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December 23, 2016

What were restaurants serving for the holidays 100 years ago? Menus catalogued by the New York Public Library from Christmas dinners served in the early part of the 20th century offer an interesting look at our ancestors’ dining habits. The menus come from a survey of restaurants, hotels, and even an Army fort’s Christmas dinner service.

Temperate grassland ecosystems are the least protected biomes on the planet. Worldwide, these important habitats are being lost at an alarming rate due to a number of factors that include the production of food and fuel for a growing human population. Their decline is having a significant impact on species such as grassland birds, and the ecosystem services these grasslands provide—ranging from carbon sequestration to water infiltration—are also being highly affected. As reported in Plowprint, since 2009, 53 million acres of grassland—an area the size of Kansas—have been converted to cropland across the Great Plains.

Mississippi is the nation’s poorest state, and Maryland is the richest, according to the US Census Bureau. In addition to Mississippi, the three poorest states include West Virginia and Arkansas. Relatively low levels of education could be a factor in the poverty and lower incomes in all three states. Maryland, New Jersey and Alaska rank as the country’s richest states. The median income in Mississippi was $39,680 compared to $73,971 in Maryland. Overall, the United States added 3.2 million new jobs in 2014, up from the 2.3 million jobs that were added in 2013. At the end of 2014, there were 139 million jobs in the U.S., more than at the start of 2008, the peak before the recession. But not all U.S. states are sharing in this prosperity; the poverty rate increased in 12 states. The nation’s overall poverty rate was 14.8 percent, which means 46.7 million people were living in poverty in 2014.


January 17, 2017 Local Government Education Webinar, 2016 Legislative Update
March 8-9, 20-17 Rural Economic Development Conference, Springfield, IL
June 11-14, 2017 Community Development Society Conference, Big Sky, MT
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