USDA Rural Development, Homestead Act and Earth as Art
Dakota Midday - 06/25/2012
Elsie Meeks, State USDA Rural Development Director of South Dakota talks about the projects that are supporting small businesses and creating job opportunities. The more than $3.2 million in grants is administered through USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program. This program provides grants for rural projects that finance the development of small and emerging rural businesses, help fund distance learning networks and help fund employment-related adult education programs.
Blake Bell, historian with the Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, Nebraska, talks about the 150-year anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862. The Homestead Act of 1862 has been called one of the most important pieces of legislation in the history of the United States. Signed into law in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens. 270 million acres, or 10% of the area of the United States was claimed and settled under this act. A homesteader had only to be the head of a household or at least 21 years of age to claim a 160 acre parcel of land. Each homesteader had to live on the land, build a home, make improvements and farm for 5 years before they were eligible to "prove up." A total filing fee of $18 was the only money required, but sacrifice and hard work exacted a different price from the hopeful settlers.
Frank Kelly, Director of the EROS Data Center, and Tom Holm, Chief Project Management Officer at EROS, talk about the 40th anniversary of Landsat. During a span of 40 years, since 1972, the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites has become a vital reference worldwide for understanding scientific issues related to changes on the Earth's surface. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Landsat, the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA have invited people to select the top five "Earth as Art" images from the more than 120 images in the collection. The poll is open through July 6.
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