Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is Jan. 27. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.
Most people would say that there is not much going on in the garden during the winter months. I beg to differ. There are dozens of plants out there doing something interesting. Some are just showing their pretty bark or their sculptural quality bare of leaves. Others are just beginning to emerge and will be blooming soon. And others just have some crazy quality that allows their foliage to look as fresh and clean as a spring garden despite the fact it is winter in Kentuckiana.
Children can learn many valuable life lessons while working with livestock, and everyone loves to see children and animals working together. However, it’s important to remember livestock can be dangerous. Injuries from livestock-related accidents are a major source of injuries to children in agricultural settings.
We visited friends in Boulder, Colo., over the Christmas holiday and had an opportunity to visit the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company that is headquartered there. In fact this one factory produces all of their tea sold worldwide.
Celestial Tea had humble beginnings with a group of “passionate young entrepreneurs” (i.e hippies in 1969) who began collecting herbs from the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and crafted their own herbal teas to sell to local health food stores. Today Celestial Seasonings is one of the largest specialty teas companies in North America.
Orchids are becoming increasingly popular as houseplants. One orchid you are likely to encounter is the Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid. It gets its name from the shape of the flower that resembles a moth in flight.
Most of us are not fluent in Latin so distinguishing between an Aesculus parviflora and an Aesculus pavia may take some extra effort. Throw hybrids and cultivars into the mix and our plant choices may increase with our confusion.
The latest Marketbasket Survey, conducted by the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation in December 2011, indicates that average retail food prices in supermarkets across the state have decreased by 1 percent during this last quarter. According to the survey, the total cost of 40 basic grocery items was $115.90. This reflects a decrease of $1.16, or 1 percent, from the same list of items reported in the previous quarter.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, along with leaders from food and agriculture organizations, introduced recently a free online tool to help U.S. producers of all sizes achieve good agricultural practices harmonized standards and certification, helping to further expand economic opportunities for American agriculture.