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School Meals that Rock

When the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released new school meal flexibilities in November 2017, Kristin Hilleman, a Food & Nutrition Services Director in southern California, breathed a big sigh of relief.

Why the Trees Outside Forests Count

Windbreaks and other agroforestry practices provide a wide range of agricultural production and conservation benefits, helping farmers and furthering the goals of U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda (PDF, 196 KB). Windbreaks are designed to increase crop yields, reduce erosion, and improve soil health while also providing other conservation benefits like wildlife habitat.

Educational Opportunities Spread with Broadband Expansion in Rural America

“If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.”

I was reminded of this powerful proverb while preparing for our ReConnect program announcement. As a former teacher, education and its long-reaching benefits are dear to my heart. While joining Deputy Under Secretary Donald “DJ” LaVoy at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, to announce over $55.3 million in ReConnect funding, I thought of the impact this funding would have on the education of our fellow Kentuckians.

USDA Offers Tribal Students Career-Track Scholarships in Agriculture

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the opening of the 2020 scholarship application cycle for the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program. The program aims to increase the number of tribal college and university students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. The program is available through the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Dr. Dionne Toombs

In celebration of Women’s History Month, USDA is proudly sharing stories of women leaders in agriculture who are helping girls and other women succeed along the way.

In this blog, we feature Dr. Dionne Toombs, the Director of USDA’s Office of the Chief Scientist. As director, Dr. Toombs provides leadership on a wide range of issues affecting science programs and science policy in agricultural research, education, and economics.

“Our People Are Our Biggest Asset:” Determined Coastal Community Stands Up for Broadband

The bold and rugged coast of Downeast Maine is home to a rural community of 300, where the people have made a living off the land and sea for generations. The Town of Roque Bluffs contains a state park and boasts some of the most beautiful coastline in Maine - yet it is the people who are its biggest asset. When they saw an opportunity to bring broadband to their tiny town, they were determined to make it happen.

A Look at Agricultural Productivity Growth in the United States, 1948-2017

Did you know that total farm production nearly tripled between 1948 and 2017? Even as land and labor used in farming declined, innovations in animal and crop genetics, chemicals, equipment and farm organization have enabled continuing growth in farm output. USDA’s Economic Research Service’s Agricultural Productivity in the U.S. data product provides estimates of the growth and relative levels of U.S. agricultural productivity.