From record droughts in Kansas to deadly wildfires in California, the United States is feeling the effects of climate change. These same conditions have a dire impact across the developing world, especially for poor, rural smallholder farmers whose very lives are threatened every time the rains arrive late, the floods rush in, or the temperature soars.
By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach nine billion people. Feeding them will require at least a 60 percent increase in agricultural production. There is no greater challenge to meeting this need than climate change. It poses a range of unprecedented threats to the livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people and to the very planet that sustains us. In order to ensure that hundreds of millions of people are not born into a debilitating cycle of under-nutrition and hunger, we must address the urgent threat that climate change poses. Read more »
“Food isn’t traditionally thought of as a diplomatic tool, but sharing a meal can help people transcend boundaries and build bridges in a way that nothing else can.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Some of the nation’s top chefs have signed on to help promote American food and culinary traditions around the world through the new American Chef Corps. The corps is part of the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative, launched earlier this month by the Department of State and the James Beard Foundation. USDA is delighted to support this initiative, which is an excellent complement to our ongoing work highlighting the quality, variety, safety and sustainability of U.S. food products to our customers around the world. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (left) and Ambassador Zhang Yesui, People’s Republic of China sign a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a National China Garden at the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., Monday, January 24, 2011.
Today, I joined China’s Ambassador to the United States Zhang Yesui to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to construct a classical Chinese garden at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. This garden will illustrate the commitment our two countries have to horticulture, science and the arts and will serve as a testament to our countries’ celebrated cultural histories, delighting visitors for generations to come. I was pleased to join Ambassador Zhang and Madame Jiang Zehui to help turn this symbol of bilateral friendship into a reality. Madame Jiang Zehui is the executive director for the Chinese side for the China Garden. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack speaks for the children and staff of Stara Rescue Center School outside Kibera.
Chris Mather, USDA Director of Communications, traveled with Secretary Vilsack to Kenya for the AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) Summit. Today she shares her thoughts on segments of the trip when they traveled beyond the city limits of Nairobi for educational events.
Last week, Secretary Vilsack traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, as a participant in the 2009 African Growth and Opportunity Act Summit. Amid bilateral talks and attending the opening meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United States Trade Ambassador Ron Kirk, the Secretary had an opportunity to travel to the countryside to learn more about the agriculture industry in Kenya and see firsthand some of the efforts USDA has been supporting. Read more »