WASHINGTON, March 24, 2014— USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden kicked off National Ag Day activities with a discussion hosted by Agri-Pulse President Sara Wyant at the Hart Senate Office Building on Monday.
A record-breaking crowd of over 300 people gathered for the annual Agri-Pulse event held in conjunction with National Ag Day and to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary.
Harden is leading USDA’s efforts to implement the programs of the Farm Bill passed earlier this year. She said the department’s first priorities are to focus on crop year-sensitive programs, to use any fiscal year 2014 dollars, and to implement programs that don't require additional rulemaking.
She also noted that USDA will soon be ready for livestock disaster assistance implementation that is overdue for many producers, adding that USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack "asks me every day.”
Harden also highlighted the importance of USDA-led education efforts on the new commodity title programs of the farm bill.
“Producers themselves are going to have to make a lot of individual decisions in this farm bill,” she said. “More than ever, it’s about being informed themselves.”
She said USDA will seek board member nominations for the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The foundation will need to leverage $200 million in mandatory funding and solicit private donations for additional research in all areas of agriculture. USDA will ask industry members to suggest nominees, Harden said.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., also stopped by the event. “It’s nice to be gathered here with you all and not be asked about an update on the farm bill,” she joked.
Stabenow added she is looking forward to “bringing the farm bill to fruition.”
Activities in Washington will continue on National Ag Day, which is Tuesday March 25. They include the following:
Tuesday, March 25
8:30 - 11:00 a.m.
"The Great American Wheat Harvest"
National Premiere Screening and Breakfast Reception
This new documentary film celebrates and tells the story of the American Wheat Harvest. This film connects consumers with the people who produce and harvest the crops that feed the world. This event is free of charge.
Venue: National Museum of the American Indian
RSVP for this event at https://gawhpremiere.eventbrite.com
The Borlaug Statue Dedication Ceremony will be held in the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Mix & Mingle Luncheon
Venue: Russell Caucus Room
Emcee: Orion Samuelson
Speakers: Outstanding Young Farmer
Senator John Boozman (R-AR)
Free of charge. Please RSVP for this event at http://www.nama.org/agday.htm
2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Venue: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Congressional A Room
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Free of Charge
The Next Generation of America’s Farmers and Ranchers: The panel discussion hosted by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance. To register, please visit www.fooddialogues.com/ag-day-2014.
5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Celebration of Agriculture Dinner
Venue: Whitten Patio USDA Building
Emcee: Orion Samuelson
Speaker:Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden
Essay Contest Winner
Charles Eastin Award Presentation
Video essay to be played, Poster art on display
This is a ticketed event.
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Farmers Feeding the World
Venue: National Mall (on the gravel along 3rd St. NW with the Capitol Building in the background.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Farmers Feeding the World’s interactive HungerU exhibit highlights the contributions agriculture has made towards fighting the global hunger crisis. Visitors to HungerU are given the opportunity to join the thousands who comprise our national advocacy network to stay informed about hunger issues and ways they can take action to be part of the solution.
Wednesday, March 26
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Private Documentary Screening and Agricultural Debut: Farmland
Venue: Amphitheater at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC
FARMLAND, directed by James Moll, an Oscar- and two-time Emmy-winning filmmaker, this documentary, is made with the support of USFRA and takes an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming operation.
For more news, go to www.agri-pulse.com