USDA’s 2013 Agricultural Outlook Forum, “Managing Risk in the 21st Century,” will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on Feb. 21-23. Speakers will include USDA policymakers and 85 distinguished experts in the fields of international trade, insurance, forestry, conservation, risk management, transportation, energy, nutrition, local foods, and food safety. The Forum continues to feature the traditional USDA commodity supply and demand and food price outlooks. Read more »
In McLean, a community tucked inside Fairfax County, not everyone can access the food they need for good health. I interviewed Julie Mendoza about her efforts to connect hungry families in McLean with fresh produce.
Julie knew that Share McLean, a food pantry that serves hungry families in the area, often lacked fresh produce. As she was walking through the McLean community garden one day, she noticed that there was an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. She decided she would try to facilitate a relationship between the garden and Share McLean, calling it The Gardeners’ Share of McLean.
Young gardeners at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church grow food for The Gardener’s Share.
Read more »
Addison, a Kindergarten student at Matoaka Elementary School, makes friends with a new vegetable on Asparagus Day.
Matoaka Elementary School isn’t the biggest school, or the oldest. But it does have a Parent Teacher Association that takes student health very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that one committee is completely devoted to helping kids and families develop Healthy Lifestyles!
“There were a few PTA parents who started talking about how our school could be healthier,” said Tryna Fitzpatrick, “and we decided to survey families and find out what other parents were thinking.” Read more »
White House interns met with several Virginia producers to learn the important role agriculture plays in feeding, clothing and fueling America and the world.
Twelve White House fellows were given the opportunity to experience agriculture first hand. From a custom slaughterhouse to a large-scale fruit and vegetable operation, the group grazed the hills and pastures of Virginia to learn the importance of ag in the U.S.
Hosted by Virginia Farm Service Agency staff and accompanied by Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service Deputy Under Secretary Karis Gutter, the fellows began their tour at the USDA Fredericksburg Service Center where they met their tour guides — County Executive Director Jeanne Turnure and FSA Manager Kim DePasquale. Read more »
Since its humble beginnings over 75 years ago, the Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) in Virginia has provided reliable and affordable electricity to its 18-County service area located South of Richmond, the State Capital.
Yesterday marked a milestone for the electric coop with the announcement by Jonathan Adelstein, the Rural Utilities Administrator, of over $44.8 million dollars in guaranteed loan assistance. This will be the largest single loan and expansion project ever taken on by the cooperative.
“The guaranteed funding through the RUS Program will enable us to complete key projects that will improve reliability, customer service, and give us additional capacity to meet future load requirements which assist our local communities with economic development,” said Jeff Edwards, SEC President and CEO. He went on to say, “An exciting part of this expansion will be the implementation of Smart Grid Technology. This will allow for customers to actually monitor their power usage and help conserve electricity during peak times of the day.” Read more »
Speaking to a room full of happy citizens in Westmoreland County, Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein congratulated them on the new sewer extension project that will be a real game changer for their community. “I am proud to mark Earth Day 2012 with this partnership between Rural Development and the Community and it is infrastructure projects like this that ensures that rural communities have their basic needs met in terms of clean water and modern, up-to-date sewer facilities,” said Adelstein. The ceremony highlighted the new $5.6 million dollar regional sewer extension project that will upon completion provide over 450 new homes and numerous businesses in the area with connectivity to the Coles Point wastewater treatment plant.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Darryl Fisher-Chairman of the Westmoreland Board of Supervisor and local business owner said, “We would not be able to move forward in this community without this critical assistance. We have several areas of the community where land just would not be suitable for individual septic systems to construct homes and businesses and this new extension will provide us viable options for the future of this region. Read more »