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Illinois Celebrates 150 Years of USDA

“How many of you here today have done business with or been helped by USDA in some way?” The master of ceremonies, Rita Frazer with RFD Radio, asked a crowd of 200 at the recent USDA 150 Years celebration in Illinois.

The event took place on Ag Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. USDA was founded in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln, who called it “the people’s department.” Illinois was, famously, Lincoln’s home state.

Eight Former Secretaries of Agriculture Speaking at 2012 Ag Outlook Forum

USDA’s 2012 Agricultural Outlook Forum, Feb. 23-24, will commemorate the 150th anniversary of USDA’s founding in 1862.  Secretary Tom Vilsack will moderate a panel of former Secretaries of Agriculture ─ Ed Schafer, Senator Mike Johanns, Ann Veneman, Dan Glickman, Mike Espy,  Clayton Yeutter, John Block, and Bob Bergland.  This unprecedented gathering of former Ag Secretaries will discuss the topic “Agriculture: Visions of the Future.”

Happy Anniversaries: Conservation Reserve Program Turns 25, 100 Years Since President Reagan’s Birth

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which has protected the nation’s natural resources since 1985, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

CRP was signed into law by former President Ronald Reagan – who’s centennial is being celebrated this year – as part of the 1985 Farm Bill that was reported to be one of the most massive agricultural reform bills in the nation’s history. It was touted by then Agriculture Secretary John Block as the “agricultural recovery program to put this industry back in the business of prosperity in the years to come.”