Material Information

Service USDA's report to consumers
Portion of title:
USDA's report to consumers
Physical Description:
: ; 27 cm.
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Governmental and Public Affairs
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Communication
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture. -- Office of Information
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Office of Governmental and Public Affairs
Place of Publication:


Subjects / Keywords:
Consumer education -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )


Dates or Sequential Designation:
no. 1- Nov. 1963-
Numbering Peculiarities:
Publication suspended Dec. 1979-
Issuing Body:
Issued Nov. 1963-Feb. 1973 by the Department's Office of Information; Mar. 1973-Dec. 1977 by the Office of Communication.
General Note:
Issues prior to Jan. 1978 were classed: A 21.29:(nos.)

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 001360420
oclc - 01716336
notis - AGM1835
issn - 0037-2544
System ID:

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OCTOBER 1972 j, No. 105


A Look At The Future. Sessions on rura and trends in
the organization and control of food and economy will be -
among the topics explored at the 1973 Nationa ricultural Outlook
Conference. Dates for the Conference have been set for February 20
through 22 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C.
Overall theme for the meeting, "The Future Structure of Agricultural
Production and Marketing," also encompasses such presentations as
the impact of environmental developments on agricultural production
and marketing and the long-range expansion of demand for agricultural
products. Leading authorities in agriculture and business partici-
pate in the annual Conference which draws economists, representatives
of consumer organizations, agribusinessmen, and the general public.
Sponsors of the Conference are USDA's Economic Research Service and
Extension Service.


Just Their Tvoe. Among older people, poor nutrition is a common
problem -- often because of inadequate income. To supplement their
food buying power, and that of other low-income groups, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture administers two alternative food assistance
programs, the Food Stamp Program and the Food Distribution Program.
One or the other of these programs is available in virtually every
county and independent city. However, not all elderly persons know
about the food programs or take advantage of them. A new leaflet,
"Food Aid For The Elderly" (FNS-81), designed specifically for senior
citizens, has been published by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service to
explain the programs. Bold lettering and color, above-average spacing(
between each work and line, and larger-than-standard type face help
reduce eyestrain for senior citizens with sight problems. In addition
to information on food aid, the leaflet discusses programs, Meals-On-
Wheels and Drive-To-Serve, that provide home delivery of food to el-
derly recipients unable to get around. Senior citizens and persons
working with senior citizens groups will find the leaflet of particular
interest. Free copies of "Food Aid For The Elderly" (FNS-81) are
available from the Information Division, Food and Nutrition Service,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Another leaf-
let that deals specifically with the Drive-To-Serve Program -- for
areas where the Food Distribution Program is available -- may also be
requested from the Food and Nutrition Service.


Natural and Unnatural Causes. Forest fires in the U.S. burned a total of over 4 1/4
million acres in 1971, a million more acres than in the previous year. According to
a report from USDA's Forest Service, these fires occurred from one end of the country
to the other literally. Florida and Alaska were the two States with the largest
acreage burned, accounting for over half of the U.S. total.. Florida's fire season was
considered the worst in 20 years and on several occasions smoke from the fires caused
closure of two international airports in the State. Alaska's fire statistics show
that more than a million acres burned in that State. What caused all these fires?
Lightning strikes for one; Man for another. Lightning-caused fires amounted to only
10 percent of the number of the fires started, but they accounted for well over one-
third of the total acreage burned. Most of them occurred in sparsley settled areas in
western States. Man-caused fires continue to be a threat to life, property, and natu-
ral resources, especially in the heavily populated eastern half of the U.S. Among the
most serious threats are the deliberately set fires. Incendiariam accounted for over
one-third of the acreage burned in the East and over half of those in southern States
-- nearly six times the acreage from any other single cause. In fact, between 98 and
100 percent of all fires in the East were man-caused. A large part of these were
caused by persons burning trash and other debris near wooded areas. The fires escaped
from them, often causing serious damage. Now, about those piles of autumn leaves and
other fall clean-up debris. .


Shy. But Danrerous. The brown recluse spider is aptly named: It is brown -- ranging
from a gray brown to a deep red brown -- and it is a retiring, bashful creature fond
of dark, quiet recesses. This, plus a venomous bite, makes it dangerous. The natural
home of the brown recluse is in sheltered places outdoors -- under rocks and loose
bark. But buildings that are dry, littered, and house many insects are likely to at-
tract the spider indoors. Undisturbed areas in basements, attics, and closets are the
most likely haunts of the brown recluse in homes. Garments left hanging in storage
areas are favorite hiding places. The brown recluse is not aggressive, but it will
sometimes bite if handled or when trapped in clothing. Fatalities from the bite are
very rare. However, the bite is severe enough to require prompt medical attention.
It is especially dangerous to children, the elderly, and persons not in good physical
condition. Fifteen Southern States and South Central States are the main regions in-
habited by the brown recluse spider. Single specimens have also been found in Arizona,
California, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. A
leaflet prepared by USDA's Agricultural Research Service describes the spider with its
distinctive fiddle-shaped back marking, its habitat, and ways to combat it. It also
gives symptoms of the spider's bite and first aid measures. Copies of Leaflet 556,
"Controlling the Brown Recluse Spider," are available for 15 cents each from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.


Aaples Lead The List. Fresh apples, featured on the October Plentiful Foods List,
should be good buys for consumers during October. Other foods on the October List
include canned applesauce, apple juice, rice, dry beans, wheat products, broiler-
fryers, turkeys, and eggs. For November the Plentifuls will include rice, turkeys,
broiler-fryers, eggs, fresh apples, applesauce, apple juice, cranberries, cranberry
sauce, and cranberry juice cocktail.


