U S D A / Rural Development
Washington, D.C.  20250-0705

News Release2002 Farm Bill Logo (farm building encircled by stars and stripes)

Contact: Scooter Brockette
(254) 742-9711

USDA TO HOLD BRIEFING ON AVAILABLE USDA PROGRAMS
2002 Farm Bill Will be highlighted by USDA Officials at Victoria, Texas

     TEMPLE, TEXAS, December 23, 2002--The U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold an informational briefing January 15, 2003, in Victoria, Texas, to acquaint farmers, ranchers and other constituents with a wide array of agency services and to highlight changes and new provisions in the 2002 Farm Bill.

     ""This session is an important part of our ongoing implementation of the 2002 Farm Bill and commitment to reach as many people as possible about USDA programs," said Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman. "Stakeholders will have the opportunity to hear from USDA experts on the many programs available to them."

     The briefing will be held January 15th at the Holiday Inn in Victoria, Texas. from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The session, organized by USDA Rural Development and the USDA Office of Outreach, will feature presentations on a broad array of topics including conservation programs, insurance and drought relief programs, food and nutrition programs and rural utilities, rural business and rural housing programs. Other meetings are being considered and will be announced when details are available.

     "We are committed to reaching out to the full spectrum of USDA customers, including under-served customers, minorities and women, to ensure they benefit from USDA programs and services," said Assistant Secretary for Administration Lou Gallegos.

For information about the briefing, please visit USDA's Farm Bill website at http://www.usda.gov or call 202-720-6350 or toll free 1-800-880-4183.

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