This week, Congress will begin to take a look at important jobs legislation: new trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama and trade adjustment assistance to help train workers for the 21st century economy. These agreements will help create jobs and provide new income opportunities for our nation’s agricultural producers, small businesses, and rural communities.
Today, farm exports help support more than 1 million American jobs. Passage of these three agreements will infuse the American economy with an additional $2.3 billion in farm exports, supporting 20,000 American jobs. In fact, our nation’s economic output is estimated to grow more under the Korea agreement alone than from our last nine trade agreements combined. Read more »
The USDA awarded 55 grants to encourage the production and consumption of specialty crops. These grants will help new markets for American specialty crop producers and solidify local and regional markets.
When I go to the grocery store or visit my local farmers market, on the top of my shopping list are healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, and nuts. I know that these items, part of a larger agricultural group classified as specialty crops, are a critical component of maintaining a healthy diet and that it is important for me to include them in my family’s meals. Making sure that all Americans have access to healthy foods like specialty crops is a priority for me and for the USDA. Read more »
When I visited Washington, I met the Secretary of Agriculture who comes from the great farming state of Iowa and he knew that we were going to begin this project. In fact, the idea for this project was inspired by the First Lady’s work with Washington, D.C. students who’ve always lived in the city and have never had a chance to grow vegetables or tend to a garden. As I have the rare privilege of having some land in the center of a very crowded city, I thought some of Seoul’s city students might enjoy a similar experience. Read more »