By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Oct. 10 – President Obama's message Sunday was that whether you're driving your car or deciding your vote, make sure you stick with D not R if you want to move ahead rather than shift into reverse. With 23 days to go to the mid-term elections, expect to hear lots more of this get-out-of-the-ditch message from Obama. He'll be delivering it Monday in Miami; Tuesday in DC; Thursday via a nation-wide “Youth town hall live” on MTV, CMT and BET; Friday in Wilmington; Saturday in Boston; and Sunday in Cleveland and Columbus.

Meanwhile, Republicans are equally busy campaigning. But with polls showing enthusiasm far higher among their supporters, Republicans are dismissing the President's last-moment string of rallies as a sign of desperation unlikely to have any significant impact.

Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack will also be busy this week celebrating National School Lunch Week, highlighting their push to improve child nutrition, combat childhood obesity and encourage schools to participate in USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) which recognizes schools for excellence in nutrition and physical activity. In his National School Lunch proclamation, Obama pointed out that “To provide more fruits, vegetables, and other fresh and nutritious foods for school meals, the USDA is also working to develop farm-to-school partnerships with local farmers, States, localities, tribal authorities, school districts, and community organizations. The USDA Farm to School Team is helping to provide quality foods in school menus, to increase markets for local farms, and to teach young people of all ages about the source of the food they enjoy.”

Tuesday, Sec. Vilsack will attend the Global Farmers Virtual Town Hall at Iowa State University. Then the Secretary will be in Des Moines Wednesday through Friday taking part in the 2010 World Food Prize and related events and farm tours with Pakistani Agriculture Minister Nazar Muhammad Gondal and Afghan Agriculture Minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi as his guests.

USDA’s Economic Research Service & National Agricultural Statistics Service reports:

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