Contact: USDA Office of Communication (202) 720-4623
Alisa Harrison (202) 720-4623
Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman
Regarding the Creation of a Department of Homeland Security
November 19, 2002
"I applaud the bipartisan support and passage of legislation to create President Bush's vision of a Department of Homeland Security.
Today's action is an important step that will bolster the planning, coordination, management and response systems to better protect our nation against potential threats.
"When the President proposed this bold and visionary plan earlier this year he understood clearly the importance of agriculture to America's homeland security.
This new agency will bring together federal resources, including USDA's border inspection and protection services, to ensure the safety and security of food, livestock and agricultural production.
"USDA will work very closely with the new Department of Homeland Security to ensure a swift, efficient and responsible transition.
Together, we must continue to strengthen our protection systems, and USDA will be an active partner in helping ensure the safety of America's food and agriculture sector.
"We must continue our vigilance and not let down our guard.
The creation of the new Department of Homeland Security will enhance the already strong protections we have in place throughout the federal government.
It will also
ensure a stronger line of defense against potential threats to agriculture and our homeland."