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rural america

Telemedicine Technologies in Rural Washington Spark Long Term Advancement in Health Care Delivery

In Rural America, there are many challenges to accessing high-quality healthcare – one of the most significant challenges is physically getting to the locations where a specialist is practicing. Telemedicine is a great tool for rural hospitals, health clinics, and even dental practices to use to help people living in rural areas access the care they need. At USDA Rural Development, we know that increasing access to telemedicine and distance learning in rural America is essential to building healthier and more resilient communities.

RD Customer’s Cloud-Based Ecommerce Product Helps Farmers Reach New Markets During COVID-19

As the new Acting Administrator for USDA Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service, I know that one of the best parts of working in rural America is the relationships we build with our customers, relationships that often span many years. I was fortunate to see these relationships in action in my most recent role as State Director for Virginia. It’s rewarding to watch a customer’s efforts make an impact on the community they serve. And it’s especially gratifying to see a customer experience dramatic growth and begin serving communities beyond their geographical area. That is the case for the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture, Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VAFAIRS), specifically, their ecommerce program, Lulus Local Food.

Montana Company Reeling in Protective Masks and Gowns

“You get one life, fish it well.” The slogan of Simms Fishing Products in Bozeman, Mont. reflects their passion for making outstanding fishing gear. Not only is Simms the only wader manufacturer in the country today, they are also proud to offer an entire collection of “Made in the USA” products, designed and constructed by expert anglers in Bozeman.

Educational Opportunities Spread with Broadband Expansion in Rural America

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”

I was reminded of this powerful proverb while preparing for our ReConnect program announcement. As a former teacher, education and its long-reaching benefits are dear to my heart. While joining Deputy Under Secretary Donald “DJ” LaVoy at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, to announce over $55.3 million in ReConnect funding, I thought of the impact this funding would have on the education of our fellow Kentuckians.

On National Rural Health Day, Emergency Healthcare Starts Home

North Dakota is a remarkable agricultural state and very rural. Farms and ranches dominate hundreds of miles of roads, and distances between services can be great. With so much wide-open space, our first responders and medical facilities play critical roles in ensuring the health and safety of our agricultural producers. Recently, their expertise and professionalism saved the life of a coworker and good friend.

Supporting Organic Integrity with Clear Livestock and Poultry Standards

The mission of the National Organic Program, part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), is to protect the integrity of organic products in the U.S. and around the world. This means creating clear and enforceable standards that protect the organic integrity of products from farm to table.  Consumers trust and look for the USDA organic seal because they know that USDA stands behind the standards that it represents.

Today, USDA announced a final rule regarding organic livestock and poultry production practices.  The rule strengthens the organic standards, and ensures that all organic animals live in pasture based systems utilizing production practices that support their well-being and natural behavior. It’s an important step that will strengthen consumer confidence in the USDA organic seal and ensure that organic agriculture continues to provide economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and businesses across the country.

Working with the Private Sector, Guaranteeing Affordable Housing Opportunities in Rural America

Groceries, childcare, education, transportation, insurance, utilities: these are just some of the essential places families nationwide spend their paychecks every month. Making ends meet takes hard work, but sometimes even after working long hours and shopping right families need help to make it.

Twenty years ago essential affordable housing opportunities were scarce in rural America. Banks weren’t investing in these opportunities because deals that would build affordable rentals required long-term, patient capital that turned profit much slower than those big, new, luxury apartments in cities and larger towns.

A Tale of a Fish from Two Countries

How can fish in a grocery store be labeled as both “Alaskan” and “Product of China” on the same package?  The answer is that although much of the seafood sold in the United States is labeled with a foreign country of origin, some of that same seafood was actually caught in U.S. waters.

Under the Country of Origin Labeling program regulations – enforced by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service – when fish are caught in U.S. waters and then processed in a foreign country that foreign country of processing must appear on the package as the country of origin.  This processing usually takes the form of filleting and packaging the fish into the cuts you see in the grocery store seafood department or frozen food aisle.  However, if the fish was actually caught in Alaskan waters, retailers are also able to promote the Alaskan waters the fish was actually caught in, in addition to the country in which the processing occurred.

Market News Report Aims to Bring Transparency and Pricing Information to Tribes

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, there were 71,947 American Indian or Alaska Native farm operators in the United States in 2012, accounting for over $3.2 billion in market value of agricultural products sold.  Tribal Nations were identified as one group that is an underserved segment of agriculture, and USDA Market News is answering the call to provide them with the commodity data they need.    

USDA Market News – part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) – assists the agricultural supply chain in adapting their production and marketing strategies to meet changing consumer demands, marketing practices, and technologies.  USDA Market News reports give farmers, producers, and other agricultural businesses the information they need to evaluate market conditions, identify trends, make purchasing decisions, monitor price patterns, evaluate transportation equipment needs, and accurately assess movement.