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Employment and Training Programs: Jobs and So Much More

Recently, I was privileged to visit Portland, Ore., and had yet another opportunity to appreciate why the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Program is so important. SNAP E&T, which is available in all 50 states, is a skills and job training program designed to help SNAP participants prepare for and secure jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency. Along with Oregon Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Administrator Belit Burke, I visited Central City Concern (CCC), an organization that partners with DHS to provide E&T services to those in need.

Secretary Perdue Affirms USDA’s Commitment to Indian Country

Within a month of his start, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue followed through on his promise to Indian Country to visit tribal leaders. Joining tribal representatives, Senators Rounds and Thune, and Congresswoman Noem at Oglala Lakota College’s Rapid City Extension Center, Secretary Perdue aimed to learn more about the topics significant to both tribal nations and colleges in South Dakota. When the meeting closed, one thought was clear: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) stands ready to partner with tribal nations in their pursuits.

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.”