Skip to main content

Blog

USDA is Helping to Egg on Farmers and Ranchers Success to Build Rural Economies

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Although I don’t have the answer, I sure know that I enjoyed seeing both at the USDA Farmers Market last Friday while celebrating National Egg Day. One of the great things about farmers markets across the country is the opportunity to talk to farmers and learn more about our food.  At Friday’s market, I had the opportunity to talk with Bill Schutte and Patti Lou Riker from Tall Cotton Farm – who produce grass-fed beef, pork, turkeys, chicken, and eggs located on their farm in Urbanna, Virginia.

The People Who Make U.S. National Wildland Fire Management the Best in the World

Boise, Idaho is famous among college football fans for the blue turf on the Boise State University Broncos’ field. But in wildland fire management circles, the city is just as well-known as home of the National Interagency Fire Center or NIFC.

NIFC is the nation’s support center for wildland fire management and other types of incidents. Some even refer to it as the Pentagon or nerve center for national wildland fire management.

New Caribbean Climate Hub Video Teaches Kids About Agriculture

Sr. Sapo is a very popular figure among children in Puerto Rico and Latin America and he has a new healthy hobby, agriculture! The USDA Caribbean Climate Hub and the musical group Atención Atención Inc. partnered to produce a video focusing on how food is grown and its relationship with nature.

Open Data Revolution to Fight Global Hunger

Every day, people around the world use data to make decisions. When heading out of town, most of us use weather apps to check the forecast anywhere in the world before packing our bags. However, when we travel to far-flung places, we may find ourselves packing food from home because we don’t know what may be available when we arrive. We have a global, comprehensive, open data set that enables weather forecasting, but not something similar for food and agriculture?

Keeping Our Military Pilots Safe from Wildlife Strikes

“Very hot, sandy and dry” is how APHIS Wildlife Services (WS) biologist Matt Miller describes the area around the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia. Matt is one of three wildlife biologists (see below) who returned home in early April after serving 4 months in the Middle East helping to keep our military pilots safe:

New Data Unveil Underground Detroit

Soils experts from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently completed a five-year project to map underground Detroit.

“Now planners, developers and others in Detroit can use our soils data to understand their soil’s ability to support green infrastructure, development and urban agriculture,” said Luis A. Hernandez with NRCS’ soil science division. “Knowing what’s under the city helps decision-makers prioritize their planning based on soil features and other specific needs to soundly achieve their land use goals.”

Serving Twice: Military Veteran Farmers Get a New Question in the Census of Agriculture

I am a rancher and a military veteran, in addition to being a data collection coordinator for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). That makes me particularly passionate about one of the additions to this year’s Census of Agriculture: a question about military veteran status. All of us will have the opportunity to document on the census whether we have served or are currently serving on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard.

Gypsy Moths Want to Devour Your Favorite Destinations

Memorial Day Weekend means hitting the road for many of us – vacations, camping, or even moving to a new home. But watch out for an invasive pest that also enjoys new destinations—the destructive gypsy moth. Gypsy moth caterpillars can defoliate, weaken and kill more than 300 different species of trees and shrubs. Since 1970, more than 83 million acres have been defoliated by the gypsy moth in the U.S.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Sarah Jovan

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 are proud to share the story of Sarah Jovan, a Research Ecologist with the US Forest Service in Portland, Oregon. Sarah, along with her colleague Geoffrey H Donovan, is a 2017 Finalist for the Promising Innovations Medal of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (also known as the “Sammies”). Together, they led the first-ever study using tree moss to detect air pollution in a major city, including cancer-causing heavy metals, prompting enforcement actions and offering a new, cost-effective way to identify threats to public health. Read their full story.