Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

USDA Rural Development Hosts Jobs and Economy Roundtable in Livingston, Montana

On December 18, USDA Rural Development hosted a Jobs and Economy Roundtable discussion in Livingston, Montana in Park County.  About 7,000 people live in Livingston, which has an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.  The local economy was once dominated by the railroad and agriculture, but in recent years, because Yellowstone National Park is less than an hour away, tourism has become a growing business segment. Read more »

Arizona Jobs Roundtable, December 21, 2009 – Somerton, Arizona

Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”

It was within that frame of mind that the Obama Administration brought its ‘Jobs Roundtable’ series to Somerton, Arizona.  The goal of the roundtable was to reach out to local leaders for their thoughts and ideas on how to create jobs, move the economy forward, and create rural wealth.

The roundtable, hosted by USDA Rural Development and Farm Service Agency, was comprised of a diverse group of community and employment advocates and leaders all looking to provide solution on how the Administration could stimulate job creation in their region.

Job forum roundtable Somerton, ArizonaIt wasn’t long before the 35 participants had a constructive dialogue going on how our Federal agencies could best promote job growth in rural Yuma County, the state’s hardest hit region of job loss. Paul Newman, Arizona Corporation Commissioner, spoke of the potential for green technologies. It turns out that the Yuma area has the largest area in the world of contiguous solar potential. State Senator Amanda Aguirre and State Representative Lynne Pancrazi emphasized the drastic cuts the State has taken in trying to mitigate a projected $2 billion deficient, noting that federal assistance in job creation is very important.

The discussion ranged from tapping into the green energy potential, taking a more regional approach to projects and jobs creation, and making changes to the Workforce Investment Act to add more flexibility and system building.

Among the other participants were bankers, city and county officials, representatives of the local community college and school districts, hospitals, food banks, and housing groups.

Somerton in heeding the advice of Oscar Wilde passed on some great advice and without a doubt, it will be of use to their community and to the nation.

USDA Communications Coordinator, Aaron Lavallee

Udderly Necessary Help For Dairy Producers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was pleased to deliver a little holiday cheer to our nation’s dairy producers when he announced the implementation of the new Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program. The 2010 Agricultural Appropriations Bill authorized $290 million for loss assistance payments to eligible dairy producers. Read more »

Michigan Jobs Forum – Roundtable on Job Creation and Economic Growth

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan James J. Turner and Farm Service Agency Director Christine White held a roundtable on job creation and economic growth on Thursday, December 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lansing Community College’s West Campus. Read more »

Silver City, New Mexico USDA Jobs Forum Attracts a Crowd

USDA Rural Development-New Mexico, along with the Farm Service Agency held a Jobs Forum yesterday in Silver City — a community nestled in the Gila Wilderness of Southwestern New Mexico.  Silver City is working hard to address its local economic situation.  The recent drop in copper prices caused local mines to lay off more than 600 employees in a community of 10,000.  Those layoffs and other economic factors caused the County’s unemployment rate to rise by 10 percent in three years. Read more »

The Urgent Need to Protect Tropical Forests and our Climate

I want to thank Avoided Deforestation Partners for holding this event and inviting me to join all of the distinguished speakers here today in urging the adoption of REDD plus as part of a global climate framework. Read more »