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Windham County, Vermont Tropical Storm Irene Farm Recovery Tour with Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan

Last week, we welcomed Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan to Vermont as she toured farms to see recovery efforts after Tropical Storm Irene.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan speaking with farmers at the Robb Family Farm near Brattleboro, VT.

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan speaking with farmers at the Robb Family Farm near Brattleboro, VT.

Our first stop was the Wheeler Farm, a 100 acre 50-cow grass based farm just north of Wilmington, one of the hardest hit communities in the state.  Visible water marks were higher than the historic flood of 1927 and hurricane of 1938.  The group welcomed Deputy Secretary Merrigan on the porch of the historic farmhouse, which had just escaped the flood waters by a few inches.  As we pulled onto the farm’s access road, a large grader and dump truck continued work to repair washed away segments. Read more »

White House Rural Council Feedback Report

Cross posted from the White House Blog

Since the establishment of the White House Rural Council in June, President Barack Obama, a number of senior Administration officials and I met with folks throughout the country to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing rural America. By hosting the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, as part of the President’s three-day Bus Tour in August, in addition to nearly 200 roundtable discussions with business and agricultural leaders in rural communities, we learned what rural Americans think are the most important issues to ensure that their future is bright and prosperous. Read more »

American Jobs Act – West Coast Roundup

This past week, I traveled to the West Coast to connect with local leaders about President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act, which will put Americans to work and get our economy back on track – all without adding a dime to the deficit.  It was a rewarding experience meeting the great people of California, Oregon and Washington, and it was apparent that they are ready to see the economy flourish again and believe this Act will get us there. Read more »

Honoring the Nation’s Hispanic Farmers

The whole nation is celebrating the Hispanic Heritage Month, honoring numerous achievements and contributions made by the Hispanic-Americans in many industries, including agriculture. Read more »

Faces of the Forest: Meet Joel Holtrop

Thirty-five years ago, Joel Holtrop embarked on his lifelong dream of serving the U.S. Forest Service, eventually working in a variety of jobs across the United States. Soon, the Deputy Chief of the Forest Service will embark on a new chapter of his life after retiring from the agency in early October.

“It’s not sufficient if I’ve helped accomplish sustaining forests during the length of my career,” Holtrop said. “I’ve only done my job if I’ve set the stage for the generations beyond my career.” Read more »

For CSU Scientist, Nutrition + Activity = Presidential Accolade

All Colorado State University (CSU) researcher Laura Bellows wanted to do was make a difference in people’s lives.  She ended up being recognized as one of the most promising young scientists in the country.

On Sept. 26, President Obama selected Bellows to receive the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in honor of her research into childhood obesity prevention.  PECASE annually recognizes scientists and engineers whose work enters the frontiers of science and technology. Read more »