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Technology

Revolutionary Carbon Foam from Wood

Carbon foam — a stiff, porous structure formed from a web of carbon atoms — is the stuff of manufacturers’ dreams. The breakthrough material is strong but lightweight, non-flammable and able to maintain its performance at high temperatures, and capable of absorbing sound and radiation. This unique combination of traits means carbon foam is brimming with potential applications across military, aerospace, and commercial industries. It is ideal for aircraft and ship insulation, wall panels, stealth technology (to avoid radar detection) and more.

Reflecting on One Year of Innovation at Rural Development

Last year, Secretary Perdue created the Rural Development Innovation Center, a team devoted to partnership development, regulatory reform, data analysis, and risk management. With a mission of coordinating resources and providing creative solutions for our rural customer, the Innovation Center is designed to hard wire innovation into our program delivery. In recognition of the Innovation Center’s first anniversary, I’d like to share a few reflections on a year of transformation in Rural Development through innovation.

e-Connectivity: A Foundation for Rural Prosperity

In small towns from Maine to California, access to reliable, high-speed internet is a foundation for rural prosperity. From quality health care to advanced education and precision ag technology at the local farm equipment dealer, e-connectivity is a lifeline to the modern economy. And, yet we know that a significant number of rural Americans are not connected.

USDA Becoming More Data-Driven, Customer-Focused Organization

USDA has committed to becoming a facts-based, data-driven, customer-focused organization. One of the Department’s two Agency Priority Goals (APGs) for FY18-19 is to develop the USDA Chief Executive Officer (CXO) Dashboards, which integrate data from systems spanning the agency’s 29 agencies and staff offices, and provide the Department with enhanced capacity to collect accurate, reliable, complete, accessible, and consistent data. With this initiative, USDA will have created the first Cabinet-level suite of comprehensive administrative dashboards for seven administrative functions: human resources, information technology, finance, property, procurement, security, and operations.

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).

Technology-Based Resources Support School Nutrition Programs, Enhance Customer Service to States

In today’s school cafeterias, program operators work in fast-paced environments requiring quick and convenient access to resources to properly feed our nation’s children and effectively manage their programs. To meet this crucial need, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released several exciting technology-based resources and tools to help them do just that.

Protecting Agriculture on the Internet – One Click, One Post, One Sale at a Time

While we are raising awareness about invasive pests during Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month, I wanted to share a bit about what I do every day to protect agriculture. When you picture someone on the front lines of stopping invasive pests, you probably picture someone outside – in a field or a tree. But I fight invasive pests from a completely different location – my computer.

Agricultural Youth Opportunities: A Journey to Future Career Success

From ages nine to 99, the opportunities available in agriculture are endless – and ageless.

As student leaders of the National FFA Organization, there are few people who know that better than our fellow 650,000+ members and us. In a few years, we’ll fill some of the most challenging and critically important jobs that keep America fed, fueled, clothed and competitive.