USDA

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Material Information

Title:
USDA employee newsletter of the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 27 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Governmental and Public Affairs
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Communication
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Office of Governmental and Public Affairs
Place of Publication:
Washington, D.C
Frequency:
biweekly[<, -sept. 1984>]
semimonthly[ former feb. 6, 1942-]
biweekly
regular

Subjects

Genre:
serial   ( sobekcm )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )

Notes

Dates or Sequential Designation:
Publication began with Vol. 1, no. 1 (Feb. 6, 1942)
Dates or Sequential Designation:
- v. 43, no. 21 (Oct. 17, 1984).
Issuing Body:
Volume 1-36, no. 25 issued by the Office of Communication; v. 36, no. 26-v.43, no.21 by the Office of Governmental and Public Affairs.
General Note:
Description based on: Vol. 34, no. 10 3 (mAY 14, 1975)

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001362133
oclc - 02562622
notis - AGM3565
lccn - agr42000358 /L
issn - 0364-5290
Classification:
lcc - S21.D
System ID:
AA00009461:00001

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Full Text



Employee Newslerter
of the U.S. Department
of Agnculure


'USDA


Volume 43
Number 21
October 17, 1984


With the return of b
to much of the Nat
brisk schedule of
USDA.
First there were Nati
the Handicapped We
Prevention Week, dui
7-13. Then, there w
retary's second ch
rum-this one on n
farm products-Octol
12.
On October 15, Sec
officially kicked off th
Federal Campaign (C
Department. October
World Food Day.


All in the Busy Month dtdiARY

0 OV 0 5 1984
risk weather qualified disabled persons to eet Slight Gain in 1983
ion came a employment needs. P manag
SP OCMa nt manager
acivities In Splacement
During the week, Secretary jh placement
recognized 11 outstanding han i- program in the Office of Person-
onal Employ capped USDA employees, who nel, notes that over the past year,
ek and Fire received certificates of recogni- USDA employment figures show a
ring October tion. Among them was David G. slight increase in employment of
as the Sec- Perkins, who was the handicapped persons, despite a
allenge fo- Department's nominee for the decline in the total work force.
ew uses for 1984 Outstanding Handicapped As of October 1983, of the
ber 11 and Federal Employee of the Year Department's nearly 130,000
Award, presented annually by the employees-including full-time,
retary Block Office of Personnel Management. part-time, seasonal, and temporary
ie Combined Perkins is an agricultural program workers-5,579 identified them-
:FC) in the specialist with the Agricultural selves as having some type of
r 16 was Stabilization and Conservation disability. That figure represents a
Service in Athens, Ga., gain of 2/10 of a percent of handi-


The week of October 21-28 is
American Energy Awareness
Week.
Some of these activities-the
Challenge Forum and World Food
Day-were covered in a Sep-
tember issue of 'USDA'. Follow-
ing are highlights of the other
events.

Employ the Handicapped

In November 1983, President
Reagan declared 1983 to 1992 as
the National Decade of Disabled
Persons.
Secretary Block noted that Nation-
al Employ the Handicapped Week
(NETH) provides an annual
opportunity for USDA managers
to rededicate themselves to mak-
ing a conscientious effort to seek


Other award recipients were John
F. Anderson, plant protection and
quarantine officer, Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service,
San Ysidro, Calif; Vira O. Mil-
bank, technical information spe-
cialist, APHIS, Hyattsville, Md.;
Anna R. Hasinsky, printing
clerk, Food Safety and Inspection
Service, Washington, D.C.; Mark
Alan King, coding clerk, Forest
Service, Portland, Ore.; Elmer L.
Lynn, agricultural program spe-
cialist, ASCS, Springfield, Ill.;
Juriye Yokoyama, distribution
office clerk, Farmers Home
Administration, Santa Rosa, Cal-
if.; and FmHA employees, all in
the St. Louis, Mo., office, Cyn-
thia M. Huddleston, data tran-
scriber; John J. Ferrari, cash
clerk; Mary C. Smith, data tran-
scriber; and Carol J. Wall,
accounting technician.


capped employees over the previ-
ous year. Leister noted that
included in that increase was a
gain in employment of people
with "targeted" disabilities-for
example, those who are complete-
ly deaf or blind, or who have
missing extremities, or complete
or partial paralysis.
Check Out the "Talent Bank
Leister noted that NETH is also a
good time to remind USDA
managers in the Washington area
about the "talent bank" main-
tained by the Office of Personnel.
The bank lists handicapped indivi-
duals who are either seeking
employment or career advance-
ment in USDA and who represent
a broad range of occupations-
clerks, lawyers, scientists,
economists, computer specialists,
(cont'd on page 2)


1S7






(cont'd from page 1)
accountants, as well as disabled
veterans. Field personnel offices
maintain similar banks or appli-
cant lists.

