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USDA To Meet With Community And Faith-Based Partners


Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced USDA’s fourth annual Partners Meeting, bringing together 300 leaders from community and faith-based organizations with USDA officials August 1-3, 2007, at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia.

“The theme for this year’s meeting, ’Challenge, Choice, Change: Solutions That Strengthen Farming and Rural Communities’ fits right in with USDA’s proposed plan to reform farm programs,” Johanns said. “I encourage our partners to attend and continue our close working relationship.”

The Partners Meeting is an annual event coordinated through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights. It presents an opportunity for representatives of community and faith-based organizations and USDA agencies to exchange ideas and explore solutions to challenges faced by traditionally underserved farmers, ranchers and rural communities. The Partners Meeting also serves as a “call to action” to propose development of policy to address underserved customers.

The Partners Meeting will include four plenary sessions, a series of conversations led by representatives of community-based organizations and USDA staff, and five training sessions. Subjects include the 2007 Farm Bill, the National Animal Identification System, disaster preparedness, renewable energy, certification and marketing, land stewardship, participating in advisory committees and boards, Emergency Quality Incentive Program, E-Government, grant writing and foreclosure avoidance.

To obtain more information about the Partners Meeting contact the Office of Outreach, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250, Mail Stop 9473, Telephone:(202) 720-6350, Toll Free Number: (800) 880-4183.


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