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Initiatives

Future Soil Conservationist Unearths Valuable Skills at USDA

As an aspiring soil conservationist, Luther Thompson II is eager to dig into future career opportunities. Thompson is a rising senior at Alcorn State University, a historically black land-grant university in Lorman, Mississippi. This is his fourth summer as an intern with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS helps America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners conserve the nation’s soil, water, air and other natural resources.

In Quiet Remembrance of Patriots and Comrades

War has always been a dirty job. Disproportionately, rural America has shouldered the task. Men and women across towns, farms, and ranches always stepped up in times of crisis. They still do. Voluntary military service by less than one percent of our population merits our gratitude.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Kelsey Ducheneaux

Each month, USDA shares stories of women in agriculture who are leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Kelsey Ducheneaux, a member of the Lakota Sioux Nation. Alongside her work as a beef cattle rancher on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, Ducheneaux is the youth programs coordinator and natural resource director of the Intertribal Agriculture Council, a national organization working to improve Indian Country.

If She Can See It, She Can Be It: Girl Scouts Learn STEM at USDA

“It felt a little buzzy,” said Lily Meritt, 7, a Daisy Girl Scout from Montgomery County, Maryland. She watched hungry mosquitoes through a plexiglass container as a USDA research scientist talked about pests that love to bug people. Lily and other D.C.-area Girl Scouts visited USDA headquarters to meet women scientists, learn about their work, and discover career possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Recognizing Vietnam War Veterans—It’s Been Coming for Some Time

A tune John Fogarty wrote in 1971 echoes among veterans who spent time in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Lyrics reference a calm before a storm that’s “been comin’ for some time.” For many the turbulence continued long after departing Southeast Asia. Public sentiment roiled in a backlash of anti-war marches and protests when they returned. “Welcome Home” was rare and delivered in hushed tone—mostly from those with personal insight of where they had been.