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Rhode Island Agriculture Day

I was honored to accompany Governor Lincoln Chafee at the Rhode Island Agriculture Day held at the Statehouse in Providence.  In my remarks to farmers, agriculture organizations, legislators, and government officials, I emphasized the Obama Administration’s commitment to Rural America, and complimented producers for being a model for the nation in direct marketing of agricultural products.

Ten percent of Rhode Island’s agricultural sales move through direct marketing channels such as farmers markets, roadside stands and CSA’s.  In addition, Rhode Island has developed a successful Farm-to-School program and a Farm-to-Plate program with local restaurants.

While in Rhode Island, I toured numerous farms and quickly recognized the farmers’ commitment to family, tradition and their way of life.  There are many partnerships that USDA enjoys with farmers and the Rhode Island Division of Agriculture.

The Specialty Crops Grant Program and Farmers Market Promotion Program have been instrumental in developing markets and supporting the “Get Fresh, Buy Local” initiative.  NRCS and Rural Development Programs have also improved farm management and stimulated growth.

I want to leave you with a bumper sticker that I picked up while in Rhode Island – “No Farmers – No Food.”

Under Secretary Edward Avalos with Kenneth Ayars, Chief of the Rhode Island Division of Agriculture, DEM at the recent Rhode Island Agriculture Day event.

Under Secretary Edward Avalos with Kenneth Ayars, Chief of the Rhode Island Division of Agriculture, DEM at the recent Rhode Island Agriculture Day event.

One Response to “Rhode Island Agriculture Day”

  1. Adrienne Hull says:

    Wonderful bumper sticker and a terrific reminder to teach our children young the importance of our food and where it comes from. If they learn young to appreciate good food by helping to prepare a garden and reap the rewards in the nourishment, giving some to food banks or local schools they will be strong leaders for the future.

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