The talent bank is still woefully
underutilized, said Leister, despite
the fact that it offers definite
advantages to managers seeking to
fill vacancies.
"Handicapped candidates who are
not employed with USDA and
who are qualified for a particular
position may be hired noncom-
petitively under special appoint-
ment authorities, rather than
through the competitive examin-
ing process," Leister said.
That makes filling a position a lot
simpler. All managers have to do
to learn whether a qualified handi-
capped candidate exists is to call
their agency's selective placement
coordinator.


USDA Services to Handicapped
Leister noted that to comply with
related Departmental regulations,
USDA agencies make special
efforts to ensure that handicapped
persons have access to various
assistance programs available to
those who meet the qualifying cri-
teria for programs.
For example, to make food assist-
ance programs accessible to handi-
capped persons, the Food and
Nutrition Service conducts home
visits, mail-in applications, tele-
phone interviews, and provides for
home delivery of hot meals to
housebound elderly persons as
well as home delivery of commo-
dities and use of authorized
representatives.
The Forest Service conducts an
ongoing program to remove archi-
tectural barriers from public recre-
ational facilities. Currently, more
than 600 campgrounds and picnic
areas throughout the United
States include various types of
facilities for the handicapped,
ranging from curb ramps and
redesigned toilet facilities to spe-
cially designed nature trails and
fishing docks.
Agencies are also making facilities
more accessible to both handi-
capped employees and the public


through renovation, leasing acces-
sible space when available, and
with home visits for handicapped Shut Out,
persons, particularly those in rural
areas, unable to visit agency
offices. For the second
In February 1983 the Department years, USDA,
entered into an interagency agree- several other
ment with the President's Com- ed Federal agei
mittee on Employment of the to shut down
Handicapped to support expanded order all but t
services to the rural handicapped. ees deemed
stop working
The Extension Service was desig- Affected work(
nated as the lead agency in imple- whelming
meeting the agreement. The told to leave bl
Research and Extension Subcom- October 4.
mittee for the Rural Handicapped
recently reported some accom- In both case
plishments and projects underway. occurred in
These include: 1981), Presk
invoked the A
* Having rural concerns included Act, which say
in the 1984 national publication by ated Federal
the President's Committee on the cease operating
Employment of the Handicapped
in support of NETH. However, hou
* Designating Dr. Ron Daly as gress passed a
Extension's representative on a sure wcten pr
national advisory board of a fected agency
national advisory board of a funds until 6:01
research and demonstration proj- Octor 5. Fil
ect, "National Rural Indepen- October 5. Fe
dence Living Network." ees returned
next day. All e
* Finalizing the publication, were told to
"USDA Services for the Handi- placed on
capped." leave and will 1
* Assessing the needs of the hours they did
hearing impaired throughout
USDA.



Know the Rules of Fire Safety


During the next hour, it's likely
that more than 300 destructive
fires will rage somewhere in the
Nation destroying more than
$300,000 worth of property, kil-
ling at least one person, and seri-
ously injuring 34 others.
Rudy Wallace knows all about fire
statistics and fire prevention. He's
concerned that everyone else
know about it, too.
A safety and health specialist with
the Office of Finance and Manage-
ment, Wallace notes that every
year more than 12,000 people die,
300,000 are injured, and more
than $11 billion in property loss
occurs as a result of more than 2
million fires in the home and


workplace. Among causes of
accidental death in the United
States, fires ranks third, behind
motor vehicle accidents and falls.
October 7-13 marked the 62nd
anniversary of the first Fire
Prevention Week. The annual
observance always falls in the
week of October that includes the
9th to commemorate the "Great
Chicago Fire" that claimed 250
lives and destroyed more than
2,150 acres of the city October 7-
9, 1871.
"No one is immune to personal
harm or property loss caused by
fire," says Wallace. "But there are
many measures-often very sim-
(cont'd on page 3)


Again

id time in 3
as well as
nonappropriat-
icies, was told
business and
hose employ-
'excepted" to
and go home.
ers-the over-
najority-were
y 1:00 p.m. on

;s (the first
November
lent Reagan
nti-Deficiency
s nonappropri-
igencies must

rs later Con-
stop-gap mea-
ovided the af-
es operating
0 p.m. Friday,
deral employ-
to work the
employees who
leave were
administrative
be paid for the
not work.







