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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE OFFICE OF INFORMATION CIN D.C. 20250
April 1970 No. 75
OPERATION FRIENDSHIP .
Friends In Deed. Concerned citizens across the Nation arE-- S
helping hands in the campaign to end hunger and malnutrition. In
many instances, they are helping low-income people get and make
good use of the food assistance available from the U. S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture. One instance is the Ministerial Alliance of
Greeley, Colorado. The Alliance sponsors "Operation Friendship,"
a project in which 25 women visit and give assistance to families
eligible for USDA's Food Stamp Program. The women took a 2-month
course to learn about low-income norms before trying to help the
individual families -- to whom they had been introduced by local (
welfare workers and public health nurses.
FESTIVAL FOR SHOPPERS
Suburbanites Get Sewing Tips. Homemakers' questions about sewing
kept the phone busy in the Macomb County, Mich., office of the
Cooperative Extension Service -- USDA's educational agency. So
the Extension home economist set up a 3-day sewing festival at a
54-store shopping center. The center's management cooperated with
her to promote it. Extension homemaker club members and 4-H leaders
manned most of the 15 demonstrations, attended by more than 1,000
people daily. Several commercial companies sent representatives
who talked with shoppers about zippers, linings, and sewing aids.
Women of all ages attended, but most were young homemakers with
young children. Many teenagers came on evenings and Saturday, and
even men were interested in the demonstrations on pressing clothes.
APRIL PLENTIFUL FOODS
How Sweet It Is. The Nation's bees have been unusually busy this
year. They have produced a record crop of 283 pounds of honey --
a nutritious, tasty, versatile headliner for April shoppers, Other
April plentifuls that can add Spring to the family menu are canned
peaches -- both cling and freestone pack -- and canned and frozen
sweet corn. Also on the list are canned tomato products, eggs,
peanuts and their products, and dry beans.
A WORD TO ALL YOU EXPLORERS AND PIONEERS
"Get Lost. And find your real self. in the land that lured explorers
and challenged pioneers." This is the advice given by the U. S. Department of
Agriculture and the U. S. Department of the Interior. The two Federal depart-
ments have joined forces to encourage travel in America by Americans this summer.
And the luring and challenging land of which they speak includes hundred of
recreation areas -- many of which are among America's favorite vacation spots --
administered either by USDA or Interior: National Forests, public domain rec-
reation areas, reclamation lakes, wildlife refuges, Indian reservations, U. S.
territories, National Parks, historic sites. Another word on the subject from
the Departments is: "Plan early for a summer vacation." Pick a State you would
like to visit -- near your home or across the continent. Write to its State
Travel Director at the State capital for information and a list of recreation
THE CASE OF THE SHADY PEAR TREE
50 Years to Solve. The "Bradford" pear tree is a success story of horticultural
research. It was about 50 years ago that a U. S. Department of Agriculture
plant explorer sent back a collection of pear seeds from China in the search for
a blight-free pear. The result is one of the most promising new shade trees in
several decades. It was developed by the Agricultural Research Service. In
experimental plantings, the "Bradford" has proved itself as a desirable shade
tree, widely adapted to grow almost any place in the U. S. The tree bears
soft, white blossoms before leafing out in the spring. During the summer it has
dark green glossy leaves -- which turn to spectacular crimson-gold in the autumn.
Because the "Bradford" is well-shaped, it presents interesting branch patterns
in the winter after the leaves have fallen. It is not a fruit tree.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO KEEP THEM DOWN ON THE FARM?
Farm Careers: A Question for Young People. Some rural young people will find
career opportunities on the farm. But most will have to look off the farm for
jobs, says the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.
The average U. S. farm boy has only 1 chance in 12 of getting his own adequate-
sized farm -- according to 1964-1965 replacement ratios. The Illinois farm boy
has the best chance (1 in 6); the Wisconsin boy, the worst chance (1 in 24).
A farm girl's chance of staying on a good farm are about the same as her broth-
ers. Except for the few who can begin with large, well-financed farms, rural
youngsters would do well to weigh carefully their opportunities in farming.
For most, chances of success are greater if they prepare to enter non-farm
READ IT AND DON'T WEEP
A Vegetable for All Seasons. Onions are considered socially unacceptable by
some people. But pungent or mild, they can add zest to eating any time of the
year. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Consumer and Market-
ing Service, onions come in three basic types: Globe, Granex-Grano, and Spanish.
Varieties of Globe onions, the most common type, are primarily used for cooking.
Their rather pungent flavor comes wrapped in yellow, red, brown, or white skins.
They are predominantly round to oval. Mild-flavored Granex-Grano onions are
ideal for slicing and eating raw. They tend to be somewhat flattened or top-
shaped and are yellow or white skinned. Spanish onions resemble Globes in
shape and -- like the Granex-Grano -- they are mild. Most varieties are yel-
low-skinned and are great as slicers and as salad mixers.
FOOD PREVIEW FOR SPRING
Food prices are expected to rise less this year than the 5.2 percent of 1969,
even though the prices of the past few months have continued to move upward.
Why a More Moderate Rise? A big reason is meat and eggs. They led the upswing
last year. Meat prices may rise more moderately this year. Beef will remain
in good and increasing supply; more eggs will be available; significantly more
chicken and turkey seem assured and -- after shorter supplies through early
summer -- more pork. Also larger grove and orchard output last season indicates
attractive fruit prices for the consumer again if the weather holds normal.
