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USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan to Visit Keene State College "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food"

September 4, 2012

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan will give a presentation on "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" at Keene State College on Tuesday, September 11 at 7 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of the L.P. Young Student Center. The program is sponsored by the American Democracy Project at Keene State College in collaboration with the Department of Health Sciences-Nutrition and Dietetic Internship and is free and open to the public.

As Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kathleen Merrigan oversees the "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" program. The initiative is designed to strengthen rural communities by creating market opportunities for locally-grown products and to promote access to nutritious food to the public.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan will also discuss career opportunities that are open to students who are interested in agriculture and will cover summer internships and full-time positions available with the Department of Agriculture.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan serves on the President's Management Council seeking out opportunities to improve accountability and performance in federal government. In 2009, she was the first woman to be appointed chair of the Ministerial Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In 2010, she was named among the "100 Most Influential People in the World" by Time magazine.

Appointed by President Bill Clinton, she served as Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999 to 2001. She also served six years as a senior staff member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Texas, and a B.A. from Williams College.