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USDA Agencies Featured for 150th Celebration at State Capitol

story by Melissa Blair

More than 1,800 visitors to the Texas State Capitol during the week of June 11th had the opportunity to learn about the different programs, services, and financial assistance that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides to help the American public. In honor of the USDA's 150th anniversary, the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Rural Development (RD), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) each had a display and information table in the South Central Gallery of the Capitol Extension for visitors to obtain information about these USDA agencies.

The USDA has come a long way since it was founded as "The People's Department" in 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. The agency has seen the population shift from living and working on their farms to farmers and ranchers accounting for only a small percentage of the U.S. population.

"The USDA still plays a critical role in everyone's life, whether they realize it or not," said Salvador Salinas, NRCS State Conservationist. "Everyone's life is touched by agriculture, from the food you eat to the clothes you wear. USDA works with farmers and ranchers and the public to ensure food safety, protection of natural resources for food and fiber production, agricultural research, food safety, rural community development, and agricultural trade to name a few of the thousands of jobs USDA employees do everyday."

The Presidential proclamation for USDA's 150th anniversary was featured along with historical agricultural timeline, USDA agency descriptions, educational materials for students and teachers, as well as posters and stickers promoting the anniversary.

Ryan and Dana Hamilton and their children, Avery and Beck from Denton County, visit the NRCS and FSA booths at the Texas State Capitol to learn more about the USDA agencies and the 150th anniversary. Ryan and Dana Hamilton and their children, Avery and Beck from Denton County, visit the NRCS and FSA booths at the Texas State Capitol to learn more about the USDA agencies and the 150th anniversary.

Ryan and Dana Hamilton and their children, Avery and Beck from Denton County, visit the NRCS and FSA booths at the Texas State Capitol to learn more about the USDA agencies and the 150th anniversary.

The Agricultural Research Service was one of the booth that provide educational materials to visitors at the Texas State Capitol during the USDA 150th anniversary.

The Agricultural Research Service was one of the booth that provide educational materials to visitors at the Texas State Capitol during the USDA 150th anniversary.