USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack Talks Ag Exports, Farm Policy and More with Farm Broadcasters in Kansas CityThu, 10 Nov 2011 16:26:03 CST
Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke earlier today to a group of farm broadcasters in Kansas City as they gathered for a conference by the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. Secretary Vilsack covered a variety of topics including the record agricultural exports, his upcoming trip to Vietnam, the restructuring of USDA's processes, especially dealing with disaster, and with the licensing of veterinary biologics.
The first topic Secretary Vilsack addressed was the exceptional record ag exports for the past fiscal year. Vilsack said after completing their analysis they found that there was a record amount of $137.4 billion brought in by agricultural exports. This is $22.5 billion higher than export numbers for last year and Vilsack claimed it was a testimony to the extraordinary productivity of American farmers, ranchers and producers.
Vilsack also stressed the importance of these exports in relation to jobs saying that it helps to support 1.15 million jobs in the U.S. economy. Vilsack also added that one out of 12 jobs in the country are connected in one form or another to agriculture.
Click here for a previous release by USDA on the record breaking agricultural exports this past year.
Secretary Vilsack also answered a variety of questions from the farm broadcasters. Some of the topics included how much influence non-agriculture groups like HSUS have on USDA, the possibility of producers needing to obtain another permit to spray pesticides around water, and migrant farm workers.
Click on the LISTEN bar below to hear the complete talk from Secretary Vilsack, as well as, the question and answer session that follows.
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