Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Receipt of Chairman's Award from the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities
WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on his receipt of the "Chairman Award" from the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities:
"It is a true honor and a privilege to accept the "Chairman's Award" from the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Over the decades, HBCUs have been critical in producing many of our nation's great authors, intellectuals, civil rights and business leaders, inventors and teachers. And maintaining our Historically Black Colleges and Universities as thriving, top-notch, centers of higher-education is critical to preparing our nation's future workforce and keeping America competitive.
"As Secretary of Agriculture, I have sought to strengthen our relationship with HBCUs as part of our effort to build a new era at USDA as a premier service provider and partner for all Americans, including those in minority and underserved communities.
"Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Alabama A&M University to see firsthand an example of the good and important work that HBCUs are doing around the country. I had just signed a Memorandum of Understanding reaffirming the partnership between the USDA and the 1890's institutions and committing to improve outreach efforts to universities, to socially disadvantaged farmers, and to poverty-stricken communities. And in Huntsville, where I saw an institution promoting citizenship and educating our next generation of leaders, it was obvious why HBCUs must be an important partner with USDA and our work to bring economic growth and opportunity to every American.
"I appreciate the leadership of Dr. William Harvey, chairman of the President's Board of Advisors on HBCUs. Over these past two years, I have met with him and a number of other HBCU presidents who have shared some excellent suggestions for USDA and our relationship with HBCUs. I know that the President's Board of Advisors has and will take great steps to strengthen these institutions across the nation. And under my leadership, USDA is eager to partner with you and continue to be part of that effort. Thank you."
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).