Secretary Vilsack meets with construction workers in Berlin, Maryland. The town was able to build a new water treatment plant with funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
This blog is cross posted from Secretary Vilsack’s Medium page:
Somedays being a Cabinet member, you have to be flexible. Today is one of those days. While in New Orleans to speak to the Renewable Fuel Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, I traveled to the Port of New Orleans to attend an event with Vice President Biden. The Vice President scheduled an event at the port to highlight the 7th anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Vice President is the most logical person to celebrate the anniversary of ARRA achievements since he led the historic effort on behalf of the Administration. I was to be one of the warm-up acts for Vice President Biden, but due to a scheduling conflict, I had to leave before the program started. Out of respect for the Vice President’s effort to lead the Administration’s implementation of ARRA, I had planned to highlight for him the enormous investment made in rural America as a result of ARRA. If I had been able to stay, I would have pointed to these 6 big investments by USDA: Read more »
The future of rural communities depends on safe, clean water supplies and healthy watersheds. That future is being challenged like never before and USDA RD is helping them meet the challenge.
With Earth Day on the horizon for tomorrow, we at USDA Rural Development are looking forward to sharing some very big news about efforts kicking off across the nation to ensure clean drinking water and healthy watersheds in small, rural communities that face increasing challenges with aging infrastructure, drought and climate change.
As you probably know, Rural Development works hard to help rural communities plan and build the critical infrastructure they need to grow and prosper sustainably. Read more »
Water quality improvements in the Chesapeake Bay benefit the many species of wildlife that call it home. Photos by Tim McCabe, NRCS Maryland.
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed, the largest estuary in North America, covers 64,000 square miles and includes more than 150 rivers and streams that drain into the bay. Roughly one quarter of the land in the watershed is used for agricultural production, and agricultural practices can affect the health of those rivers and streams, and ultimately the bay itself.
While the health of the Chesapeake Bay has improved since the 1970s, excess nutrients and sediment continue to adversely affect water quality in local rivers and streams, which contributes to impaired water quality in the bay. Read more »
On August 30, 2011 USDA Rural Development State Director Virginia Manuel joined Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator Curt Spalding and Maine DEP Acting Commissioner Pattie Aho in highlighting one of the most affordable and advanced wastewater facilities in the country. This was an excellent opportunity to highlight the unique project as well as the important partnership between USDA Rural Development and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Greater Limestone Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility is impressive for many reasons. The $21 million total project brought together federal, state and local partners to regionalize two aging rural wastewater treatment facilities in northern Maine (Loring and Limestone) into one state-of-the-art facility. Read more »
Anita J. (Janie) Dunning, Missouri State Director, and Jonathan Adelstein, RUS Administrator (center), painting the Ralls County PWSD No. 1 water tower
A three day visit to Missouri, the “Show Me State” allowed me to join Janie Dunning, Rural Development State Director, to see how rural areas benefiting from infrastructure investments made possible through USDA Rural Development programs and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) financing. Read more »
What better way to celebrate Earth Day last month than to recognize projects that are environmentally friendly and to educate our elementary school youths. That’s exactly what we did in northwest Missouri. The Missouri Rural Development (RD) staff partnered with the Senior Citizens Nursing Home District of Ray County and the Richmond Sunrise Elementary School for one celebration and with the City of Carrollton and Carrollton Elementary School for the second celebration.
In Richmond, Debra Berry, USDA Rural Development Area Specialist, talked with second graders in the Sunrise Elementary School about energy conservation and recycling and a poster contest was held for the students to demonstrate their creativity about the environment. The gym full of students, teachers and the principal, showed great knowledge and excitement about caring for the environment. When the top three poster winners were announced smiles lit up all the faces. One of the student winners whose father was present to see the award had to call her mother at work – what excitement! Read more »