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Team USDA Celebrates 150 Years of, “the People’s Department”

Ohio Team Celebrates 150th AnniversaryOn Tuesday, May 15, 2012 “Team USDA” and key partners gathered to commemorate the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Columbus, Ohio. NRCS State Conservationist Terry Cosby, FSA State Executive Director Steve Mauer, and Rural Development State Director Tony Logan all spoke about the importance and the history of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State Conservationist Terry Cosby challenged employees to study the history of their agency and learn why their agency was established. He reminded everyone that the Dust Bowl event emphasized the severity of erosion and that Hugh Hammond Bennett urged Congress to create a permanent soil conservation agency, which created the Soil Conservation Service, today known as NRCS. The other agency Directors spoke of Abraham Lincoln and how he had innovative foresight to establish such an effective Department- “the People’s Department” during a time when our country was in the midst of the Civil War. The legislation expanded and transformed American farming, including the Homestead Act, and the establishment of the Land Grant agricultural university system. After each agency leader gave his comments, a short video titled, “Secretaries of Agriculture (30 Leaders, 150 years)” was shown at the celebration. The video highlighted all 30 secretaries (past and present) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To conclude the ceremony, guests enjoyed cake and punch in celebration of the 150th Anniversary.