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News Release

StrikeForce Initiative Gears Up

AUBURN, Ala., July 1, 2013 – State Food and Agriculture Chair Dr. William Puckett today announced an informational meeting on the Alabama StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity. The event, open to the public, will be July 23, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the Tuskegee Municipal Complex Gregg Auditorium, 101 Fonville Street, Tuskegee, Alabama.

Speakers will include officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, Food and Nutrition Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

Currently, 90 percent of America's persistent poverty counties are in rural America. The primary goal of the StrikeForce Initiative is to partner with local and state governments and community organizations on projects that promote economic development and job creation. Macon County is one of the 23 persistent poverty counties in the state. For more information on the Alabama StrikeForce Initiative, visit www.al.nrcs.usda.gov.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack started the “StrikeForce” initiative as a pilot project in 2010 in selected regions in three states: Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi. In 2011 it was expanded to include Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada. In 2013, Secretary Vilsack announced new efforts to bring the StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.