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Celebrating Bat Benefits during Bat Week!

By the time October comes around, store shelves are stocked with Halloween candy, costumes, and decorations. Bats are often situated among this imagery, whether as silhouettes in the background or as blood-sucking monsters.

Cook Slow to Save Time: Four Important Slow Cooker Food Safety Tips

With work, school, sports practices, music lessons and homework time filling up the calendar, the back-to-school season can be hectic. During this busy time of year, having dinner waiting for you when you come home can make life so much easier. That’s why a lot of people choose to use slow cookers. No more standing in front of the refrigerator trying to make decisions about what to have for dinner after a long day at work. No more trying to balance food prep and homework. Just throw the ingredients in the slow cooker before work and turn it on!

That’s a Wrap: New Certified Organic Data Released during National Organic Harvest Month

USDA’s National Organic Program defines organic production as a system that is managed to respond to site specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

FAS Trade Mission to Brazil Delivers Results for U.S. Exporters

I joined more than 20 U.S. companies and farm groups last month on the first FAS trade mission to Brazil. The trip provided the opportunity to expand agricultural exports and further develop business relationships in the cities of Recife and São Paulo. Over five days, participants had more than 275 one-on-one business meetings, resulting in $6.7 million in projected sales of U.S. farm and food products to Brazil over the next 12 months.

If Kibbeh Is On Your Menu, Consider Cooking It

Kibbeh is a Middle Eastern and North African dish traditionally prepared with a combination of red meat, usually beef or lamb, raw onion, cracked wheat, and spices. Although there are some versions of the dish that are baked or fried (such as Kibbeh raas, quipe, Kubba halab, or Kibbeh bil sinieh), others (like Kibbeh nayyeh) are prepared and served raw.

SNAP E&T Provides Hope, Second Chance to Attain the American Dream

It’s graduation day, a time when young men and women proudly walk past family and friends to accept diplomas from their high school or college. The event marks the beginning of their new life, joining the American workforce. And perhaps, for some, marriage, starting a family and living in a house with a white picket fence.

This story, however, is about a different kind of graduating class. Unlike typical high school and college grads, these students have already tackled the struggles of unemployment, poverty, addiction and even years of incarceration. This graduating class is filled with students who are now restarting their journey toward economic self-sufficiency and attaining the American dream.

Unpacking the Cornucopia to Celebrate the Fall Harvest and the Fruits of Plant Breeding

It’s that time of year again when many of us adorn our homes with autumn décor, and our tables with the bounties of a fall harvest. Consider the cornucopia. This centerpiece is symbolic of the food and thanks that we share with our friends and family. Inside, we find examples of grains, fruits, and vegetables – familiar crops that have occupied places at our tables for generations. We continue to enjoy foods made from these crops today, largely due to plant breeding efforts over the past century that significantly expanded their diversity and productivity.

Protecting your Flock during Fall Migration

We know you’ve heard it before: seasonal migratory patterns bring an increased risk of disease-carrying birds interacting with commercial or backyard poultry. But the health and safety of our U.S. poultry flock is important enough to make it worth repeating. Birds, particularly waterfowl like ducks and geese, can carry avian influenza without showing any symptoms or signs of disease. Because the risk of introduction never goes away, having strong biosecurity practices on poultry operations can help prevent the spread of infectious disease before it starts. The 2014-2015 U.S. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak is never far from my mind. It forced us to reevaluate our preparedness and response capabilities, from a federal, state, and industry standpoint. Today, we are all better prepared to handle and quickly respond to avian influenza detections.