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USDA Rural Development Under Secretary Dallas Tonsager Discusses New Rural Economy at Shenandoah Valley Virginia Agriculture Conference

From Left to Right is:  Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, Congressman Robert "Bob" Goodlatte of the 6th Congressional District, Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and Dave White, Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

From Left to Right is: Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture, Congressman Robert "Bob" Goodlatte of the 6th Congressional District, Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and Dave White, Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District hosted an Agriculture Conference at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton on Tuesday August 24th. The Conference covered many regional and local agricultural issues and concerns to Virginia farmers and those interested in farm policy.

Dallas Tonsager, Under Secretary for Rural Development, provided the large crowd in attendance with a five pillar framework approach for a new rural economy. These key pillars include developing new markets, broadband to rural America, renewable energy production in the rural region, capitalization of natural resources and recreation opportunities and finally, promotion of ecosystem markets for wetland and habitat enhancements.

Other issues covered during the morning conference were the health and vitality of the Chesapeake Bay, livestock and poultry health, conservation and farm lending and trade. Other featured speakers included Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and David White, Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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