Skip Navigation

DM Newsroom Archive

News Stories

  • February 7, 2013 - USDA Releases Federal Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan: WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2013 – Continuing the Obama Administration’s commitment to lead by example and cut waste, pollution, and costs in Federal operations, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released its 2012 Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan. President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in October 2009, setting aggressive targets for reducing waste and pollution in Federal operations by 2020. USDA’s 2012 Sustainability Plan builds on three years of progress under the Executive Order and provides an overview of how the agency is saving taxpayer dollars, reducing carbon emissions, cutting waste and saving energy.

    This year, USDA’s Sustainability Plan for the first time ever includes a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, outlining initiatives to reduce the vulnerability of the agency’s programs, assets, and investments to the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise or more frequent or severe extreme weather. The adaptation plan highlights actions to plan for and address these impacts in USDA’s programs and operations, and protect taxpayer investments.
    The adaptation plan, which President Obama directed Federal agencies to prepare in his 2009 Executive Order, will be available for 60 days of public comment and will be updated as needed. The Federal agency adaptation plans build on the Administration’s commitment to promoting climate change preparedness and resilience, including through launching the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force in 2009 to coordinate measures across the Federal Government and support local and regional adaptation efforts.

    Executive Order 13514 requires Federal agencies to submit their plans to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Agencies annually update Sustainability Plans, prioritizing activities that help to meet energy, water, and waste reduction goals based on a positive return on investment for the American taxpayer. In addition to the Climate Change Adaptation Plans, this year’s Sustainability Plans include two other new components, Fleet Management Plans and Bio-based Purchasing Strategies.

    Agency Strategic Sustainability Performance Plans are available now at: Click

    For more information on Executive Order 13514 on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, please visit: Click
  • March 8, 2012 - Women’s Education and Women’s Empowerment: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) celebrated National Women’s History Month on March 8, 2012. The theme this year was “Women’s Education and Women’s Empowerment". USDA General Counsel, Ramona Romero who is the first Hispanic woman, General Counsel at USDA and who is of Dominican Republic descent spoke at the event. The Keynote Speaker, Daphne Reid, conveyed in her speech how women have the ability to empower themselves through education and used her own life story as an example. USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack delivered a message to employees and the public about how there were women in his life that were unsung heroes. These unsung heroes encouraged him to strive for excellence in education and taught him the importance of families and communities. Secretary Vilsack reminded all of us that we should stop and remember the women in our lives who were our unsung heroes.
  • February 21, 2012 - Promoting A Bioeconomy: President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum today directing the Federal Government to take decisive steps to dramatically increase the purchase of biobased products over the next two years, which will create jobs and drive innovation where biobased products are grown and manufactured. The Memorandum will also result in a 50 percent increase in the number of new products that are designated as biobased. Biobased products include items like paints, soaps and detergents and are developed from farm grown plants, rather than chemicals or petroleum bases. The biobased products sector marries the two most important economic engines for rural America: agriculture and manufacturing.
  • February 16, 2012 - Black History Month Observance: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Black History Month Observance this year celebrated “Black Women in American History and Culture”. The Keynote Speaker was Mr. Tim Reid, a Hollywood fixture for more than 30 years and whose work reaches across cultures and generations. USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack spoke of Black Women in American History and Culture and how we at USDA have Culturally Transformed. As employees we are not only committed to serve the American public, but are committed to serve our USDA employees.
  • January 12, 2012 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) National Service Day (NSD) Observance: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.(MLK) National Service Day (NSD) Observance held on Thursday, January 12, 2012. USDA Keynote Speaker was Dr. William R. Harvey, President of Hampton University. Twelve USDA employees and employee groups were presented MLK Drum Major for Service Award for their outstanding commitment to community service. These awards were presented by Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack. The call to service was taken up by hundreds of USDA employees including Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, Pearlie S. Reed, Assistant Secretary for Administration Dr. Alma C. Hobbs, Associate Assistant Secretary for Administration, William P. Milton Jr., Chief Human Capital Officer, and Monshi Ramdass, Director of Diversity& Recruitment.
  • March 5-9, 2012 - USDA Participates in Telework Week 2012: If you are a USDA employee and haven't taken the pledge to participate yet, please visit the following link and pledge to join the Telework Week movement!
  • March 01, 2012 - My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation, February 2012
  • September 15, 2011 - USDA Hispanic Heritage Month Observance
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (October 19, 2011)
  • USDA Secretary’s Annual Honor Awards (September 14, 2011)
    Click to view captioned video
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (September 13, 2011)
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (August 11, 2011)
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (July 14, 2011)
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (June 16, 2011)
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (May 03, 2011)
  • My USDA: A Progress Report for Employees on USDA's Cultural Transformation (March 31, 2011)
  • USDA's Cultural Transformation - Summary of Progress, Nov 2010 - Feb 2011 (February 28, 2011)
  • Cultural Transformation Newsletter, Jan 2011 (January 31, 2011)
  • BioPreferred Program - Fact Sheet - USDA leads by example in implementing a provision of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) requiring Federal agencies to give procurement preference to designated biobased products (February 27, 2009)