Skip to main content

September 2022

Liberation Farms - Food Justice in Action

It’s eight in the morning, and farmers with hand hoes and buckets have been here for two hours already, weeding and watering their plots before the heat of the day. Over 200 members of the Somali Bantu community of Lewiston, Maine, make the short drive out to Liberation Farms a few times each week to tend their crops. Visitors to our farm often comment on how few weeds they spot between stalks of corn. It’s not magic, we tell them: our farmers are constantly in friendly competition to see who can have the best-looking plot.

Unpacking a Career in Agriculture with Assist from USDA’s Economic Research Service

From an early age, Sarah Baskins had in interest in agriculture. This interest accelerated when she became Merced College Agricultural Business Student of the Year. While studying for her Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Studies and Economics at California State University, Stanislaus, Baskins had an important internship as an economist with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

USDA Propels This Scientist’s Career Trajectory

You could say that Andreya Dupree is flying high with the USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), partially due to being a licensed drone pilot. “USDA was the place that gave me a chance to continue to learn and grow. I've received many opportunities with USDA,” said Dupree.

From the Classroom to Washington: 2022 E. Kika De La Garza Fellowship Program

July 2022 was the third hottest July the country has ever seen, and for staff and faculty from Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Hispanic-Serving School Districts, the sweltering temperatures they were experiencing in Washington, D.C. were no exception. This was not summer vacation. The 20 E. Kika De La Garza fellows were at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters to meet with senior leaders from all of USDA’s mission areas.

Full-Circle Journey Back to Agricultural Roots

Dr. Anabel Rodriguez is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Public Health at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Growing up, Dr. Rodriguez lived in Rio Grande City, Texas, with her parents and siblings and worked as a migrant farm worker picking grapes and seasonal produce with her family in California. Through her experiences as an agricultural worker, Dr. Rodriguez’s passion for occupational health, safety and epidemiology for agricultural workers began to grow.

Todd Corley: USDA Equity Commission’s Change Management “Mad Scientist” with Credible Intentions

While Todd Corley, senior vice president for Inclusion & Sustainability at Carhartt, didn’t begin his career in the change management or diversity and inclusion fields, the Jesuit concept of cura personalis or the “care of the whole person” certainly motivated his actions and interests. This concept involves providing individualized attention to the needs of others, while focusing on each person’s unique circumstances, concerns, gifts and insights.

Keeping WIC Participants with Special Nutritional Needs Safe during the Infant Formula Shortage

Finding infant formula has been stressful for families across the country – especially for those who require specialized formula to meet their baby’s specific health needs. However, from the earliest stages of the shortage, FNS has worked to ensure WIC families have access to the infant formula they need.

Four Ways to Nourish More Children through School Meals

Over the last two years, we’ve experienced major disruptions in the world of school meals – new realities stemming from pandemic-related school closures and supply chain disruptions which have impacted the cost and availability of food, staff, and supplies. Through it all, our dedicated school nutrition professionals have demonstrated a tireless commitment to ensuring kids remain fed and nourished.

Nutritionists: The Link to Nutrition Security

They called the next participant; a woman and her child exited the waiting area to meet at my desk. I introduced myself and asked, “How are you doing today?” She reluctantly answered, “good” with disinterest in her eyes. I detected a Spanish accent which prompted me to ask which language she preferred to conduct the appointment in. She immediately perked up and replied, “I’m so happy you speak Spanish… my English is not good.”