On April 24, USDA confirmed the nation’s 4th case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in an animal that was sampled for the disease at a rendering facility in central California. This animal was never presented for slaughter for human consumption, so at no time presented a risk to the food and milk supply, or to human health in the United States.
We have a longstanding system of interlocking safeguards against BSE that protects public and animal health in the United States. The most important is the removal of specified risk materials – or the parts of an animal that would contain BSE should an animal have the disease – from all animals presented for slaughter in the United States. USDA inspectors at slaughter facilities also prevent cattle that are nonambulatory or are displaying signs of neurological disease or central nervous system disorders from entering the human food supply. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (center white shirt) listens to President Barack Obama speaking at the Northeast Iowa Community College for a White House Rural Economic Forum on August 16, 2011. Agriculture Secretary and chair of the White House Rural Council, Tom Vilsack, notes that the President’s visit will focus on agriculture’s contribution to the national economy, and how to create more jobs in rural America. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Earlier this week, President Obama along with Secretary Vilsack and members of the White House Rural Council hosted the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa where the President announced new jobs initiatives focused on increasing access to capital, job training and health care services. The forum, part of President Obama’s three-day economic bus tour, brought together farmers, small business owners, private sector leaders, rural stakeholders and government officials to discuss ways to improve economic growth and create jobs in rural communities nationwide. The White House Rural Council, of which Secretary Vilsack is the chair, was created on June 9, 2011 by an executive order and is focused on finding ways to increase economic growth and infrastructure in rural communities. Read more »
Thunder attending a course at the National Detector Dog Training Center.
My name is Thunder. Not too many months ago, I was homeless and waiting for someone to take me home from the Houston Beagle Rescue in Houston, Texas. Then, a nice lady from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Detector Dog Training Center (NDDTC) in Newnan, Georgia came to visit. From that day on, my life changed. Read more »
This afternoonSecretary Vilsack attended the White House Rural Forum at the Wisconsin State Fair, in West Allis. There, he had the opportunity to speak with business and community leaders, farmers and ranchers to discuss ways federal, state and local officials can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs in rural America.
The forum was part of a series of roundtables that are being held across the country this summer with senior Administration officials as part of the White House Rural Council of which Secretary Vilsack is the chair. Read more »
Yesterday, Secretary Vilsack and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley hosted Maryland’s fourth annual “Buy Local” cook out. The event kicked off Maryland’s “Buy Local Challenge Week” which encourages Marylanders to incorporate at least one locally-grown, produced or harvested product into their meals each day.
Governor O’Malley designated June 23-31 is “Buy Local Challenge Week” in an effort to raise awareness about the benefits of local farms and food so that the use of fresh, local products among consumers becomes more familiar and more frequent. The cookout featured recipes from 17 teams of local producers and chefs from across the State showcasing the diversity of local products available in Maryland.
For a better look at yesterday’s event in Annapolis, Maryland, check out the video below:
One of the most satisfying aspects of my job has been to hear the various ways USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grantprogram is making a positive difference in our rural economy. I’m pleased to announce new funding efforts by the Obama Administration to create jobs and foster new business opportunities in rural America.
Rural Americans take pride in and depend on the farmers, ranchers, and locally-owned businesses that provide fresh foods for their communities. Despite the important role of these rural businesses and cooperatives, it can be difficult for them to begin marketing or distributing their products without financial support. Read more »