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You’re Invited! Join Us for Virtual Office Hours on Rural Economic Issues and #AskUSDA

Rural communities are the backbone of our nation’s economy. This past year, food and agriculture exports from rural America reached their highest levels ever and the industry supported more than 1.15 million American jobs. America’s agricultural trade surplus also reached record levels. This is partly the result of a comprehensive rural strategy implemented to spur innovation, increase export levels, invest in clean energy, and expand opportunities for rural enterprises on and off the farm that create jobs. In the last few years, USDA Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program and our Business and Industry Guarantee program has created jobs and has helped millions of rural Americans address essential challenges in health care, education, public service and public safety.  And now we want to hear YOUR voice.

On the heels of the 1 year anniversary of the White House Rural Council, and to celebrate National Homeownership Month, I will host the 3rd installment of Virtual Office Hours. The topic will be economic development in our nation’s rural communities, including the great strides that have been made in agricultural economy and the important role housing plays in creating jobs, maintaining viable rural communities, and contributing to the economy.

Have questions on how USDA programs are helping to push the rural economy forward or how USDA programs can help you?  Share them with me and with USDA by using the hashtag #AskUSDA and tune in at 1:30p.m. ET on June 19th following the hashtag to participate in our live virtual conversation.

8 Responses to “You’re Invited! Join Us for Virtual Office Hours on Rural Economic Issues and #AskUSDA”

  1. joan says:

    We had our application on file for the Direct Home Mtge. Loan. We were never informed that there were no funds available.We had to find out on our own.We then opted for The Guaranteed Loan. We are quite displeased on how these agencies are disconcerned with home purchase issues.Further ref. The Guaranteed Loan, banks don’t wish to offer their expertise, while catering more to investors.Thank you.

  2. Tom says:

    If a horse slaughter plant is built, where are the inspectors going to come from? Are you going to pull inspectors from inspecting food we eat or train new ones? The reason I am asking is because I don’t believe there are enough inspectors now to protect the foods we eat here in America. If you pull inspectors from our current food inspection, are we going to have to worry about our food not being safe to eat?

  3. KWebers says:

    What steps are being taken to address the slaughter of American horses, in regard to their non-compliance with food animal practices and regulations? The American public is aware of this via:
    http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/medications.php
    http://www.americanhorsemeat.com/horsemeat.html
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691510001225
    http://www.hoofpac.com/press/bsehoofandmouth.asp

  4. kathy says:

    I too have concerns with our country allowing meat to be sold to consumers that is sourced from animals (horses)of unknown origin, animals not bred for consumption from a dedicated source pose a potential hazard to the food chain, *if* equine slaughter plants do in fact reopen what additional tests will be performed and will the test rates be 100% of carcasses sampled for drug residues, in light of the fact these horses will be from unknown origin with little or no drug history records.

  5. Cora Kelly says:

    Too little is known about the residues of drugs in the equine system. Bute is being studied but other drugs especially wormer have not had much research done. Also the environment is a huge concern. I lived near the glue and bone meal plant. It was a nightmare experience to deliver the dead farm animals there.

  6. Meredith Taylor says:

    Horse meat is NOT an accepted food item in the US. It is not necessary to buthcher horses to fill a void as there are planty of accepted meats already available on the market. Most people polled will say they do not want to eat horse meat. Horse meat is not clean, and it contains numerous agents/medications/residue that are not intended for human consumption. I wont eat contaminated meat and if horses were ever bred specifically for human consumption as Unified Equine has alluded to, I will boycott it and encourage my family and friends to do the same. We dont want, dont need horse meat added to our diets. It is repulsive. It would be like eating a dog or a cat. FDA classifies horses as companion animals, not as dinner. Why waste money on USDA inspections when there is no substantial market for horse meat in the US? I do not think many would want their tax dollars spent on USDA so that just a very, very few could eat horses. It is not how I want my money spent.

  7. Jan says:

    I’m concerned about tax payer money being used to fund USDA inspections at horse slaughter plants. We don’t eat horses in the USA so the meat would be primarily shipped to foreign countries. Because the foreign countries require documentation of all medications, wormers etc. in the food horses will we be required to have the same sort of system in the future? Horse owners in the USA worm their own horses, vaccinate, give Bute and other pain killers. The costs of owning horses would be increased more than it already is. Are there plans at this time for some sort of documented paperwork to be sure that no tainted meat gets into the food system?

  8. nancy mcmillan says:

    On a food safety web site I read that our tax dollars were being cut from programs that inspect foods that are eaten in the US while other funds were being directed towards inspection of slaughtered horses which will be shipped abroad. One of the programs caught ecoli in spinach before it hit the consumer market. Can you explain this redirection of funds is a wise use of my tax dollars? An animal that is not raised without protocols and rules does not belong in the human food chain. A chemically contaminated food whether it is from Bute, Furazone or many other items that are not supposed to be given to food animals cannot be eliminated by any cooking or handling process. The thought of using humans as guinea pigs to discover if a food product is safe or not horrifies me- especially as a commercial food service operator. I see the number of recalls that actually make it to the consumers home/operations before they are discovered. It has made me eat out less and source foods where there is transparency. Why are we redirecting funds to inspect a food that Americans do not eat while ending programs designed to protect the issues we already have?

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