Today, USDA Rural Development Deputy Under Secretary Judith Canales joined New Hampshire USDA representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Rural Development, Farm Service Agency, Forest Service and the National Agricultural Statistics Service at the Miles Smith Farm to celebrate the USDA’s accomplishments in New Hampshire and thank hundreds of partners who have contributed to agriculture and forestry in the Granite State. Congressional staff members were also in attendance.
“As we commemorate 150 years of accomplishments, USDA is looking to the future. In the years to come, we continue to work with our partners to address the changing needs of agriculture and rural America,” said Canales. “As we promote innovation we will help create jobs and support economic growth, and promote healthy families and communities, and a stronger nation.”
Canales’ remarks were made during a two- day tour of New Hampshire. The trip began with a visit to the Lakes Region Community Service Council followed by a tour of the City of Franklin’s groundwater treatment facility, both recipients of USDA funds.
This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture commemorates and celebrates the 150th anniversary of its founding. In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing USDA. Two and one-half years after establishing the Department, in what would be his final annual message to the Congress, Lincoln called USDA "The People's Department."
President Obama’s plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President’s leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy and strengthening small towns and rural communities. USDA’s investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has an active portfolio of more than $170 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.