I was honored to accompany Governor Lincoln Chafee at the Rhode Island Agriculture Day held at the Statehouse in Providence. In my remarks to farmers, agriculture organizations, legislators, and government officials, I emphasized the Obama Administration’s commitment to Rural America, and complimented producers for being a model for the nation in direct marketing of agricultural products.
Ten percent of Rhode Island’s agricultural sales move through direct marketing channels such as farmers markets, roadside stands and CSA’s. In addition, Rhode Island has developed a successful Farm-to-School program and a Farm-to-Plate program with local restaurants. Read more »
As part of my recent trip to Arizona, I had the opportunity to meet with Arizona cotton producers, Arizona Department of Agriculture Director Don Butler, and APHIS personnel at the Pink Bollworm Rearing Facility in Phoenix.
I was absolutely impressed with the importance and quality of the work being done, and with the partnership between APHIS, Arizona Department of Agriculture, Arizona Cotton Research and Protection Council, and cotton growers.
The pink bollworm is a serious cotton pest, and APHIS is working cooperatively with producers in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, as well as cotton growing areas in Mexico, to eradicate the pest. Read more »
As part of a flourishing partnership, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) recently hosted students from Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC) in Washington, D.C., for what proved to be an action-packed shadowing day at USDA Headquarters.
From this local high school to the most remote rural areas, AMS is answering Secretary Tom Vilsack’s call to develop a diverse workforce by teaching students about careers in agriculture. Read more »
The importation of Mexican feeder cattle is a tradition, a way of life and important to the border economy in Mexico and the U.S. The Mexican cattle producer is dependent on the U.S. cattle market, while U.S. feeders and packers need the Mexican feeder cattle for their operations.
However, due to the increased border violence in northern Mexico, we were not able to allow USDA personnel to travel into Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo and Pierdas Negras to inspect and dip Mexican cattle destined for export to the U.S. Read more »
Recently I had the honor to participate in the 2011 American Sheep Industry Conference.
It made me feel proud to participate as a representative of USDA, as a public servant; talking, listening and learning from sheep and goat producers as well as other stakeholders in the food, livestock and agricultural sectors. Read more »
USDA officials address leaders from faith-based organizations at consultation on outreach to the Latino community
In early October, USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships was honored to host a dozen Latino faith leaders to our “Tuve Hambre y Me Diste de Comer” (“For I was Hungry and You Fed Me”) consultation on improving Latino outreach. USDA studies show that 1 out of 4 Hispanic households in the US are food insecure and that this number is only growing. The situation is well-known among these leaders whose congregations and organizations are on the front lines of serving those threatened by hunger. Read more »