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Tracking Citrus Health in the Texas Rio Grande Valley

Growing up in the Texas Rio Grande Valley - in the richness of Mexican-Texan culture, tradition, and food - citrus is a staple in our everyday life. But I never knew that diseases threatened citrus production. That changed this summer. As a communications intern, I had the opportunity to job shadow employees in APHIS’ Citrus Health Response Program (CHRP). CHRP is responsible for surveying and regulating invasive pests and diseases that harm citrus crops:

Is the Allure of Farming Irresistible?

Farming is hot! From sweet corn to watermelon and apricots to tomatoes, a lot is growing on the farm this summer. Millions of producers across our nation continue to work tirelessly to produce safe and delicious food. According to the latest Census of Agriculture, more than a quarter of these producers are new and beginning farmers, proving that many people are unable to resist agriculture’s magnetic appeal.

As Big as Texas: Youth Opportunities in Agriculture

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you say agriculture? If it’s a farm, then you’re right, but there’s so much more to agriculture these days. This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) co-hosted a virtual Youth Summit with Prairie View A&M University to let Texas K-12 students, educators, and youth-serving organizations discover the endless learning and career opportunities in agriculture.

Texas Residents: We Need Your Help To Protect Citrus from Invasive Pests

It’s amazing to think that just three counties in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley produce more than 9 million cartons of fresh grapefruit and oranges each year, making it one of the United States’ top citrus areas. But it’s not easy! South Texas citrus growers face a significant challenge: a small fruit fly from Mexico that attacks citrus fruit.

Sowing the Seeds of Success: Future Leaders in Agriculture

Who are the students pursuing careers in ag? We spoke to college students from minority-serving institutions who recently met (virtually) with USDA officials and partner organizations through the Future Leaders in Agriculture Program. They shared their insights on the event, their studies, and their future careers.