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Deputy Agriculture Under Secretary Outlines Job Creation Programs During a Meeting with Faith-Based Organizations

I had the privilege recently of spending time with people who are committed to improving their neighborhoods and communities.  On September 22nd, the White House hosted a symposium on promoting economic recovery and job creation through Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP).   Faith and community leaders from across the nation joined together to learn what the Federal Government is doing to support economic development by working in partnership with faith based and community organizations.

The symposium began with remarks by Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of FBNP, and SBA Deputy Administrator Marie Johns.  Participants received an overview of how government agencies are working with faith-based and community organizations to support economic development and create jobs. Read more »

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 »