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70 Years in the Last Frontier

From protecting people and their communities to growing food in high tunnels to restoring streams for salmon to protecting precious soils, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been investing in Alaska’s working lands for 70 years.

The NRCS’s commitment to agriculture in Alaska began on February 19, 1948, when the agency (then the Soil Conservation Service) set up shop in the city of Palmer, one of state’s centers of agriculture. Since that time, the NRCS in Alaska has been steadfast in its mission of helping people help the land.

How the Military Helps Protect Natural Landscapes

Home to the premier restricted military airspace for unmanned aircraft system training in the western U.S., Army base Fort Huachuca supports training for personnel from the Air Force, Marine Corps, and U.S. Border Patrol. But it also serves as an example of successful mixed-use wildlands conservation, including healthy forests and grasslands, sustainable water resources, rural communities and economies, wildlife habitat, and recreation and tourism.

Student Diversity Program Winners are Honored Guests at this Year’s Ag Outlook Forum

The next generation of agricultural leaders get to rub elbows with today’s ag decisionmakers at the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF) later this month. Twenty undergraduate juniors and seniors and 10 graduate students have been selected as winners of the 2018 Student Diversity Program. These students receive invaluable, hands-on experience through a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., capped off with the 94th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), USDA’s largest annual meeting, held Feb. 22-23 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

Good Forest Management Yields Wildlife Oasis

For Mike and Laura Jackson, many mornings begin with hot tea and birds. This particular morning, they spotted a mourning dove, a pileated woodpecker and many others. And the retired science teachers in Bedford County, Pennsylvania jot down the types and numbers of birds they see each day.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Barbara Rater

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Barbara Rater from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. This month we’re focusing on the Census of Agriculture, which has been conducted every five years since the mid-1800’s. The Census of Agriculture looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity.

USDA Programs Empower Arkansas Farmer

From the time Brittany Caskey was a toddler, she lived her life in the dirt and on tractors, learning from an early age the kind of work it takes to make things grow.

In the small community of Hunter, in Woodruff County Arkansas, Caskey grew up with a dream of becoming a farmer. In 2017, the 26-year-old’s dream came to fruition with help from USDA.

Traveling to South Korea for the Olympics? Bring Back Great Memories, Not a Pest or Disease

The Winter Olympics begin shortly in South Korea, bringing us two weeks of incredible athletic performances. While many of us will watch the games from our TVs, computers or phones, some lucky individuals will travel to witness the games in person. And when traveling, people often bring back items as souvenirs or as gifts for those of us at home. If you are traveling to the Olympics (or anywhere outside the country), keep in mind there are rules about agricultural products being brought into the U.S.

USDA Charts Course for Strengthening World Aquaculture

Charting a course ahead for the conservation and sustainable farming of freshwater and marine species is a chief focus of the first State of the World’s Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report that will contain subsections from 89 contributing countries, including the United States.

New Tool Helps California Land Managers Predict Tree Mortality

From 2006 through 2016, more than 100 million trees died in California due to the combined impacts of drought and bark beetles. Although tree mortality is part of a natural life cycle, at a massive level it can lead to adverse economic and social effects. So many dead and dying trees increase the risk of wildfire and threaten lives and property.