veterans Inject Military Values into the U.S. Forest Service Workforce

Mary Laub’s graduation, Williams Air Force Base, January 1984. Photo courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers.

Mary Laub’s graduation, Williams Air Force Base, January 1984. Photo courtesy of US Army Corps of Engineers.

We’ve all heard catchy military slogans like Be All You Can Be, Get an Edge on Life and Aim High. Three of the Forest Service’s finest can identify with each of these mantras. As former airmen and soldier, they proudly served in the U.S. Air Force and Army. Read more »

Veterans Find Unexpected Opportunities at AMS

When it comes time to transition from service in the military to a civilian job, many veterans do not immediately think to look for positions at the USDA.  There is an assumption that jobs with USDA are all farm-related – even those in the Agricultural Marketing Services (AMS).   In reality, there is a wide variety of opportunities within AMS and USDA as a whole.

There are a number of jobs at AMS that overlap with different military specializations.  The agency has auditors who evaluate programs to make sure producers follow international standards and practices.  Positions in compliance and analysis, budget analysis, and information technology rely on skills like attention to detail and effective project management that are an essential part of armed services training. Read more »

Rural Veterans and the Tyranny of Distance

Cross posted from the White House blog:

At the Department of Veterans Affairs, Secretary Shinseki often talks about the tyranny of distance – the distance that often separates Veterans from care at their nearest VA medical facilities. For about 3.3 million Vets, or 41 percent of the total enrolled in VA’s health care system, distance is more than a challenge. Distance can mean rural Veterans don’t have access to the care and services they’ve earned.

Secretary Shinseki made it clear – this summer, he wanted to hear from Veterans in the hardest to reach places. “I know from previous experience that sitting in Washington with a 2,000-mile screwdriver trying to fine tune things at the local level never works,” he said. So, we hit the road to learn firsthand. Read more »

USDA Wants to Hear Your Views About The Power of Telemedicine

Written by Jonathan Adelstein, Administrator, Rural Utilities Services

Remote learning, teaching, and service delivery are becoming a way of life, and nowhere is that truer than in rural regions.

Digital networks and new technologies are emerging to bring more cost-effective and high quality telemedical services to rural populations across the country.   The financial distance penalty so often assumed to be part of rural life appears to be receding as our broadband networks are expanding.  With medical record keeping systems moving to digital formats, the opportunity to have records and diagnostic tests “move” with you from doctor to doctor or from doctor to clinic is becoming more commonplace, as is the availability of sophisticated diagnostic procedures and specialized help, again through the broadband networks being built with USDA funding support  in metro and rural regions. Read more »