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Statement by Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Federation Regarding USDA 150th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15, 2012 – “The American Farm Bureau Federation congratulates Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and USDA on the department’s 150th anniversary. President Abraham Lincoln is known for many achievements during his lifetime, but a little known triumph of his – that affects all Americans – was the establishment of the United States Department of Agriculture 150 years ago today.

“Lincoln understood the importance of agriculture to America, and, as importantly, he realized science and technology played a major role in the farming industry. The federal government was, from the beginning of its involvement in agriculture, dedicated to scientific progress in farming. This commitment continues today at USDA and is shared by farmers and ranchers across the country, regardless of the methods of food and fiber production they use – organic or conventional.

“Because of Lincoln’s foresight, America’s farmers and ranchers today grow more food using fewer resources than ever before. This innovation on the farm translates to a shrinking environmental footprint because of farmers’ commitment to the land and water.

“Farm Bureau looks forward to continuing our work with USDA as we embrace agriculture research, science, innovation and biotechnology – all important components to meet the challenges of ensuring a healthy environment in a growing world. So, Happy Birthday USDA and best wishes as we continue down the road for another 150 years.”

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Contacts: Tracy Taylor Grondine
(202) 406-3642
tracyg@fb.org
Mace Thornton
(202) 406-3641
macet@fb.org