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

Posts tagged: Secretary of Agriculture

Good-Bye, Willie

USDA Farm Service Agency employee Willie Cooper retires after more than 56 years.

USDA Farm Service Agency employee Willie Cooper retires after more than 56 years.

Willie F. Cooper recently retired after more than 56 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Three hundred of his Louisiana friends – more if the rain doesn’t freeze — are prepared to honor Willie Feb. 11, in Alexandria, La.

At retirement, people often reflect on their careers.  Willie has a lot on which to reflect.  He started in August 1957 with the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Back then it was called the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.

In a recent conversation, Willie spoke about the thing that amazed him the most during employment with FSA – technology.  Some changes affected everyone, but the technology that stood out the most for Willie Cooper was what affected farming.  “It blows your mind,” he said. Read more »

USDA 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum Presentations Available Online

After 6 p.m. February 24, USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum speaker presentations will be available online.  The Forum, which occurs annually, was a celebration of USDA’s 150th    anniversary, featuring eight former Secretaries of Agriculture discussing the future of agriculture with Secretary Vilsack. Read more »

USDA 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum’s Twenty-Five Breakout Sessions Begin February 23

Following a morning plenary session featuring eight former Secretaries of Agriculture and Secretary Vilsack’s keynote speech, the USDA’s annual Outlook Forum will begin the programs breakout sessions featuring more than 80 speakers.  The sessions will focus on a broad range of topical issues related to agriculture and global food security; foreign trade, financial markets, and economic development; conservation; energy; climate change; food safety; food hubs; extension programs; and next generation farmers. Read more »

NRCS around the World: Learning by Teaching

USDA agricultural advisors and temporary duty agricultural representatives in Afghanistan. From left: Jon Fripp, Bruce Dubee, Feridoon Mehdizadegan, Eileen Thacker, Ginger Murphy, and Iraj Motazedian.

USDA agricultural advisors and temporary duty agricultural representatives in Afghanistan. From left: Jon Fripp, Bruce Dubee, Feridoon Mehdizadegan, Eileen Thacker, Ginger Murphy, and Iraj Motazedian.

Earlier this year, I volunteered to go on a month-long work detail to Afghanistan. I volunteered because the Secretary of Agriculture and the Chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service put out a call for a job I knew I could do, but I had no idea what to expect. Read more »

Every Day is a Holiday at the New Mexico State Fair

It was nice to once again experience the sounds, smells, and activity at the New Mexico State Fair – where “every day is a holiday.”  Accompanied by some of my USDA staff, rode on the 4-H float in the NM State Fair Parade.   Along the three mile parade route down Central Ave, we greeted spectators and heard compliments on 4-H.  As we passed in front of the grand stand and heard the commentator’s description of each entry in English and Spanish, I was reminded of the uniqueness of the multi-cultural emphasis in the “Land of Enchantment.” Read more »

Milk Price Volatility Solutions Discussed During Third DIAC Meeting

Dairy policy experts presented programs to assist the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee find solutions to price and income volatility in the industry. Pictured from l to r: Andrew Novakovic, DIAC chairman; Chuck Nicholson, Ph.D., California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo; Mark Stephenson, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Scott Brown, Ph.D., Food and Agricultural Policy research Institute; Wayne Knoblauch, Ph.D., Cornell University.

Dairy policy experts presented programs to assist the Dairy Industry Advisory Committee find solutions to price and income volatility in the industry. Pictured from l to r: Andrew Novakovic, DIAC chairman; Chuck Nicholson, Ph.D., California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo; Mark Stephenson, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; Scott Brown, Ph.D., Food and Agricultural Policy research Institute; Wayne Knoblauch, Ph.D., Cornell University.

Unless policies are changed, the volatility and price fluctuations seen by the dairy industry within the past two years will become more severe, according to a panel of dairy policy experts who presented their research findings yesterday during the USDA Dairy Industry Advisory Committee meeting. Read more »