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Illinois Farmers Have Plenty to Boast About

Illinois producers grow a LOT of corn and soybeans. The Prairie State ranked first in soybean production and second in corn production in 2017. But there is a great deal more agricultural production coming from the 72,000 farms located in our 102 counties. Illinois ranks first in horseradish acres and also first in pumpkin acres. Nearly 80 percent of those pumpkins are grown for processing and they turn into a whole lot of pumpkin pies.

Honoring Our Veterans Across Generations

While Veterans Day is an occasion set aside to recognize present and past service, it is nearly impossible to separate memories of lost comrades. We celebrate the living, reflect solemnly on generations now fading, and recall others whose voices are forever silent.

USDA Helps Veteran’s Dream Come True

After returning home from a year-long military tour of duty in Iraq, Matthew Anglin worked as a paramedic for four years. However, he soon realized that he wanted to spend more quality time at home with his wife, Holly, and their children. This desire led Anglin and his wife to venture into farming in the small town of Ovett, Miss.

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.

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.

USDA Offers Opportunities to America’s Veterans as they Seek Careers in Agriculture

Thousands of veterans leave the military every year, but there’s a new “service” they can provide. Over the next few decades, the world will need to increase its food production to keep up with a growing population. Career options available to American vets in the agriculture sector include owning/operating your own farm, or working in one of the many areas that supports the nation’s rural fabric.

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.

Skills Sown in Military Service Grow at USDA

A rising sun chases away the darkness across the landscape while the hard working men and women start another day to accomplish the tasks that keep America strong. Whether on the battlefield or in the corn field, these dedicated individuals approach life and work in similar ways. That’s why USDA is committed to hiring and retaining military veterans and active military personnel.

Serving Twice: Military Veteran Farmers Get a New Question in the Census of Agriculture

I am a rancher and a military veteran, in addition to being a data collection coordinator for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That makes me particularly passionate about one of the additions to this year’s Census of Agriculture: a question about military veteran status. All of us will have the opportunity to document on the census whether we have served or are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard.