Here at USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), we believe it is important to have a great work-life balance. All of our employees do a tremendous job supporting the agriculture industry and everyone it touches. However, it is just as important that everyone enjoys their time outside of the office. As their administrator, it is fascinating to hear some of the great things our employees do in their spare time. One of those examples I would like to share with you is the extracurricular work of our own Dairy Programs employee, Daniel Manzoni.
In his day job as a Dairy Products Marketing Specialist, Daniel is responsible for helping put together monthly regional dairy market news reports, passing along valuable information to farmers, ranchers, processors, and producers. Outside of the office, Daniel organizes Festival Argentino, an event that celebrates his native country’s customs. For 25 years, Daniel has put on this cultural event that showcases Argentine food, dancing, and much more. Each year, the festival brings world-renowned tango dancers, musicians, and other popular icons to the Washington, D.C., area. This past May, nearly 400 people attended the festival at the Thomas Jefferson Center in Arlington, Va.
Daniel logs countless hours preparing for the next Festival Argentino. The event is put on with the help of the Arlington County government and a host of sponsors including Telemundo and Univision. He has a true passion for sharing his country with people attending the festival.
“I enjoy helping preserve Argentine culture and infusing it in the diverse community that I live in,” says Daniel.
For his efforts to continually bring this cultural event to his local community, dedicating nearly 1,000 hours a year to this cause, Daniel received a Presidential Volunteer Service Award. He also received a Presidential Call to Service Award for volunteering more than 4,000 hours during his lifetime. Because of the success of this year’s celebration, our Dairy Programs has nominated him for a Presidential Golden Award in 2012.
You can learn a little more about Daniel and how he is able to put on this annual celebration by visiting his organization’s website. Please take a moment to join me in congratulating him on his many accomplishments. I highly suggest that you make plans to attend next year’s festival.