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When the Extraordinary Becomes the Ordinary, the Ordinary Become Extraordinary

On Sept. 7, 2020, Labor Day, the Pacific Northwest experienced a firestorm of historic proportions. For two days, gusty winds drove dry air from the east, down the west slopes of the Cascade mountains. Wind gusts up to sixty miles per hour collided with record-breaking dry conditions, fanning flames of existing wildfires and creating optimal conditions for new fires to start.

NIFA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Provides Competitive Grants for Mentoring, Education, and Assistance

Interest in agricultural careers is enjoying a resurgence in America. While there are many excellent opportunities in farming and ranching, beginning farmers and ranchers have unique needs for education, training, technical assistance, and outreach. For those within their first 10 years of operation, it’s vital beginning farmers and ranchers have access to capital, land, and information to help improve their operations’ profitability and sustainability

Don’t Tell this Heroic Dog Only Cats have Nine Lives

When we think of heroic dogs, the fictional collie Lassie and German shepherd Rin-Tin-Tin often come to mind, but life can be more dramatic and amazing than adventurous Hollywood story telling. This is especially true in the case of a highly decorated USDA Forest Service K-9 officer — an 11-year-old Belgian Malinois named Ice.

New and Beginning Farmers: The Future of American Agriculture

A snapshot of the next generation of young men and women realizing their dreams of becoming full- or part-time farmers reveals challenging opportunities. Some young farmers, like Hank Huffman – a 25-year-old farmer from rural eastern North Carolina – have gleaned great experiences from the generations of farmers before them. Hank, bolstered by the experience and wisdom imparted to him by his father, grandfather, and great grandfather, is now making his mark on the field of agriculture. He is a fourth-generation farmer growing corn and soybeans, and producing poultry and cattle on 130 acres. Born and bred on the pride and encouragement of the Future Farmers of America, better known as the National FFA Organization, he is living his “American Dream.”

World Rabies Day

Did you first learn about rabies through the children’s book or movie “Old Yeller”? Rabies has changed drastically over the last century in the United States, moving from a majority of cases occurring in domestic animals like the literary canine hero, to a disease occurring predominantly in wildlife. That makes rabies a significant wildlife management challenge in the U.S. today, and a reason the United States Department of Agriculture and our partners in rabies prevention and elimination recognize World Rabies Day on September 28, 2020. This is a day of global action that started in 2007 to raise awareness for rabies prevention and to enhance control efforts worldwide.

America’s Farmers: Resilient Throughout the COVID Pandemic

The disruptive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. agricultural system have been broad and varied. And they follow several years of trying production and market conditions for U.S. farmers. In 2017 and 2018, several hurricanes pummeled U.S. farms; 2019 brought historically poor planting conditions and retaliatory tariffs cut potential for our agricultural exports compared to 2017.