Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Labor Day 2017: Sept. 4 PROFILE AMERICA FACTS FOR FEATURES

The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. The parade inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another. Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.” This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of workers in America.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sonny Perdue has proclaimed Aug. 6-13 to be National Farmers Market Week

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2017 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has proclaimed Aug. 6-13 to be National Farmers Market Week. This is the eighteenth year USDA has supported local producers by encouraging families to meet, and buy from, the farmers and other vendors at their local farmers market. The proclamation Perdue signed notes farmers markets and other agricultural direct marketing outlets contribute approximately $9 billion each year to the U.S. economy and “serve as significant outlets by which small-to-medium, new and beginning, and veteran agricultural producers market agricultural products, generating revenue that supports the sustainability of family farms and the revitalization of rural communities nationwide.” Throughout the week, thousands of U.S. farmers markets will highlight the range of produce, fruit, meat, dairy and specialty products available from their local and regional farmers. USDA’s National Farmers Market Directory makes it easy to locate farmers markets in towns and neighborhoods across the country. Buying directly from farmers and ag-entrepreneurs has an outsized impact by helping diversify farm incomes and supporting other businesses by keeping more money in the local economy. In addition to being good for the farmers and convenient for consumers, farmers markets are a gathering place that help build a sense of community. On Friday, Aug. 11, USDA’s flagship Farmers Market in Washington is hosting several special events on the National Mall at 12th Street and Jefferson from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. and adding a special Night Market from 4 p.m.–8 p.m. Special guests include the Farmers Market Coalition, the official chef of the Washington Capitals Robert Wood, and the U.S. Army Band.

Friday, July 28, 2017

American Heart Association statement on Cook County's sweetened drink tax

“The American Heart Association applauds today’s ruling that will allow Cook County’s sweetened drink tax to finally take effect. The beverage industry’s support of a last-minute implementation delay led to layoffs of hundreds of critical public servants and significant budget uncertainty for Cook County’s leaders. We are pleased that Cook County’s more than five million residents are poised to now reap the tax’s many positive health and economic benefits. The evidence could not be clearer: sugary drink taxes work. From Philadelphia to Berkeley to Mexico, these taxes have produced a litany of positive outcomes—lower consumption of sugary drinks, higher consumption of water, additional revenue for a wide variety of health and education initiatives—without hurting local businesses or customer sales. The revenue generated by Cook County’s tax will fund critical public health and safety priorities, and the health impact will be substantial. Harvard University researchers project that Cook County’s tax will reduce diabetes rates by seven percent, result in $25.80 in health care cost savings for every $1 invested, and prevent 37,000 cases of obesity over a ten-year period. Sugary drinks are the top source of added sugars for millions of people, increasing the risk for serious chronic diseases and higher health care costs. With each sugary drink tax that takes effect, communities across America are helping their residents lead healthy lives and reach their full potential. We urge more communities to follow Cook County’s example.”