East Aurora, NY, Jul 02, 2013 -- USDA Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development Doug O’Brien met today with farmers and business leaders to discuss how local and regional food systems can revitalize rural New York.
“USDA supports the critical connection between farmers and consumers,” O’Brien said. “Similar to other parts of the country, here in New York we have seen a surge in consumer demand for locally-produced food, therefore creating jobs and opportunities for rural residents.”
The roundtable at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County was in collaboration with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and focused on the opportunities and challenges around the development of food hubs in Western New York. O’Brien also highlighted USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to strengthening local and regional food systems.
Following the roundtable discussion, O’Brien visited Mercy Flight of Western New York, an emergency air-medical transport service that received funding through USDA’s Community Facilities program to purchase a new helicopter.
O’Brien completed his trip to New York with a visit to United Memorial Medical Centre in Batavia. The Medical Centre received funding through USDA to add an addition to the surgical services center.
President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.
USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as the Department implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act.
USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.
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