Cross posted from the White House blog:
Twenty business leaders from Mexico, Missouri, joined me at the Mid America Brick plant recently for the first White House Business Council Roundtable meeting in Missouri. President Obama asked me, along with other senior Administration officials, to facilitate a discussion to seek their input on ways the federal government can improve economic conditions and help them create jobs.
When you think of “bricks and mortar” for cementing economic development, there is no better place than the heartland of America at a brick plant for a setting. Mexico, Missouri, was once known as the brick capital of the world, but its biggest factory shut down in 2002. An energetic entrepreneur, Frank Cordie, CEO of Mid America Brick, is bringing it back to life. Mr. Cordie graciously hosted and assisted with inviting key business leaders from the region. His company is using USDA funding, as well as other financing, to restore this icon of the local business community, which at one time was the main employer in this rural town. A tour of the plant made me believe he is well on the way to success. I have never found a more committed group of leaders to their community. Read more »
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to south Texas to learn first-hand about our Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program.
USDA has successfully eradicated cattle fever in the U.S. Only a permanent quarantine buffer zone remains in south Texas, which spans 500 miles from Del Rio to Brownsville. The ticks and disease remain well-established in Mexico, so the buffer zone is necessary to keep U.S. cattle free of cattle fever by preventing the re-establishment of the ticks. Read more »
On my recent trip to Guatemala, I had the honor and pleasure to spend some quality time with my counterpart from Mexico, Dr. Enrique Sanchez Cruz and the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture, Francisco Mayorga.
We were in Guatemala to attend the MOSCAMED Med Fly Commission meeting and to sign an agreement between Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and the United States to continue the MOSCAMED program. The program is a cooperative effort with a focus on maintaining a barrier for the med fly pest in Central America through the production of sterile flies and the development of natural parasites and organic bait sprays. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) met with Mexican Agricultural Secretary Francisco Mayorga (left) in Merida, Mexico to discuss agriculture and trade. The two agricultural leaders engaged in a very productive dialogue on a wide range of issues important to both the United States and Mexico on Thursday, December 9, 2010.
Last week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with Mexican Agricultural Secretary Francisco Mayorga in Merida, Mexico to discuss agriculture and trade. The two agricultural leaders engaged in a very productive dialogue on a wide range of issues important to both the United States and Mexico. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack makes remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday, December 9, 2010.
Earlier today it was my privilege to address those attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet, and the United States is taking significant action to meet this challenge. Under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. is advancing policies that address climate change by promoting energy efficiency in our homes, cars and businesses, increasing the domestic production of clean energy – including biofuels – and by investing in renewable energy technology. The United States is also vigorously engaged in international climate negotiations while continuing to work with Congress on domestic climate legislation. Read more »
Cross-posted from the US State Department Blog from the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-16) in Cancun, Mexico
Addressing the climate challenge requires advancing policies and partnerships that span a number of initiatives, including protecting the forests. In the United States, forests cover 749 million acres (33 percent of the land). However, the variety of benefits we receive from forests and grasslands are threatened by climate change. For instance, nearly one-fifth of U.S. water supply originates on National Forest land, and U.S. forests offset 12 percent of total greenhouse emissions in the United States. Read more »