Rural Electrification Administration


Responsibilities
The Rural Electrification Administration (REA) assists rural electric and telephone organizations in
obtaining the financing required to provide electric and telephone service in rural areas and territories.
Financing may include a loan from REA, an REA guarantee of a loan made by others, or REA appro-
val of security arrangements that permit a borrower to obtain financing from other lenders without a
guarantee. Statutory authority is provided by the Rural Electrification (RE) Act of 1936, as amended.


Programs
REA Loans: Made from the Rural Electrifica-
tion and Telephone Revolving Fund in the U.S.
Treasury, loans are generally made at 5 percent
interest, as called for by statute. The fund,
established in 1973 with a $7.9 billion loan from
the Treasury, is replenished by collections on
outstanding and future REA loans; by borrow-
ings from the Secretary of the Treasury; and by
sales of beneficial ownership interests in bor-
rowers' notes held in trust by the agency.
REA Loan Guarantees: REA may guarantee
loans for borrowers that qualify for a direct loan
under the RE Act, or the agency may guarantee
a loan concurrently with a direct loan.
Guaranteed loans may be made by any legally
organized lending agency qualified to make,
hold, and service loans. All REA policies and
procedures apply to a guaranteed loan. In 1974,
REA entered into an agreement with the
Federal Financing Bank (FFB), located within
the U.S. Treasury, for the FFB to purchase obli-
gations guaranteed by REA. Because REA acts
as an agent for the FFB, borrowers deal directly
with REA.
Supplemental Financing: Borrowers who meet
specified criteria are required to obtain part of
their financing from non-REA sources. Supple-
mental financing is provided by the National


Rural Utilities Cooperative Financing Corpora-
tion, the Bank for Cooperatives, and other
financial institutions.
Electric Program: REA makes loans to qualified
borrowers with preference to nonprofit and
cooperative associations and public bodies. The
agency finances the construction and operation
of electric generating plants and transmission
and distribution lines to provide initial and con-
tinued electric service to rural areas.
Telephone Program: REA makes loans to pro-
vide the availability of adequate telephone serv-
ice to the widest practicable number of rural
users. About two-thirds of the borrowers are
commercial companies and the remainder
subscriber-owned cooperatives.
Rural Telephone Bank: Owned by the U.S.
Government, the RTB is a supplemental source
of financing outside of other REA loan pro-
grams. Interest rates are based primarily on two
factors: The cost of loan funds from the U.S.
Treasury, and a $360 million equity investment
by the Government in the Bank. Management
is vested in a governor, the REA administrator,
and a 13-member Board of Directors, which
includes representatives from the Bank's stock-
holders, the general public, and Federal
Government officials, appointed by the
President.


Organization
REA is under the jurisdiction of the Under Secretary for Small and Rural Community Development,
who also oversees the Farmers Home Administration, the Office of Rural Development Policy, and the
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The agency is headed by an administrator and is divided into five
areas: Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Southwest, and Western. While the area offices are head-
quartered in Washington, D.C., each has general field representatives across the country. Field accoun-
tants are assigned, also by States, to serve borrowers.

Information Contact
Public Information Office
Rural Electrification Administration
Room 4042-S
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Washington, D.C. 20250
Telephone: (202) 382-1255






Topics of Current Interest


Civil Rights Program: In April 1983, the REA
administrator endorsed and sent to all REA-
financed electric distribution systems a Basic 5-
Point REA Civil Rights Development Program,
with a goal of nationwide implementation in
1984. The program is voluntary and emphasizes
strengthening civil rights and equal opportunity
postures with the systems' organizations and
memberships. The program was designed as a
management tool in that each of the five points
are people-oriented.
The five points are: (1) Make a bonafide effort
to develop an effective cooperative education
program with local educational institutions and
provide upward mobility training of present
employees, including minorities; (2) Develop
an effective system for identifying members for
whom a weatherization program would be


advantageous and for encouraging their partici-
pation; (3) Develop an effective members'
information and involvement program that
includes the minority community; (4) Develop
and implement an effective equal opportunity
program for increasing members' participation
in activities of the cooperatives, such as on the
nominating and annual meeting committees,
and in employment opportunities at the
cooperative; and (5) Develop an effective pro-
gram for providing minority and female
representation on the board of directors.
As of September 1984, 145 of the 933 electric
distribution borrowers had adopted the pro-
gram. Comparable civil rights development pro-
grams were also sent to rural telephone bor-
rowers and to REA-financed telephone com-
panies.


