May 2015: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, On Why He Serves

In honor of Public Service Recognition Week, Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, is taking the time to highlight the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its employees. Vilsack describes ways in which the USDA inspires him.

Vilsack calls attention to three examples in Tennessee, South Dakota, and Colorado. In Tennessee, Vilsack recalls how the USDA helped rural families gain access to clean, running water. In South Dakota, Vilsack points to Sinte Gleska University and Oglala Lakota College, recognizing the strength of their agriculture and natural resources programs. However, Vilsack notes that most students had to travel long distances to attend class, and to remedy this, the USDA provided funding for four vans to transport students to and from classes at Sinte Gleska University. In addition, the USDA provided funding for Oglala Lakota College to update nine of its remote instructional centers, improving access to higher education. Finally, in Colorado, Vilsack describes the success story of a family that was able to utilize a USDA home loan.

Vilsack regards these success stories as important reminders for why serves.  He concludes his piece by noting that after more than six years of service, he is still honored to work alongside the dedicated staff of the USDA.

Read more here.

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