Skip to main content

Blog

Hurricane Recovery for Forest and Conservation Nurseries

Hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones have caused devastating damage to nearly all of the American-Affiliated islands during the past few years. In 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Just a year later, Typhoons Yutu and Mangkhut hit Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, and then in 2019, Cyclone Gita impacted American Samoa.

Family Farms Flourish in Sweet Grown Alabama

Families are the cornerstone of agriculture in Alabama (PDF, 947 KB) where 97% of farms counted in the recent 2017 Census of Agriculture are family owned. Although the number of farms in Alabama decreased 6% from 2012, the average size of farms increased 3%, mirroring a trend seen in states across the nation. With 73% of farms connected to the Internet, Alabama farms and ranches continue to reach others across the globe.

Farming in the 21st Century Requires Being Connected

As you step onto Bebb Farms in rural Labette County, Kan., you see tractors, combines, sprayers, grain bins, and semis. All necessary equipment on a Kansas farm, but perhaps the most important equipment you don’t see is the Internet.

Volunteers Experience the Power of Service and Healing in the Rainforest

In September 2017, Hurricane Maria, a deadly category 5 hurricane devastated Dominica, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Amidst the devastation was the El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest among the USDA Forest Service’s 193 million acres. Reliably lush and green, the forest was left denuded and nearly unrecognizable.

How a Tribal Fire Crew Rescued the Real Smokey Bear

This year, we celebrated Smokey Bear’s 75th birthday as a national fire prevention icon. Many know Smokey’s message: “Only YOU can prevent wildfires,” but fewer people may know that Smokey was a real American black bear rescued, in the spring of 1950, from a raging wildfire in New Mexico.

Better Adhesives Mean Stronger, Cheaper Wood Products

Although engineered wood — such as plywood or particle board — is great for a range of building and manufacturing uses, it has its limitations, especially in outdoor applications. One of the biggest limitations is not the wood, but the adhesive used to glue the wood veneers or particles together. These adhesives are one of the most significant costs in manufactured wood products.

Agriculture Grows in the Land of the Midnight Sun

The 2017 Census of Agriculture showed farming in Alaska is thriving and growing across many different sectors. Alaska saw increases in the number of farms with cut flowers, hogs, layers, vegetables, bees and honey, bedding plants, food crops grown under cover and more.

Connecting South Dakota’s Rural Communities to Opportunities in Business, Education, Health Care and Beyond

In early December, I had the privilege of announcing a USDA Rural Development ReConnect Pilot Program investment of more than $9.5 million to Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc. dba Valley FiberCom in Flandreau, South Dakota. This investment will help Valley deploy high-speed broadband internet e-Connectivity to more than 1,750 rural households, 27 farms, 17 businesses and one critical community facility.