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Check the Label and Bring it to the Table – USDA Grade Labels Explained

Summer heat, sizzling grills, and a night sky filled with fireworks - here comes Fourth of July! I really love this time of year. It’s another opportunity to grill up a feast to share with my family and friends. It is also a great time to share my knowledge about the USDA grade shields!

Our Nation’s Commitment to Rural Quality of Life Began with a Seminal Idea

We have schools to teach the art of manslaying… Shall we not have schools to teach men the way to feed, clothe, and enlighten the brotherhood of man? - Justin Smith Morrill, April 20, 1858

By 1862, in the midst of the Civil War, Justin Smith Morrill, the representative from Vermont, with little formal education beyond 8th grade level, had accomplished his vision of having schools teach the way to feed, clothe, and enlighten.

Navigating Pet Travel? Let APHIS Help.

When planning an international trip, we often want to bring the whole family – including our pets.  But, did you know taking Fido or Fluffy can be a complex, multistep process that requires advance planning and preparation?  To help make this process go smoothly, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has a few simple steps to follow – and a comprehensive website to walk you through the process.

Getting “Ticked Off” with Ticks

As we kickoff the traditional start to the summer and head outdoors, remember to apply that sunscreen. Oh, and watch for ticks. According to Andrew Li, an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist who is leading a new deer tick control program, they’re out in force, too. Experts predict 2017 will see the highest number in years of these sesame-seed-size parasites—also known as “blacklegged ticks”—that spread the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

Footprints on the Range

“I don’t like crowds, and I don’t like busy highways,” says Crawford, Texas rancher Larry Mattlage. “That crazy world out there can get me frustrated and upset. This land is where I am most at ease.”

He was raised on the land his German immigrant grandfather settled on in the late 1880s. The 400 acres Mattlage now owns — High Prairie Ranch — has been in the family since 1904.

Spurring Agricultural Innovation Across the Nation

“He would often dream up new ideas and inventions that he would build in his shop and implement on his farm. Most all of them worked better than anything else available. He never faced a hill that he didn’t think could be flattened with a lot of hard work and determination, and he taught those around him to question the conventional wisdom and not be afraid to boldly seek new ways of doing things.” -from Leroy Isbell’s obituary in the Stuttgart Daily Leader, 2014

Chris Isbell didn't set out to make history. He was just following in his father's footsteps.

In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Josepha Ntakirutimana

Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. In honor of World Refugee Day, this month we hear from Josepha Ntakirutimana, a refugee from Rwanda who settled in Tucson, Arizona in 2013. Josepha is now an invaluable part of the Tucson New Roots Program which brings together refugees and their community around production and nutrition education activities.

Being Serious about Saving Bees

Pollinators are a vital part of agricultural production. In the United States, more than one-third of all crop production – 90 crops ranging from nuts to berries to flowering vegetables - requires insect pollination. Managed honey bee colonies are our primary pollinators, adding at least $15 billion a year by increasing yields and helping to ensure superior-quality harvests.

Celebrate National Dairy Month with Yogurt 5 Ways

June is an exciting month filled with picnics, cookouts, and outdoor time. Along with sun and fun, June also brings us National Dairy Month. Most Americans do not meet recommendations for the dairy food group, which includes milk and many of the foods made from milk, such as yogurt and cheese. Calcium-fortified soymilk (soy beverage) is also part of the dairy food group, as well as lactose-free and lower-lactose milk products. When choosing foods from this group, choose fat-free or low-fat options.