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July 2011

FAS Field Office Faces Trade Challenges Head-On

Every day, USDA’s (FAS) field offices work to maintain access for U.S. products in export markets around the world. When trade is disrupted, these offices step up to the plate to address the issue and work with their counterparts in Washington, D.C., the exporters, and the foreign government to ensure trade can resume.

Secretary's Column: Expanding Investments in Rural America

President Obama and I have worked hard to build thriving, sustainable economies communities in rural America.  This is essential to the strength of our nation, but government cannot do it alone in these tough economic times.

Outside funders and partnerships must place a central role both in leveraging federal investments and filling in funding gaps to move projects off the drawing board and give them life.

Faces of the Forest Celebrates Daniel McCarthy

As a disabled Vietnam Veteran, Daniel stated, “my greatest honor was having the opportunity to participate with Missing-in-Action work by returning to Vietnam and Laos assisting in recovery efforts of fellow soldiers.”

For over 15 years, Daniel has worked as a Tribal Relations Program Manager on the in California.  He thinks of himself as an ambassador for the forest representing the federal government working with tribes.

Stakeholders Provide Suggestions on How USDA Can Better Serve Rural America

On Wednesday, USDA convened a stakeholder outreach meeting to discuss Rural Development priorities for President Obama’s 2013 and 2012 Farm Bill.  The meeting was held to provide our agency with valuable input as it develops mission area priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.

Over 50 attendees discussed and shared ideology on how Rural Development can enhance program administration and delivery to ensure that rural communities are able to access the critical programs and resources that Rural Development has to offer.

APHIS Veterinary Medical Officer Protects not Just Chickens, but People Too

Hello, my name is Dr. Chrislyn Wood Nicholson and I’m a Poultry Specialist with USDA's (APHIS) Veterinary Services (VS). I’ve worked for APHIS since 2004 as a veterinarian, but my relationship with this agency began even earlier. As a student, I was a recipient of APHIS’ Saul T. Wilson Jr. scholarship for students interested in veterinary medicine, which helped me get through school.

Why did I become a vet?  I have always loved animals and science when I was growing up and a veterinary career seemed like a good way to combine my interests. I now get to help both animals and people every day.

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Urges Philanthropists to “Step Up and Take Risks”

One of the great things about being Secretary of Agriculture is that I get to see first-hand how truly vast our great nation is.  It’s been my privilege to represent USDA and President Obama from Alaska to Florida and from North Dakota to New Mexico.  Of course, I also spend quite a bit of time in the Midwest.  The scope of rural America is truly awesome, and so are the challenges we face as we work to create jobs and improve the quality of rural life.

Earlier this week, I delivered the keynote address at the Council on Foundations Rural Philanthropy Conference in Kansas City, and I urged those in attendance to work hand-in-hand with us, our counterparts in state and local government, faith based organizations and non-profits to bring substantial, sustainable improvement to rural living conditions in small, rural communities across the country.