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You know Christmas is right around the corner when images of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree being hoisted from a very long tractor trailer show up on your social media apps and on TV. An ongoing American tradition since 1964, this year, the great tree called fondly by its fans “An Idaho Mountain Gem,” comes from the Payette National Forest near McCall, Idaho. The official lighting ceremony...
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USDA Blog » A Dazzling Gem from Idaho Arrives on Capitol Hill

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In March, we kicked off our MyPlate, MyWins video series and introduced you to six American families, each from different backgrounds with their own unique approach to healthy eating. From Shelley, a single mom to Carol and Brad, a farm family with four children – we hope you enjoyed hearing their stories and discovered healthy eating solutions that could help you in your own lives.

USDA Blog » That’s a Wrap! Meet the 6 Families from the #MyPlateMyWins Video Series!

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Small towns and rural places hold a special place in our vision of America. Visitors and those just passing through come to enjoy distinct lifestyles, commerce, and countryside. Yet, many rural towns have trouble promoting themselves and planning for a vibrant future. That is why we are helping to launch Findyour.town. The White House brought us together with the technology developer Ovela....
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USDA Blog » Find Your Town, a New Tool Promoting Small Towns from the White House Opportunity Project

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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 Staci Emm, professor and Extension educator at the University of Nevada and member of the Yerington Paiute Tribe. Staci has spent the last ten years as an Extension educator in Mineral County, Nevada and is nationally recognized for...
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USDA Blog » In Conversation with #WomeninAg: Staci Emm

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The “Selfies” of Burrillville celebrated the ribbon cutting for the Rural Self-Help Housing neighborhood they built themselves. The “selfies” as they were called by the organizers at NeighborWorks, put in 65 percent “sweat equity” into their own houses and the houses of their neighbors. With funding from USDA Rural Development, partners and a Single Family Housing loan, these low and moderate...
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The Selfies of Burrillville, RI

The “Selfies” of Burrillville celebrate the ribbon cutting for the Rural Self-Help Housing neighborhood that they built themselves. The “selfies” as they wer...

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Amid rising numbers of at-risk wildlife in the South, a new report from the American Forest Foundation (AFF) revealed private and family landowners in the South offer a solution to help at-risk wildlife species. According to the report, Southern Wildlife at Risk: Family Forest Owners Offer a Solution, family landowners, who own more than 58 percent of forests in the South, are key to providing...
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USDA Blog » Southern Landowners Want to Help At-Risk Wildlife Species

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When does too much of a good thing become a bad thing? That’s the question Dr. Jonathan Claussen, assistant professor at Iowa State University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and his team of researchers aim to help farmers answer when it comes to pesticide use. Claussen and his team created a flexible, low cost and disposable biosensor that can detect pesticides in soil. USDA’s...
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USDA Blog » Nanostructured Biosensors Detect Pesticide, Help Preserve Environment

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Schade Vineyard & Winery is owned and operated by Jim and Nancy Schade of Volga, S.D. Recently, the Winery announced an expansion of its product line into healthy fruit juices in response to its customers’ requests for non-alcoholic beverages. The Winery works with fruit growers in South Dakota to help produce two fruits—the aronia (black chokeberry) and elderberry. The fruits were selected...
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South Dakota Winery Diversifies Product Line Thanks in Part to USDA | USDA Rural Development

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The FSIS FoodKeeper app is an easy way for consumers to keep their food safe by providing valuable advice on storing foods and beverages to maximize freshness and minimize food waste. In 2016, the application was updated to include more than 400 food and beverage items that are available in an online data feed. Upcoming enhancements to the app will provide access to FSIS product recall...
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USDA Blog » USDA’s FoodKeeper App Uses Open Data to Keep Consumers Safe and Food Fresh

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11 new projects will accelerate conservation efforts on ag lands for a variety of wildlife, including northern bobwhite.

NRCS to Expand Targeted Conservation Effort for Wildlife on Agricultural Lands | NRCS

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USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts more than 400 surveys each year. Two of our larger and more impactful surveys are the annual Row Crops County Agricultural Production Survey (CAPS) and December Agricultural Survey. The Row Crops CAPS is mailed out Nov. 18, and the data collection period goes through early January. The December Agricultural Survey is mailed out...
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USDA Blog » Two NASS Surveys Critical for USDA Crop Programs for Farmers

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In celebration of Virginia Farm to School Week, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Farm to School Regional Lead, Mid-Atlantic Regional Office, Tegan Hagy recently visited Charlottesville Public Schools to learn about the district’s garden and Harvest of the Month efforts. Here’s a snapshot of what I observed that day.

USDA Blog » Grants, Gardens and Green Beans: Charlottesville’s Growing Farm to School Program

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Looking back at USDA’s efforts to help rural America thrive, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Director Norah Deluhery is truly proud of the impact our diverse partners, both from faith and secular communities, have had within their communities. On behalf of the USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, I would like to say thank you to our partners these...
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USDA Blog » A Reflection: Celebrating Eight Years of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

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The Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) has spent the last 23 years working directly with small, rural communities. Through USDA Rural Development, received a $50,000 Rural Business Development Grant to assist with funding for the Growth in the Rural Ozarks (GRO) initiative. The GRO initiative is providing professional economic development assistance for three communities in southern...
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GRO Initiative Shows Just How Much Partnership Matters | USDA Rural Development

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Changes in climate and more extreme weather are already increasing challenges for agriculture and natural resource managers nationally and globally. A new USDA report, "Adaptation Resources for Agriculture: Responding to Climate Variability and Change in the Midwest and Northeast" provides educators and advisors information, perspective and resources to help farmers in the region prepare for,...
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USDA Blog » Helping Farmers Adapt to Extreme Weather and a Changing Climate

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883 patent applications filed ✔
405 patents issued ✔
1,151 new inventions disclosures ✔ #USDAResults:

Food and Ag Science Will Shape Our Future – USDA Results

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Many kids gaze up into the night’s sky and dream of touching the stars. Peggy Whitson, NASA astronaut and commander of the International Space Station, turned that dream into reality. At the age of nine, Whitson became involved with the 4-H program. Now, Whitson and her crewmates are performing 250 zero-gravity experiments in areas of biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences...
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USDA Blog » Small Town 4-H’er Reaches for the Stars

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Research shows the majority of people in Africa depend on biomass to meet their energy needs, with approximately 80 percent relying on wood energy. A project funded through the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Cochran Fellowship Program on “Biofuels for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods,” hosted by the University of Missouri (MU) College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources...
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USDA Blog » Research in Energy Security Helps Lead to Food Security in West Africa

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Mike and Candy Seely, third generation mint farmers in northwest Oregon, saw their revenue begin to dry up when gum, toothpaste, candy and breath mint manufacturers turned to synthetic flavoring. With the help of a Value-Added Producer Grant from USDA Rural Development, this small family business began manufacturing its own high-quality specialty mint confections. Since then, Seely Family Farm...
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