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USDA Continues to Expand Opportunities and Support to Small Businesses

As May comes to a close, USDA reflects on recent activities to support small businesses nationwide. The first of the month marked the start of National Small Business Week 2022. In recognition of the observance, USDA’s national and state office leadership connected with small businesses in states and territories that have limited procurement activities. The goal was to highlight federal opportunities to help build and grow their businesses.

Happy National Asparagus Day! Get to Know Spring’s Delicious Vegetable

USDA wishes you a happy National Asparagus Day! Americans consume over 500 million pounds of asparagus each year, and 80-90% of that is imported, mainly from Mexico and Peru. While domestic production continues to decline year-by-year, per capita consumption is growing and U.S. growers still produce 60-70 million pounds per year, mostly in Michigan, California, and Washington.

Celebrate Cultural Traditions Through Food

Do you enjoy exploring food from countries around the world? Celebrating cultural traditions through food is a great way to connect with people from various communities and learn about their heritage. It is also a way to appreciate your own cultural roots! Discover simple ways to enjoy three cultural foods and see what vitamins and minerals they contain using FoodData Central from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Worms at Work, Recycling Food Waste

Did you know that worms can recycle your food scraps? Vermicomposting, or worm composting, turns food scraps into a beneficial soil amendment that can be used in home gardens, landscaping, turfgrass, farms and more. Over one-third of all available food goes uneaten through loss or waste. Composting keeps food waste out of landfills where it decomposes and releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Food Safety is About People

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new effort to reduce Salmonella in poultry, we led with the numbers. The number of illnesses due to Salmonella has not decreased over the last two decades. Year after year, people have become ill with Salmonella infections at roughly the same rate. Each case of foodborne illness represents someone whose life was impacted. And among the most vulnerable — children, the elderly, and those with underlying health issues — those impacts can be serious, leading to physical, emotional, and financial harm. These are the people who are always top of mind for me and who motivate me to come to work each day.

Recognizing the Resilience of USDA Veterinarians this World Veterinary Day

April 30 is World Veterinary Day: a day to celebrate veterinarians, their work and their impact. Although the importance of veterinarians is hardly a secret, people often forget that veterinarians’ work goes beyond clinical care of animals. USDA employs more veterinarians than any other department in the federal government, with positions located across the nation and associated territories. The breadth of roles that veterinarians fill at USDA illustrates their versatility. Veterinary epidemiologist, emergency responder, laboratory diagnostician, and public health veterinarian are just some of the roles that USDA veterinarians fill every day.

Kids in CNMI Consume More Fruit by Enjoying Smoothies at Breakfast

It’s the age-old question – how to get children to eat more fruit? We all know the benefits of a diet that’s rich in fruit. At least adults do. Convincing children to add more fruit to their diet is another challenge. The food nutrition experts at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands enticed their school children to eat more fruit by serving fruit smoothies.