I would like to congratulate all who work at USDA for the incredible improvement in our ranking in the . In 2016, for the first time, we have moved into the Top 10 Best Places to Work among large Federal agencies. When I became Secretary of Agriculture in 2009, one of my first priorities was beginning a cultural transformation of our Department, redoubling our efforts on diversity and inclusion and retooling USDA to be a modern, 21st century employer and premier service provider that better reflects all of the communities we serve. Participating in this transformation has been one of my most meaningful experiences as Secretary, and I am immensely proud that it has become part of the fabric of our Department.
Over the past eight years, USDA has worked to become a model employer by making it a priority to improve in areas such as communication, teamwork, diversity and inclusion, work-life balance, and employee training and development. Today, as a result of these efforts, I am proud to announce that the , a nonprofit organization, has recognized USDA for the strides we have made across our Department to improve the quality of our workplace.