Rural Electrification Administration Facts
* Electric and telephone loans have been made to cooperatives, companies, and other public bodies in
46 States, Puerto Rico, and several islands in the Pacific.
* Electric borrowers total 1,106; telephone borrowers 1,038.
* More than $57.5 billion has been loaned through both the electric and telephone programs.
* Electric loans-REA direct and guaranteed-total about $50.5 billion. Telephone loans-REA direct
and through the Rural Telephone Bank-total more than $7 billion.
* Since the program began, loan losses, through foreclosure or failure, are less than $45,000.
* Electric loans are serving nearly 12 million rural consumers; telephone loans serve about 5.3 million
subscribers.
* Electric loans have provided about 2.1 million miles of line; telephone loans about 918,000 miles of
line.
* In the last 20 years, REA-financed systems have helped to establish more than 700,000 new jobs
through various outreach programs. In addition, the electric and telephone borrowers have assisted in
creating or expanding more than 15,000 community and industry facilities.


October 1984
U.S. Department of Agriculture


Office of Information
Office of Governmental and Public Affairs






(cont'd from page 2)


pie precautions-that people can
take to significantly reduce the
risks of fire."
Minimimal precautions in the
home include:
* Keeping a well-maintained
heating system.
* Never overloading electrical
circuits.
* Storing flammable liquids in
tightly fitting containers and keep-
ing them away from all sources of
heat including heaters, furnaces,
and fireplaces.
* Keeping stairways free of
obstructions.
* Keeping matches out of reach
of children.
* Installing fire extinguishers,
fire escapes or escape ladders, and
most importantly, early-warning
smoke detectors on each floor.
* Discussing and rehearsing with
every member of the family steps
to be taken during various kinds
of fire emergencies.
Precautions people should take
outside the home include noting
upon entry to any building the
locations of fire exists. In the
workplace, people should report
potential fire or other kinds of
safety hazards to their supervisor
or designated agency safety and
health personnel.



Charitable Drive
Kicks Off

USDA has the leading reins in
this year's annual charitable drive,
with Secretary Block serving as
overall chairman of the Combined
Federal Campaign (CFC) of the
National Capital Area.
Backed up by team of hardworking
USDA and other supporters, the
Secretary is inspiring enthusiastic
support throughout Government
to help make this year's campaign
another successful fundraiser to
help millions of people in local
communities and throughout the
world.
For the Governmentwide cam-
paign, the Secretary announced an


Part of USDA's observance of National Hispanic Heritage Week in September
included a salute to the Hispanic entrepreneurial spirit and an opportunity for
20 Hispanic business firms to display their products and services in the USDA
Administration Building in Washington, D.C. The event was designed to under-
score the Department's commitment to increasing opportunities for small and
disadvantaged business firms in USDA procurement activities. Pictured above at
an exhibit featuring the Chronometrics Corporation are (l.-r.): Ray Lett, execu-
tive assistant to Secretary Block; Homer Guerra, president of Chronometrics
Corporation, which designs and manufactures electronic hardware and software;
Alma Esparza, director, USDA's Office of Equal Opportunity; Fernando Galaviz,
Department of Transportation's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business
Utilization (OSDBU); Preston Davis, director of USDA's OSDBU; and an
unidentified representative from Chronometrics.


overall goal of $17.7 million for
the National Capital Area.
USDA Goal
For USDA's campaign, which
runs from October 15 to
November 16, the Secretary
announced a goal of nearly
$720,000, 10 percent over the
amount raised last year. This
year's goal represents an average
donation of about $70-or $2.70
each pay period-per employee in
the Washington area.
USDA and other Government
field offices where 200 or more
Federal employees are located also
hold similar fund-raising cam-
paigns, generally in the fall.
"USDA employees across the
country have an outstanding histo-
ry of participation in the CFC and
similar campaigns," said Sid Alls-


house, a U.S. Customs Service
employee who is a participant in
the CFC loaned executive pro-
gram. Allshouse and Ruby Gross,
an employee with the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin-
istration, are assisting with
USDA's campaign. Both represent
a cadre of specially trained execu-
tives who assist Federal agencies
in conducting their annual drives.

