USDA’s food assistance and development programs serve a dual purpose: to meet the immediate needs of hungry people, and to show their countries how to rejuvenate their agricultural sectors and increase their capacity to trade. We accomplish these goals in cooperation with other U.S. government agencies and with private-sector partners ranging from non-governmental organizations to research institutions to agribusinesses. And we are always looking for ways to be more effective.
So this week, at the International Food Aid and Development Conference (IFADC) in Kansas City, we got back to basics, discussing steps we are taking to operate our international aid programs more efficiently to ensure that program dollars go directly to eliminating hunger and poverty. We focused on how USDA can strengthen our partnerships with academia and international relief and development groups, as well as with local and international companies. After all, these organizations have the know-how and expertise that allows USDA to leverage limited funding to make a broad and enduring impact. Read more »
Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of traveling to Kansas City to address our nation’s farm broadcasters at the 68th Annual National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) meeting to answer questions about key issues affecting our agricultural community. Since I usually only talk to the broadcasters over the phone, I enjoy coming to NAFB each year to meet with them face-to-face. This year was particularly special because I was able to share good news regarding the state of our agricultural economy, farm exports as well as information about recent USDA streamlining initiatives that will allow us better assist our nation’s producers.
I was proud to announce that we set a record of $137.4 billion in agricultural exports this past fiscal year—exceeding past highs by over $22.5 billion—to support more than 115 million American jobs. We were able to set a trade surplus record of $42 billion, which is a testimony to the hard work of our nation’s producers as the backbone of the American economy. Read more »
Kansas Rural Development State Director Patty Clark addresses stakeholders at a meeting to foster and support the Northeast Kansas/Kansas City Regional Food Initiative.
The Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City recently hosted an “Agricultural Sustainability Forum” at the legendary American Royal facilities in the historic Kansas City Stockyards district. Among the featured speakers was USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. Read more »
The Waters family farm in Orrick, Mo. had a few unusual guests last week when dozens of African ministers came to learn about their corn, soybean and wheat farm. To embrace the 9th African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum’s theme, “New Strategies for a Changing World,” the organizers made some innovative changes, splitting the forum between Washington DC and Kansas City, Mo. Why Kansas City? Read more »
On Thursday Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager participated in Trade Talk during the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) convention in Kansas City. Read more »