Yesterday, Secretary Vilsack and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley hosted Maryland’s fourth annual “Buy Local” cook out. The event kicked off Maryland’s “Buy Local Challenge Week” which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally-grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day.
Governor O’Malley designated June 23-31 is “Buy Local Challenge Week” in an effort to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that the use of fresh, local products among consumers becomes more familiar and more frequent. The cookout featured recipes from 17 teams of local producers and chefs from across the State showcasing the diversity of local products available in Maryland.
For a better look at yesterday’s event in Annapolis, Maryland, check out the video below:
One of the most satisfying aspects of my job has been to hear the various ways USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grantprogram is making a positive difference in our rural economy. I’m pleased to announce new funding efforts by the Obama Administration to create jobs and foster new business opportunities in rural America.
Rural Americans take pride in and depend on the farmers, ranchers, and locally-owned businesses that provide fresh foods for their communities. Despite the important role of these rural businesses and cooperatives, it can be difficult for them to begin marketing or distributing their products without financial support. Read more »
Today was an exciting day at USDA as I was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin to unveil USDA’s new food icon, MyPlate. The icon is a departure from MyPyramid and serves as a quick, simple reminder to all consumers, built off of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for all Americans.
We all know that what we eat matters – MyPlate offers a visual reminder to make healthy food choices when you choose your next meal. MyPlate can help prioritize food choices by reminding us to make half of our plate fruits and vegetables and shows us the other important food groups for a well-balanced meal: whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy. Read more »
As National Moving Month, May marks the height of the moving season. It also marks a time of great peril for America’s forests. Gypsy moths normally get their best chance to spread across the country in May as they hitchhike with people moving or traveling from an infested area to a noninfested area. This year should be different, however, thanks to an outreach campaign called “Your Move Gypsy Moth-Free” that USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently launched.
The stakes are high: Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate, weaken, and kill more than 300 different types of trees and shrubs. Since 1970, this dangerous forest pest has defoliated 75 million acres in the United States. If left unchecked, an infestation can defoliate up to 13 million acres of trees in one season. New infestations are typically caused by gypsy moth egg masses that people transport accidentally when moving or traveling from an infested area to a noninfested area. That’s why APHIS requires these individuals to inspect for and remove gypsy moth egg masses from outdoor household items—before they move. Read more »
Last week, Secretary Vilsack joined St. Louis Rams quarterback and Cherokee nation member Sam Bradford in the USDA People’s Garden to talk about the importance of healthy lifestyles to improve the health of our nation’s kids. Secretary Vilsack and Sam Bradford were accompanied by the Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, Robin Schepper, Keith Moore, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education Director, and Janie Hipp, Senior Advisory to Secretary Vilsack with the USDA Office of Tribal Relations. The event underscored the value of programs like Fuel Up to Play 60, Let’s Move! Outside, and the People’s Garden to provide opportunities for parents, teachers and child care givers to get kids up and moving during the summer months. Read more »
It is an honor to be named a Champion of Change by the White House for my work with school nutrition programs in the Pacific Northwest. Last Friday I joined a roundtable meeting with Administration officials and five other chefs from around the nation to discuss best practices for working with schools and teachers through the Chefs Move to Schools program.
We have an extraordinary opportunity in this country to influence a lifetime of healthy eating habits beginning with children and teens. Schools provide a perfect setting, both in the classroom and in the cafeteria. Chef volunteers with Chefs Move to Schools are ready to share their expertise to get kids excited about tasty, healthy foods. Read more »