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Farming Dreams and Independence Day

Young members of the Chedepo-Grebo tribe celebrate their cultural heritage by re-creating traditional decoration and attire during a recent cultural celebration in Guinda.  The tribe is utilizing an FSA Operating Loan to expand its specialty fruit and vegetable growing business focusing on the ethnic market in Northern California.

Young members of the Chedepo-Grebo tribe celebrate their cultural heritage by re-creating traditional decoration and attire during a recent cultural celebration in Guinda. The tribe is utilizing an FSA Operating Loan to expand its specialty fruit and vegetable growing business focusing on the ethnic market in Northern California.

As we reflect on this important month that celebrates our nation’s 235th anniversary, I thought I’d share a story about how Farm Service Agency (FSA) in California is helping people achieve and celebrate their own version of the American Dream.  This morning, I visited with a Liberian immigrant farming 50 acres of fruits and vegetables in the Capay Valley.  He has worked with Marianne Morton, county executive director in Yolo, Belle Davis, farm loan manager in San Joaquin, and other USDA staff on various farm loan programs and conservation program issues. Today, he uses an operating loan to further support his farming operations.  As he enthusiastically described his dream of building a small poultry facility near his walnut orchard, I was reminded of the role we at FSA play in helping people dream big things and ultimately achieve them.

The dream lives for this man and his family. As we celebrated our nation’s independence with fireworks and parades, they celebrated both their African heritage and their successes here in California with three days of dancing, drumming and food.  Only in America!

On behalf of this man, and all of the farmers and ranchers served by our programs, I want to thank you for the significant role you play in helping people reach their dreams every day.  Your contributions to agriculture and the work of our agency — under circumstances that are both challenging and ever-changing — are considerable.  I look forward to celebrating the American Dreams of other farmers and ranchers around our great nation.

Rev. Roosevelt Tarlesson moved from Liberia to establish a farm community and non-profit foundation in Capay Valley, California. Shown here (right to left) are Rev. Tarlesson, FSA State Executive Director Val Dolcini and the Reverend’s son Taihpan

Rev. Roosevelt Tarlesson moved from Liberia to establish a farm community and non-profit foundation in Capay Valley, California. Shown here (right to left) are Rev. Tarlesson, FSA State Executive Director Val Dolcini and the Reverend’s son Taihpan

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