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plant protection and quarantine

A Story of Plant Protection: Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Day Gift to President Trump

Plants can serve as a profound symbol of friendship, especially when they cross an ocean to help two nations strengthen their bonds. I witnessed this firsthand on March 9, when I visited the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C., joining Irish Ambassador to the United States Daniel Mulhall as he received a shipment of Ireland’s iconic shamrock plants. Embassy staff later arranged those shamrocks in an elegant, engraved crystal bowl for Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to present to President Trump as a St. Patrick’s Day gift. That token of goodwill continued an annual tradition spanning 50 years.

State-of-the-Art USDA Facilities Keep Invasive Pests Out of the Country

Safeguarding our Nation’s agriculture and natural resources against harmful plant pests is an awesome responsibility, one my agency—USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service—takes very seriously. Thanks to our employees, cooperators, and partners, the United States has one of the most robust plant health safeguarding systems in the world. That is because we continuously take steps to enhance our ability to exclude, control, and eradicate pests and increase the safety of agricultural trade.

The U.S. Seed Trade Industry Thanks USDA for Helping It Thrive

Seeds for planting represent tremendous value to the U.S. agricultural economy. In 2016, the United States exported $1.67 billion worth of these seeds and imported $997 million worth of them. This month, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recognized USDA’s efforts to make the international movement of seeds safer and more efficient. The association presented its 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Osama El-Lissy, Deputy Administrator of USDA’s Plant Protection and Quarantine program.