And Other Organic Decoratina Tips. Before the age of machinery and plastic, most
Christmas decorations were made at home from plant material -- both fresh and dried.
Whether its nostalgia or price or being tired of the uniformity of mass-production,
making Christmas decorations from nature's materials has become increasingly popular.
Most of the plant materials needed to make attractive and clever decorations can be
picked up along country roads or in abandoned fields -- a refreshing hike in the coun-
try can be a side benefit from this creative activity. With imagination, some wire,
and paint, milkweed pods and other seed pods, acorns, walnuts, cones, dried weeds can
be turned into miniature Christmas trees, wreaths, corsages, centerpieces, and even
artificial but organic poinsettias. Some tips on plant materials to use and how
to use them are offered in a fact sheet prepared by horticulturists of USDA's Agri-
cultural Research Service. Teachers, club program directors, or people planning a
creative binge should find the information of help in planning a classroom activity
or club meeting or as an inspiration for creating. Copies of the Christmas decoration
sheet are available free -- while they last -- from Service, Office of Information,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.


A Lot Of Food Value In A Small Package. A whole world of flavors and textures await
you in the cheese family. There are over 400 varieties of natural cheeses alone. You
may not like some; others may become favorites. Any way you slice it, cheese is a
versatile and nutritious food. It is good in main dishes, salads, sauces, as a snack
or dessert. It contains most of the nutrients of milk, though in different amounts,
and protein of the same high quality as that in meat, fish, and eggs. In a popular
-- and recently revised -- USDA bulletin, "Cheese in Family Meals," (G-112) you will
find tips on choosing cheese to suit your needs and palate, a guide for storing cheese
at home, recipes and serving suggestions, and other pointers. Single copies of the
booklet are available free from the Office of Information, U.S. Department of Agricul-
ture, Washington, D.C. 20250.


Insect-Proof Vegetables. An ideal way to control or suppress plant pets would be to
ave the plants do it for themselves. Plant resistance to insects leaves no insecti-
cide residue in food or in the environment, harms no pollinating or otherwise friendly
insects, lowers production costs, and only minimally disturbs nature's balance. Plant
breeders and entomologists already have developed some insect-resistant crops -- wheat
varieties that resist the Hessian fly and an alfalfa variety that holds its own with
the spotted alfalfa aphid. Efforts are now being directed toward vegetables that put
up a fight against insect enemies. Already some 25 vegetables are reported to fend
off 35 species of insects. These successes, however, have been achieved with relativ-
ely modest research budgets and sometimes include little knowledge of the nature of
the resistance and its inheritance. Too, breeding resistant crops is neither simple
nor quick: Development of the Hessian fly-resistant wheat varieties took from 15 to
20 years from first crossing to final release to growers. A 5-year grant recently
announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funds to the Virginia
State College, Petersburg, Va., to find ways to control insect damage to vegetables
and other plants through genetic resistance. The scientists will determine why some
varieties are especially prone to insects and others are not, locate sources of re-
sistance in plants and seeds, and maintain a supply of germ plasm resistant to insects.


3 1262 08740 0866

A Spur To Housina. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has moved to stimulate produc-
tion of rental housing for low-and moderate-income families and the elderly living in
rural areas. New regulations for rental housing loans from USDA's Farmers Home Admin-
istration are expected to increase materially the supply of rental housing for rural
people -- from newly formed families not yet ready for home ownership to the elderly
for whom little housing provision is made in most small towns. Changes include a no-
residency requirement for borrowers. Previously, a borrower was required to live near
and supervise the rental project. Now a borrower can designate a local managing agent
with full authority to act for him. Also, rental units may now be made available to
persons with very low incomes through special arrangements with the Department of Hous-
ing and Urban Development: The FHA borrower leases his completed rental units to a
local public housing authority which manages the property. HUD pays the difference be-
tween the rent the family can afford and the rental rate established for the unit.
Other changes include low interest rates to limited-profit borrowers who will build
rental housing for low-income families and up to 100 percent financing to nonprofit


Subject Of New USDA Handbook. On Western ranges, cow ponies are still used for work;
horseracing has become one of America's leading spectator sports; more people are riding
for pleasure than ever before; projects in 4-H Horse Clubs outnumber projects in 4-H
Beef Clubs. It all points out the fact that light horses and ponies continue to in-
crease in numbers and importance. Recognizing the interest in this horsing around,
USDA has recently published a handbook on breeding and raising light horses and ponies.
The new publication lists 26 common light horse and pony breeds and describes the char-
acteristics of each. The handbook gives information useful to both amateur and profes-
sional horsemen, such as selecting horses, determining age, care and feeding, necessary
equipment, and diseases. Tables on recommended allowances for minerals and vitamins
for the animals and a guide to feeding should help the experienced breeder improve his
feeding program. In addition to photographs of each of the breeds listed, illustrations
show floor plans for a horse barn, proper foot trimming, types of bits and other tack,
and even a sample breeding contract for stallion owners. Dr. M.E. Ensminger, world
authority on horses, collaborated with USDA's Agricultural Research Service in preparing
the handbook. Copies of the handbook, "Breeding and Raising Horses," (AH-394> are avail-
able for $1.00 each from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Of-
fice, Washington, D.C. 20402.


Send The Label. Be sure to send along the address label from SERVICE if you are moving,
changing your name, or otherwise altering your mailing address. Having the label en-
ables us to make the proper changes more quickly and accurately.

SERVICE is a monthly newsletter of consumer interest. It is designed for those who
report to the individual consumer rather than for mass distribution, For information
about items in this issue, write: Lillie Vincent, Editor of Service, Office of
Information, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Telephone (202)

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