John E. Ford, deputy assistant
secretary for marketing and
inspection services, is serving as
special assistant to Block in the
overall campaign. Richard D.
Siegel, deputy assistant secretary
for natural resources and environ-
ment, is the vice chairman for
USDA's campaign.


(cont'd on page 4)






(contd from page 3)
Important Change
Allshouse noted that an important
change in this years' drive permits
employees to designate their con-
tributions to go to any health and
welfare agency in the Nation that
qualifies for tax-free donations
(under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3). For
Washington employees, that
means that donations to domestic
agencies are not restricted to the
D.C. metropolitan area, but may
be designated for any qualifying
organization in the country.


Open Season Set

From November 5 through
December 7, Federal em-
ployees and annuitants will
have the opportunity to
enroll in or change their cov-
erage in the Federal Employ-
ees Health Benefits Program.
Open season permits em-
ployees to make changes in
their participation in the pro-
gram that ordinarily cannot
be made during the rest of
the year. During the 5-week
period, employees can elect
to enroll in the program,
switch to another plan, or
change their level of cover-
age.

The Office of Personnel
Management noted that pro-
cedures have been simplified
for certain employees and
annuitants .who .because of
circumstances, beyond their
control, are late in making
open season enrollment
changes in their coverage.
Previously, late requests that
were filed and accepted
became effective later in the
year. (Changes made during
open season become effec-
tive the first day of the first
pay period of the new calen-
dar year). The recent
change, however, permits
eligible late filing employees
to have a new enrollment or
change effective as of early
January.


Undesignated contributions by
employees will go into the Princi-
pal Combined Fund Organization
(the United Way in the National
Capital Area) for distribution to
CFC-supported agencies.

Consider Payroll Deduction
All donations may be made by
payroll deduction. In fact, employ-
ees are encouraged to donate
through payroll deduction, which.
allows them to spread payment of
their pledges throughout the year.
Many employees remark that
smaller biweekly allotments are
much easier for them to handle
than a larger lump sum. Too, the
method usually generates larger
donations. All donations are tax
deductible.
Why Have A CFC?
The idea for an annual CFC ori-
ginated with Federal employees
themselves in the early 1960's.
Many were being solicited for con-
tributions by a variety of charit-
able organizations year round and
thought that a once-a-year drive
that would include all of the soli-
citing agencies would be more
practical.
Hence, the CFC was established
by Executive Order in 1964 to


American Energy Awareness
Week, a national event to be
observed October 21-28, is
designed to stimulate public dialo-
gue and thinking about energy
conservation and development of
our energy resources and techno-
logies.
In USDA, Secretary Block noted
that the focus will be on maintain-
ing a strong energy research and
Extension program that will pro-
vide farmers with new and better
alternatives for achieving energy
efficient and cost effective produc-
tion.
Since 1977, the Secretary said,
farmers have increased farm out-
put by 17 percent while reducing
gasoline and diesel fuel use by 25
percent. Farmers achieved this by


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1llulln III II 111 1 I I I1111 111111 11111 I
meet emp 3 1262 08738 5919
gle campaign, tu miuu%, ,....
ment expense, and to permit pay-
roll deduction for charitable con-
tributions.
Today, the CFC is the only
authorized on-the-job solicitation
of Federal employees in the
National Capital Area.
Employees are encouraged to dis-
cuss any questions or concerns
they have about the CFC with
their volunteer keyworker author-
ized to collect contributions in
their division.


adopting energy conserving prac-
tices, of which many were the
result of USDA energy conserva-
tion efforts designed to help farm-
ers cope with rising energy costs.
USDA agencies are planning a
variety of events to support
national attention on the week.


'USDA' is published biweekly by the
U.S. Department of Agriculture,
Office of Governmental and Public
Affairs, Rm. 114-A, Washington,
D.C. 20250, for distribution to
employees only by direction of the
Secretary of Agriculture. Retirees who
request it may continue to receive
'USDA'.
'USDA' Vol. 43, No. 21,
October 17, 1984
Sharon Edwards, Acting Editor


Energy Awareness Week




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