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Managing the Escalating Risks of Farming

Lancaster County, PA – Dairy farmer Luke Brubaker has managed risks well enough to establish a long history of successful, and environmentally friendly farming. At age 67, however, he recognizes that now is the riskiest time he has seen.

A Victory for Kids

When I first stepped into my role as Secretary of Agriculture, President Obama and I highlighted healthier school meals as a top priority; and today, we made great strides toward that goal with the passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Urbana People’s Garden leverages improved nutritional choices among low-income families

Employees of USDA-Agriculture Research Service in Urbana, Illinois teamed up with the University of Illinois to establish a unique Peoples Garden this year.  The garden was named ‘Three Sisters’ because we grew variations of the three main agricultural crops of some Native Americans: maize, beans and squash.  The garden produced sweet corn, which has been improved in multiple, significant ways by the University of Illinois.  We also grew 14 cultivars of edamame developed in Urbana by retired USDA-ARS plant breeder Richard Bernard.  In addition to green beans, we also cultivated several types of pumpkins, recognizing Illinois grows 95% of the nation’s pumpkins used in processing.

California Culinary Academy Members and San Francisco Middle School Partner in Chefs Move to Schools Program

For more than a year now, the Slow Food on Campus members at the California Culinary Academy have proudly partnered with students from San Francisco’s James Lick Middle School.  The staff teamed with the school, which participates in the Chefs Move to Schools program, because of their diverse student body and receptive school administration.

USDA Rural Development State Director Tours Southwestern North Dakota to Connect with Community Leaders

USDA Rural Development State Director Jasper Schneider, and staff, recently toured seven rural communities in southwestern North Dakota as part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to rural communities.  Schneider participated in conversations with community leaders to identify ways Rural Development programs can most effectively work to improve the quality of life and increase economic opportunity in the region.

Talking Nutrition with Stephen Colbert

Last night, I stopped by the Colbert Report to talk about the critical role the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plays in promoting healthy eating.  I am familiar with Stephen’s unfortunate bear phobia, so Smokey Bear  was asked to stay back at headquarters. The topics of hunger and nutrition, however, are no laughing matter, so I was excited to have the opportunity to discuss these important issues with Stephen and his viewers.