Agriculture secretary Vilsack to hold rural community forum in New Mexico

WASHINGTON, September 23, 2009 – On Wednesday, September 30, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will hold a rural community forum in Las Cruces, N.M., as part of the Obama Administration’s Rural Tour. At the forum, Secretary Vilsack will discuss rural infrastructure and efforts by the Obama Administration to rebuild and revitalize rural America, listen to local residents talk about how the federal government can assist them, and discuss solutions to challenges facing their communities. Secretary Vilsack will also highlight American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects improving communities in New Mexico and benefiting people throughout rural America.

In June, President Obama announced that Secretary Vilsack will lead the Administration’s Rural Tour to visit rural communities in states throughout the country. Secretary Vilsack is scheduled to lead Rural Tour events with other top administration officials over the coming weeks. Wednesday’s event will be the twenty-first similar forum Secretary Vilsack has led since being sworn in, and follows rural listening sessions held in El Reno, Okla., Zanesville, Ohio, Modesto, Calif., Sedalia, Mo., Des Moines, Iowa, Hamlet, N.C., Bethel, Alaska, St. John Parish, La., Blairs, Va., West Salem, Wis., Charlotte, Mich., Concord, N.H., Wattsburg, Pa., Danville, Ind., Geneseo, Ill., Harrodsburg, Ky., Ludowici, Ga., Portageville, Mo., and Brush, Colo.

USDA recently launched a new website and social media tools designed to enhance discussions and facilitate innovation for challenges facing rural America. All Americans can follow the Rural Tour’s progress online at www.RuralTour.gov, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RuralTour, or at USDA’s Facebook fan page available at www.facebook.com/usda.

The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture and natural resources and touches the life of every American. Secretary Vilsack and the USDA are working to promote a sustainable, safe, sufficient and nutritious food supply, ensure that America leads the global fight against climate change, and revitalize rural communities by expanding economic opportunities.