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How the US Forest Service’s Forest Products Lab Helped Solve the “Crime of the Century”

In the early 1930’s, before the age of DNA and forensics, piecing together the evidence of a crime scene was a difficult task involving fingerprints (if you could get them), eyewitness accounts (if there were any), or a confession (not likely). Law enforcement had none of these as they tried to convict Bruno Hauptmann, the man they believed was guilty of what was then being called the “crime of the century”-- the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby.

It was amid this national media frenzy that the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Lab would in many ways introduce the concept of forensics into crime solving.

Illinois Celebrates 150 Years of USDA

“How many of you here today have done business with or been helped by USDA in some way?” The master of ceremonies, Rita Frazer with RFD Radio, asked a crowd of 200 at the recent USDA 150 Years celebration in Illinois.

The event took place on Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. USDA was founded in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln, who called it “the people’s department.” Illinois was, famously, Lincoln’s home state.

USDA Rural Development Participates in Value Added Day at South Dakota State Fair

The recently concluded South Dakota State Fair is ‘Still the One!’  The Value Added Agriculture Development Center (VAADC) hosted Value Added Ag Day at the 2012 South Dakota State Fair on August 30th.  USDA Rural Development was represented at the tent and State Director Elsie Meeks was on a panel discussion titled Growing Rural South Dakota. The discussion was focused on the respective businesses and their development and expansion of agribusiness ventures that have brought value to our agricultural producers and local-state economies.  Meeks spoke on the long term partnership and support our agency has provided to the Center, provided examples of business and cooperative programs offered through USDA Rural Development, as well as USDA celebrating its 150th anniversary.  Participants were able to view the timeline posters displayed inside the tent.

The Value Added Agriculture Development Center and its member contingency of rural-based commodity groups, trade organizations and cooperatives provide education and technical assistance to individuals, groups and communities.

USDA’s 150th Anniversary Celebrated at New York’s Empire Farm Days

What is summer in New York without a visit to the Empire Farm Days? For USDA New York employees, it is an annual tradition. This year we raved about the department’s 150th Anniversary, talked about all the great things we are doing for New York and (maybe) our team of volunteers had one too many corn on the cobs.

This event is a BIG deal – spread out across 300 acres of farmland on the Rodman Lott & Sons Farm; it has more than 500 vendors, producers and other agri-business specialists. It is the largest outdoor agriculture trade show in the Northeast and showcases THE latest and greatest in agricultural equipment and technology.

The three day event hosted everything from farm equipment sales and auctions to demonstrations of harvesting, processing equipment and other related machinery as well as educational and interactive exhibitions. Staff from our eight service centers kept farmers, families and friends busy with a myriad of activities that included the Wind Energy Center, community power generation and this year’s USDA 150th Anniversary exhibit that had information sharing, we answered questions about USDA history and current programs, we had face painting for the children and even (3 foot tall) sunflower giveaways throughout the day.

New Hampshire Celebrates USDA 150th Anniversary at Miles Smith Farm

Over 250 people gathered at the Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, New Hampshire last week to celebrate USDA’s 150th Anniversary on a hot, humid summer day.

The hosts – Carole Soule and Bruce Dawson graciously opened their farm as the perfect location for this event. After driving up a narrow road, we discovered a scurry of activity as guests were welcomed and directed to a field set up with tents, farmer market vendors, informational booths and people.

USDA and Land grant Universities Engage Communities through Gardening at the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Wednesday was opening day of the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall.  The Festival features three great themes.  One of the themes entitled “Campus and Community” is a program that commemorates the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Land grant universities and the USDA. The People’s Garden Initiative is thrilled to have an exhibition in the Reinventing Agriculture area of Campus and Community. Please stop by to see it and talk gardening with USDA’s Executive Master Gardeners! Like us, universities from across the country are demonstrating how they engage communities through gardening. The Festival runs June 27 to July 1 and July 4-8 from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

USDA Celebrates 150 years of Campus and Community

At 11:00 am today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, will be helping open the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, hosting visitors from around the world who will come to the Mall in Washington, D.C. for this annual event.  The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the only federal agency lucky enough to be located right on the Mall, and this year we’re also honored to be a part of the Folklife Festival, celebrating our 150-year partnership with the Land Grant University system. “Campus and Community: Public and Land Grant Universities and USDA at 150” is one of the three themes highlighted at the Festival this year.

USDA scientists, agricultural experts and speakers will be partnering with representatives from 29 Land Grant Universities (LGUs) to showcase all the great work we do together to support agricultural production, education and rural communities across America.  USDA works hand-in-hand with Land Grant and public universities to put research into action locally, regionally and globally.

People's Garden in Tipton, Iowa Celebrates USDA's 150th Anniversary by Growing "Abraham Lincoln" Tomatoes

To help celebrate USDA’s 150th anniversary which was on May 15th, USDA Rural Development employee Mike Boyle (left in photo) and community volunteer Josh Meier, planted special heirloom “Abraham Lincoln” tomatoes at Hardacre Community Garden in Tipton, Iowa.

Tipton’s Hardacre Community Garden was recognized as a USDA “People’s Garden” in 2009.  The public is welcome to see this People’s Garden on Saturday, June 9th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On its 150th Anniversary, Indiana Honors USDA with a Proclamation

Indiana State Office staff members of Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, and the Risk Management Agency gathered in Indianapolis earlier this week to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Department of Agriculture.

Following a luncheon, “Women in Agriculture and Natural Resources,” Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman congratulated USDA attendees for their ongoing efforts and dedication to Indiana’s rural communities.  Additionally, Skillman presented a Proclamation from Governor Mitch Daniels which declared May 15, 2012, as “United States Department of Agriculture Day” in the State of Indiana.