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USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden

On October 24, 2013, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden visited Minnesota to meet with USDA employees to thank them for their excellent public service and discuss agency outlook. Harden also later hosted a Farm Bill Roundtable where she met with local agriculture stakeholders to get a sense of the agricultural needs in Minnesota that she will relay back to Washington. 

Over 75 employees from USDA agencies, including Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Rural Development (RD) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) attended Harden’s “town hall” meeting. 

“I am excited to be in Minnesota.  Today I am here to thank you.  I understand what you as employees went through with the recent shutdown; mixed emotions, such as having your “role” as an employee put on hold.  You were missed,” said Harden.

Harden was recently named USDA Deputy Secretary in August, 2013 after serving two years as the Secretary’s Chief of Staff (2011-2013). Prior to that, Harden served as Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations at USDA (2009-2011).

Born and raised in Camilla, Georgia, Harden refers to herself as a “small town farmer’s daughter” and has worked exclusively in the field of agriculture since graduating from college. Harden said her home town in Georgia is a good example of USDA being seen as THE federal government to the local rural community.  Where she grew up, USDA assisted with every facet of life. “USDA makes a difference in people’s lives, especially in rural communities.”

When asked why she chose to work for the federal government, Harden responded, “Because I want to serve my country, and this was how I chose to do so. ”

For more information about USDA please visit www.usda.gov