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Initiatives

Student Diversity Program Winners are Honored Guests at this Year’s Ag Outlook Forum

The next generation of agricultural leaders get to rub elbows with today’s ag decisionmakers at the 2018 Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF) later this month. Twenty undergraduate juniors and seniors and 10 graduate students have been selected as winners of the 2018 Student Diversity Program. These students receive invaluable, hands-on experience through a weeklong trip to Washington, D.C., capped off with the 94th annual Agricultural Outlook Forum (AOF), USDA’s largest annual meeting, held Feb. 22-23 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Barbara Rater

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Barbara Rater from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. This month we’re focusing on the Census of Agriculture, which has been conducted every five years since the mid-1800’s. The Census of Agriculture looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures. For America’s farmers and ranchers, the Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Sandra Reynolds

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Sandra Reynolds. Sandra is a Special Agent with the Executive Protection Detail for the Office of the Secretary.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Catherine Gill

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Catherine Gill, the Executive Vice President of Investor Relations and Communication at Root Capital. Root Capital is an agricultural impact investor that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses.

USDA Awards Help Veterans, Beginning Farmers

With the catastrophic hurricanes and wildfires this year, the need for risk management education for farmers and ranchers couldn’t be clearer. Earlier this year USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced funding for cooperative agreements that better prepare producers for natural disasters and extreme weather.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Shawna A. Legarza

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Shawna A. Legarza. Shawna is currently the Director of Fire and Aviation Management for the U.S. Forest Service. Shawna was raised on a cattle ranch in Northern Nevada and entered the firefighting profession as an engine crewmember for the Bureau of Land Management. She has 29 years of experience in fire and aviation management and has held numerous leadership positions in a wide variety of regions for both the Bureau of Land Management and the USDA Forest Service.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Aissata Abdou and Marcia Maposse

Every month, USDA shares stories of women in agriculture who are leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. We hear from two young ladies this month, Aissata Abdou from Niger and Marcia Maposse from Mozambique, who were recipients of the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leaders Initiative. They were additionally selected to participate in the fellowship’s 6-week Professional Development Experience which they just completed at Penn State Extension and USDA’s Michigan Rural Development Office in Traverse City respectively.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Valerie Earley

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Valerie Earley, 2016-2017 National FFA Central Region Vice President. In April 2017, Valerie was invited by President Donald Trump and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to participate in a “Farmers Roundtable” at the White House to address issues facing the American agriculture community, as the president signed an Executive Order establishing an Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.

Gleaning Fills Summertime Food Banks

People and families in need often visit food banks and pantries to get basic provisions free of charge. Unfortunately, donations often decrease during the summer months. The nationwide campaign Feds Feed Families was created to help food banks and pantries stay stocked.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Anne Hazlett

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Anne Hazlett, Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development.