Carl Nathe

By

College: Agriculture, Food and Environment

Secretary of Agriculture Encourages UKAg Students to be Part of Rural Economy

Published: Jan 17, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 17, 2014) – The economic health of the country’s rural communities affects us all, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stressed as he spoke recently to students and faculty of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

 

“There is amazing opportunity if you want to be part of a new rural economy,” Vilsack said. “That is the single message I want to leave with the young people here today.”

 

UK was Vilsack’s first stop on a two-day swing through Kentucky.

 

“Secretary Vilsack’s visit gives us a chance to thank him for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s and the National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s support of the college, which is significant,” said Jimmy Henning, UK associate dean for extension and director of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. “I think it’s important for him to see how this actually plays out on the ground.”

 

Dean Nancy Cox introduced Vilsack, saying, “We really believe that together with the USDA, we make a difference in Kentucky every day, and we’re very proud to welcome you.”

 

Vilsack focused on the problem of poverty in rural America as he spoke to a full house in the Cameron Williams Auditorium in the Plant Science Building on campus.

 

“These have probably been the five best years overall in agriculture we’ve seen in quite some time—record farm income and the best exports we have ever seen in the history of the country’s agricultural exports,” he said. “I fully expected traditional wisdom to play out, which is when farmers do well, the rural community does well.”

 

However, a study completed by the USDA’s Economic Research Service found that poverty in rural America is at its highest level in 25 years.

 

“How could it be that we have extraordinary opportunity in our farms and the rural communities that are located around the farms are not doing as well?” Vilsack said. “I think it’s because we have so few farmers.”

 

He pointed out that because productivity has increased greatly, it takes fewer farmers to produce food for not only the U.S. population, but also other populations around the world.

 

He outlined the four cornerstones of the USDA’s tactics to combat the problem.

 

“It starts with production agriculture, as it must,” he said. “We have to continue to invest in research to expand production, because as a world we’re faced with the challenge of producing 70 percent more food in the next 40 years.”

 

He acknowledged to the students that it is presently difficult for young people to establish themselves in farming. The entry way, as he sees is, is through alocal and regional food system, not necessarily production farming.

 

“So, production agriculture and exports, local and regional food systems and thejobs and the stable incomes they can create,” he said, ticking off the plan. “But it requires more. It requires us to think differently about conservation…. We have to link those conservation opportunities to new economic opportunities.

 

“And the last cornerstone of this new revived rural economy is what I refer to as a bio-based economy: the ability to take everything we grow and everything weraise and create new ways to use them. Particularly the waste products fromagricultural production.”

 

Vilsack traveled to Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 17, where he and Gov. Steve Beshear announced the designation of Kentucky as a StrikeForce state. StrikeForce currently exists in 16 states and provides greater access to the USDA’s poverty-fighting programs. This announcement comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s naming of eight southeastern counties as a Promise Zone. That specification, Vilsack said, was a commitment that federal departments will work collaboratively with local groups to bring more opportunities to the region.

 

“It’s an unlimited future, but we have to talk differently, and we have to educate our friends in cities and suburbs about precisely what rural America does for them and what farmers do for all of us,” he said. “We should be appreciative and thankful for every single person who has assumed that responsibility of feeding our families.”

 

ag_secretary_vilsack2.jpg
Tags:
October
 
 
 
1
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Wed
2
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Thu
3
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Fri
4
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Sat
5
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Sun
6
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Mon
7
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Tue
8
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Wed
9
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Thu
10
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Fri
11
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Sat
12
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Sun
13
 
Mon
14
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
Tue
15
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Wed
16
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
Thu
17
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Fri
18
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Sat
19
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Sun
20
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Mon
21
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Tue
22
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Wed
23
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
Thu
24
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Fri
25
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
26
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
Sun
27
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Mon
28
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Tue
29
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Wed
30
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
Thu
31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
Fri
 
Reset Page