Happy Birthday USDA



English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That was a headache.  I  updated the little blurb that gives my identity at the side of my blog and it took forever. I first published this blurb when I signed up to write my blog a few years back. 

Having finished my history degree in the intervening years and aged a bit, I decided to update.  Goodness knows what else I changed.  

A week or so ago, I listed a couple of goals for my upcoming summer (and probably the rest of my life) including joining Weight Watchers which I have done online.  Now that site is about as complicated as the WordPress site, but slowly I am teaching myself how to navigate it and enter my daily food intake plus any activity I might undertake in addition to blogging (which gets me no points).

I notice a few of the bloggers I read daily also belong to WW and I have looked for you online, but your privacy settings deter any communication.  Probably just as well as I would find yet another way to spend more time on the computer and less time doing any physical activity.  

As part of my new WW regimen, I went to the grocery store yesterday.  Our new grocery store carries a diversity of produce and I am learning how to eat veggies again. WW charges me 0 points for fruits and veggies (and turkey too in some forms).  So, yesterday noon, David and I had chef salads and last night I fixed a big mess of mustard greens.  We really prefer collard greens, but David says it killed his arm to chop the mustard greens and collards are worse.  Yes, he helped me.  Both of my sons can cook and David is learning how to prepare a few simple things.  

Our new local grocery carries produce with the origin marked. Thus, we can find organic, locally grown (farm identified) produce and produce grown in the NAFTA countries (Canada and Mexico), as well as the rest of our hemisphere free trade zone.  Although we can buy produce year round from where ever it grows, I try to avoid buying oranges from Africa or other exotic places owing to the energy used to transport it.  I have been reading about locovores via Tom Sightings http://sightingsat60.blogspot.com/ (post he wrote last week) and learned there is a term for people who try to shop for and eat local produce….locovore.  Now, I can feel virtuous on several counts, including supporting local farmers and losing weight.  


Speaking of farmers, last semester, I learned in my class on the Gilded Age that the USDA (Department of Agriculture) was established in 1862 by Lincoln and the Republican Congress. USDA is celebrating 150 years of existence today.

This revelation surprised me because I had always thought the USDA was a creäture of the New Deal.  My Dad worked for USDA and, although I have posted his photo before, and I am doing so again today. Dad worked for the Soil Conservation Service, a USDA agency, around the time my sister and I were born in East Texas.  In the photo above you can see he drove a government car as part of his job which included working with the local farmers. Later, Dad worked for the US Forestry Service and we moved to North Carolina.  My Dad was one handsome dude. 

When my oldest son called on Mother’s Day, we got to talking about my Dad. My oldest son is a lot like my Dad in his good looks and personality.  Unlike my Dad who left government service, Richard has 26 years with the Navy as a civilian government worker.  Richard is literally a fourth generation civil servant.  My Maternal Granddad was the first generation. Grandpa worked for TVA, (established under Roosevelt).  

Before TVA, granddad had worked for GE as an electrical engineer trained by the great Charles Proteus Steinmetz a famous mathematician and engineer. (photo below)

Charles Proteus Steinmetz, theoretician of alt...

Charles Proteus Steinmetz, theoretician of alternating current. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Government workers are talented folks. 

Happy Birthday USDA.      



Marconi Wireless Station in Somerset, New Jers...

Marconi Wireless Station in Somerset, New Jersey in 1921. Steinmetz is at centre; he died two years later. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



17 thoughts on “Happy Birthday USDA

  1. Your Dad surely was a handsome guy. I think that auto he was supporting in the photo is a U.S. Forest Service vehicle. You probably know, but perhaps other readers do not, that the Forest Service also is a USDA agency. The top bureaucrats in USDA used to give us numerous reprimands for saying “U.S. Forest Service,” and not “USDA Forest Service.” Nitpickers, they indeed were.


    • Yes he was a handsome fellow and a charmer too. I realized after the fact that I was not clear that the US Forest Service was part of USDA. I think he transferred from Soil Conservation to Forestry while we lived in Texas and then we moved to Asheville NC. Thanks for pointing that out. Both are wonderful and necessary services.


  2. We all try to follow WW guidelines. I too am a member of WW online….non participating. I can feel the spare tire around my middle. Great USDA stuff. Yes, locovore and farmers market’s. 🙂


  3. WW is a wonderful program. I tried the on line version but it didn’t hold my feet to the fire like the meetings do. The neat thing about the program is you learn to navigate the premiters of the grocery store, ignoring those wicked middle aisles. I just lost a dear friend at 99 years of age who had been on WW lifetime for 40 years. She never missed a meeting till her last month. She credited WW as giving her about 39 of those healthy years.


  4. The blogs you like: do they comment on your blog? If so, their email address will appear in your comments section, and you can contact them. You could also try leaving them a comment, asking them to contact you.


  5. Sounds like you have a good selection of all “the right stuff.” Yeah, I’ve been enjoying fresh fruits and veggies for a lot of years, but my husband wasn’t very enthusiastic about joining me with those foods. I have access to three markets within close proximity and several farmers markets that provide these products, so have no excuse for not taking advantage of their offerings. My problem is that everything looks so good, I have to remind myself there’s only one mouth to feed and not to buy too much.

    I’ve been slowly adapting to Blogger’s new layout, which initially seemed confusing. Keep thinking I might switch to WordPress, but just don’t do it.

    Like your injections of historically-based facts into your writings. Also, thanks to public service workers as I’ve often thought the general public may not fully appreciate all they do. We just take them for granted.


    • We have been shopping three places and now the new store will save us trips. WordPress is a good deal. Don’t know how they are related to Blogger, but I think they are.
      Yes, I love Civil Servents at national, state and local levels, although some of them can be pretty dumb.


  6. Lots of handsome dudes in your life. Kudos to you and David for reintroducing fresh fruits and veggies and for joining the locovores! Unfortunately n my case, the new descriptive term would just reveal that I am crazy about eating, crazy as I love to eat.


  7. Good for you and your WW diet. Always remember to embark on a diet you can stick with until you die. Otherwise, when you go off the diet, you will gain back your weight and then some. I speak from experience. Lol. Your son is goodlooking and so are his wife and son. Good genes!


  8. Talk to Christine she has belonged toWW off and on many times and could give you hints etc. she liked it thought it worked well. great photo of Richard and his family. He always was a good looking kid and didn’t lose it.Try some oriental veggies they are very good and can be stir fried quickly and are usually easy to chop. Even here in Tallahassee there are several oriental markets with locally grown veggies.


  9. I’ve been tempted to change the looks, etc. of my blog … now that blogger has taken on a whole new way of doing things but I’m sure I’d louse it up and I’m afraid of losing content. I guess I’m just a simple person !
    Good for you for buying local. I love the farmer’s markets !!


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