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USDA, Federal Agencies Partner to Kick off National Small Business Month in the Midwest

USDA kicked off National Small Business Month with the Midwest “Path to Prosperity" event at the Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, MO on April 24th and 25th. This was the 19th event, since 2022, to provide regional business and economic development workshops that featured experts from the financial industry, federal government, community partners and stakeholders.

Celebrating World Trade Week - and U.S. Agriculture’s Trade Successes

May is World Trade Month and this is World Trade Week – a perfect opportunity to celebrate U.S. agriculture’s trade successes and highlight the importance of trade to the farm sector and to our nation as whole. After all, about 20 percent of all U.S. agricultural production is exported, providing a critical source of farm income, supporting more than a million jobs, and generating nearly $200 billion in additional economic activity each year in our rural communities and beyond.

Splash into Food Safety at the Pool this Summer

It’s officially pool season! Meals at the pool come in many forms – ordered from the snack bar, delivered from local restaurants, packed from home, or carried outside from the kitchen. Follow these food safety steps to keep splashing all summer long!

Reflections from the Road: USDA Journeys to Texas for its Second Regional Equity Convening

The USDA, in collaboration with USDA Equity Commission (EC) members, embarked on a significant journey to the heart of Texas, where the vibrant spirit of agriculture intertwines with the pursuit of equity. The occasion? The Texas Hispanic Farmer and Rancher Conference (THFRC) and Food Summit 2024 in McAllen, Texas, held from April 24-27, 2024. This gathering marked the second Regional Equity Convening, following the Inaugural Regional Convening in Michigan, where USDA leadership stood shoulder to shoulder with stakeholders to champion equity and engage with the transformative recommendations outlined in the USDA Equity Commission’s final report.

Mentally and Physically, Trees Make a Difference

Studies have shown that trees benefit our mental and physical health. Spending time around trees reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and improves mood. Simply viewing nature from a hospital window can speed recovery time.  A study by the University of Michigan also revealed that exposure to nature can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety in young people.

2501 Program Funding Supports Aquaculture and Resilience in Hawaii and Micronesia

“Aquaculture is agriculture,” said Simon Ellis, executive director of The Marine and Environmental Research Institute of Pohnpei (MERIP) based in Kolonia, a city on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. For the last 20 years, this humanitarian, not-for-profit organization has provided less advantaged Micronesian communities with environmentally sustainable and economically viable skills to produce agricultural products for international markets. The underlying objective of teaching Micronesian and Hawaiian farmers effective techniques and business practices is to allow for self-sustenance as a primary goal, with aspirations of economic advancement as a small business. MERIP also helps farmers in securing start-up financing, small business development, marketing training, and access to international buyers.