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Media Advisory No. 5216.11
Contact: Office of Communications
UPDATED: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan to Travel to Michigan, Highlight USDA’s Commitment to Specialty Crops and Agricultural Research
WASHINGTON, December 7, 2011- TODAY, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will travel to Michigan to highlight USDA’s commitment to America’s specialty crop producers, as well as improving the safety of our nation’s food supply through agricultural research. In Grand Rapids, Deputy Secretary Merrigan will give the keynote presentation at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetables and Farm Market Expo, where she will encourage Americans to 'Make Half Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables,' the first themed message supporting MyPlate, the federal government's new food icon that serves as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. The Deputy will also highlight USDA’s Fresh Produce Pilot for schools in Michigan, noting opportunities for regional producers to participate in the program.
A growing number of specialty crop producers are selling to markets of all sizes, including local, regional and international. Moreover, specialty crop producers in the United States—as with all of American agriculture—are seeing sales surges both domestically and abroad as consumers search for high-quality fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, herbs and other horticulture. America’s specialty crop producers are helping consumers improve their nutrition and creating jobs in the process, and USDA is proud to support their good work.
Later that day, Merrigan will travel to Michigan State University to announce several new grants to support improving the safety of the food supply in the United States through research, education and extension.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
11:10 a.m. EST
WHAT: Agriculture Deputy Kathleen Merrigan will give the keynote presentation at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo. There she will highlight USDA nutrition priorities such as MyPlate and USDA’s commitment to specialty crop producers.
WHERE: Devos Place Convention Center - Ballroom C
303 Monroe Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, Mich.
2 p.m. EST
WHAT: Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will announce new grants to support improving the safety of the food supply in the United States and tour MSU’s food safety research labs.
WHERE: Michigan State University
1240 Anthony Hall
East Lansing, Mich. 48824
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).
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