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 »
A truck is filled with wood chips as part of the process of turning wood into energy
Cross posted from the White House CEQ blog:
Across rural America, biomass like wood pellets and wood chips is helping communities diversify their energy sources, create jobs, and save money on utility bills. At the Forest Service, we are working to support biomass projects that help us manage wildfire threats, and also serve as economic engines for rural communities. Last week, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grants of $4 million for renewable wood energy projects that will provide 20 small businesses, tribes and community groups with the technical engineering and design services they need to explore installing wood heat and electricity projects. Read more »
Cross posted from the White House blog:
America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, and other outdoor spaces are treasured for their beauty, their enjoyment, and for their value to our culture and history — sometimes, it can be easy to overlook that they also serve as economic drivers for American communities. In sectors ranging from tourism to outdoor recreation and energy development, our nation’s public lands and waters are creating jobs and supporting local economies across the country.
Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an annual visitor survey, which highlights how our nation’s forests are contributing billions of dollars to the economy and creating jobs in tourism, restoration, and renewable energy. The report showed that USDA Forest Service lands attracted 166 million visitors in 2011, and, as a result, visitor spending in nearby communities sustained more than 200,000 full- and part-time jobs. The survey also reveals that these jobs produced labor income of more than $7.6 billion, while forest and grassland visitor spending contributed more than $13 billion to the gross domestic product. Read more »
USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan and White House Director of Public Engagement Jon Carson in a live Google+ Hangout
What’s the common link between eastern Oregon rancher Cory Carman, Oklahoma Farm to School Coordinator Chris Kirby, New Mexico Food Policy Council leader Pamela Roy, Muckleshoot Tribal member Valerie Segrest, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Sue Noble, Director of Wisconsin’s Vernon Economic Development Association? Read more »
Screen shot of the newest version of the KYF2 Compass map.
Today, I am proud to announce the release of a new version of the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. But before I tell you what makes it new, I want to invite you to join us live at 3pm EDT to hear about it directly from me, from the White House, and from some of the many people whose stories are featured in the Compass guide and map. Read more »
President Obama and I know that today’s young people are critical to winning America’s future. From passing on the long-held traditions and values of American agriculture, to helping Americans live healthier lives by supporting the First Lady’s ‘Let’s Move’ initiative, 4-H and FFA members are truly making a difference.
This September, the White House will welcome 4-H and FFA members from around the country to Washington for a day of discussion on their work, and the future of American agriculture.
In addition, the White House will honor 12 Champions of Change- 4-H and FFA members who are helping America win the future with unique projects that move their communities forward. Read more »