Just as crucial to prices as supply is the prospect on the buying side. Most
of the economic portents signal less growth in demand. Thus, food prices for
the year may average 31 to 4 percent higher than in 1969. For the time being,
higher prices are still with us. Food prices in January moved up to 0.6 percent,
and another 0.6 percent in February, more than the usual changes. The price
strength this winter reflected continued strong demand and smaller supplies of
pork and fresh vegetables, plus rising costs of labor, production, and marketing.
What Will We Eat This Year? Substantially more chicken and processed fruit,
moderately more eggs, beef and fish, and slightly more turkey. Veal, pork, and
lamb intake will be smaller. And use of milk and cream continues downward.
More cheese and low-fat dairy items, though.
Steak moves ahead of hamburger on the family menu. Back in 1955, steak
and ground beef had about the same slice of beef consumption at home --
about 30 percent. Ten years later the steak share rose to 41 percent
while ground beef slipped to 25 percent. As you might expect, more steak
and less hamburger gets on the table as the take-home pay grows.
More rabbit on the menu? Rabbits at the meat counter have been overrun the
past 20 years by cheaper and more plentiful chicken. But rabbit raisers
hope a sales rebound lies ahead, based on national advertising and instruc-
tion in home economics courses. Today, we eat an estimated 20-30 million
pounds of rabbit (0.10 to 0.15 pounds per capital bought mostly in frozen
The vegetable story. For most fresh vegetables, prices the next few weeks
may remain higher than last year at the same time. The current supply
situation is this: Production indications are down for most of the hard-
ier items, including cabbage, carrots, celery, and spinach. January
freezes in Florida and Texas damaged such tender crops as snap beans,
green peppers, and sweet corn. But canned and frozen vegetable prices
will remain at moderate levels through spring. Supplies are large,
though below last year's record volume.
Fresh fruits aplenty. Fresh citrus supplies from now through late summer
will be below the quantity available a year earlier. However there are
lots more pears, apples, and grapes and deciduous fresh fruit prices will
likely continue below a year earlier.
Milk prices to stay strong. Farm prices are moderately above year ago
levels. Output may equal or slightly exceed the decreased 1969 volume if
losses in dairy herd numbers can be matched by increased yield per cow.
Meat prices in the first half of 1970. Veal and lamb production will be
smaller. Increased beef output will about offset these reductions and a
sharp cut in pork production. This spring will bring a seasonal rise in
both lamb and pork prices and an easing in chicken prices. Beef prices
advanced in January and February and may level with an increase in supplies
going to market.
More eggs and low9r prices. Some seasonal decline in egg prices at the
store is expected this spring, but they won't be down to last spring's levels.
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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THE THIRD BILLION 3 1262 08740 0791
National Forest Receipts. Three billion dollars is a lot of money. But that's
the amount of revenue received by USDA's Forest Service since it was established
in 1905. The three billionth dollar was contained in a check passed from the
Forest Service to the Federal Treasury in March. Where do National Forests re-
ceipts come from? Timber sales on the 154 National Forests account for about
-90 percent. The remaining revenue comes from grazing, winter sports, and other
little known uses such as pasturing honey bees, picking ferns, and tapping maple
trees for syrup.
SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON MUSHROOMS
Read the Statistics. If yours is an average family, you are bringing home
mushrooms -- can by can, that is -- in the family market basket. We ate 68
million pounds of mushrooms in 1950; 117 million pounds in 1960; and a total
of 225 million pounds in the 1967-68 marketing year. As the U. S. population
grows -- and if the consumption trend continues -- total U. S. mushroom use
could top 500 million pounds by 1985. As we get more affluent, we're eating
more mushroom garnished steaks, more gourmet foods and more foreign dishes that
feature mushrooms. Most of our mushrooms are canned or an ingredient in soups.
Only about one-fifth are eaten fresh.
HOME PEST LEAFLET WITHDRAWN
It's Temporary. The popular pamphlet, PA-895, "Pesticide Safety in Your Home,"
has been temporarily withdrawn from public distribution by the U. S. Department
of Agriculture to permit deletion of all recommendations for the use of DDT and
some other persistent pesticides to control household insect pests. The pam-
phlet, along with approximately 90 other Department publications, is currently
being revised and reprinted consistent with the recent USDA cancellation of
all registered uses of DDT against home and garden pests, shade tree pests,
tobacco pests, and pests in acquatic areas such as marshes and swamps. The
action against DDT was taken on the basis of known hazard to some fish and
wildlife from DDT residue in the environment and possible future hazard to
people from continued accumulation of such residue in the environment.
LINSEED OIL SMOOTHES HIGHWAYS
Helps Prevent Bumps and Lumps. Homeowners may someday use linseed oil to
protect walkways from winter weather. Linseed oil is smoothing the way for
highway travelers. The U. S. Department of Agriculture reports that spraying
highways with a thin layer of linseed oil emulsion combats winter freeze dam-
age. Three-fourths of the 50 States have already accepted or are using linseed
oil on a trial basis in hopes of preventing potholes and saving tax dollars.
The process was developed by USDA's Agricultural Research Service.
SERVICE is a monthly newsletter of consumer interest. It is designed for
those who report to the individual consumer tather than for mass distribution.
For information about items in this issue, write: Lillie Vincent, Editor of
SERVICE, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Information, Washington,
D. C. 20250. Please include your zipcode.
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