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APHIS Student Interns: Making a Difference in the Future of American Agriculture

For Josiah Manning, an internship with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) felt like the next step. “I grew up around agriculture,” he explained, “raising my own animals and participating in 4H. Agriculture ran in my blood.” As an intern working in APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine program, he is able to continue that work while completing his studies in Animal Science and Biochemistry at the University of Maryland.

Quantifying Water Quality Benefits of Conservation Practices

Although we know that farm conservation practices, like cover crops, reduced tillage and nutrient management, as well as improve overall performance and environmental outcomes, it’s difficult to say exactly how these practices affect resources, such as water quality. We can say that the water coming off of a field with conservation practices might “look cleaner,” but what does this really mean in terms of nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment? These challenges can make it difficult for producers to decide which practices to implement, because there’s no way to determine which are the most effective at improving their soil health or reducing their environmental impact. There’s an element of risk as well, because it’s difficult to predict how new conservation practices might affect yield.

Sustaining the Forests of the Mississippi Headwaters

The headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River flow through Camp Ripley, a military facility that serves as the National Guard training center for Minnesota and six surrounding states. Straddling 50 miles of the Mississippi River, the area also includes the watersheds of four major tributary rivers, making it one of Minnesota’s most important sources of drinking water. Its 45,000 acres of open water support many fish, animal, and bird species, as well as recreational opportunities for residents, tourists, and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Rancher in the Rye

Buying more land isn’t always an option. But often, you can make your existing land go much further. By removing invasive weeds, seeding rye grass and adopting rotational grazing, Oregon rancher Jeff Baxter was able to produce a whole lot more on the same number of acres.

Opioid Crisis Affects All Americans, Rural and Urban

Every day, more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. That’s three people every hour.

As if the death rate wasn’t bad enough, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, and addiction treatment.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Sandra Reynolds

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Sandra Reynolds. Sandra is a Special Agent with the Executive Protection Detail for the Office of the Secretary.

Harvey was Strong, Texas is Stronger

No one knew when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25 as a Category 4 hurricane that it would be one of the most devastating hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. Texans along the Gulf Coast saw cities demolished, peak wind gusts as high as 130 mph, unprecedented rainfall of more than 50 inches that caused catastrophic flooding in areas, the death of 88 Texans, displacement of thousands of residents and more than $200 million dollars in agricultural losses.

What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl’s #2017BestNine

As 2017 has come to a close, the What’s Cooking team at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is joining the #2017BestNine fun – a social media trend where users share their favorite or most popular moments of the year – by taking a look back at our top-viewed recipes. From quinoa to quesadillas, we are proud to share our users’ favorite recipes.

USDA Agencies Work Together to Eradicate an Old Foe: the Screwworm

Early in October 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was faced once again with New World screwworm, which had been eradicated from the United States more than three decades ago. Infestation of this flesh-eating parasite was confirmed in deer from the National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys.