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Kathleen Merrigan

Letter From the Editor: Merrigan Does the McGovern


I think I am qualified to say that my friend Senator McGovern would have liked the George McGovern Lecture delivered last week in Rome by former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. The lecture named for the former South Dakota senator is an annual event for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome…. Continue Reading

Merrigan’s Last Act: Enlisting Extension Agents as ‘Voices for Food’

Extension agents — usually associated with helping farmers behind the scenes — sometimes do get out front on public policy. And when they do, it’s with such a light touch it’s hardly noticed. But it’s highly effective. A generation ago, South Dakota State University Extension helped lay the groundwork for a new state constitution by… Continue Reading

Merrigan Expresses Worry About FSMA’s Impact on Agriculture

Kathleen Merrigan, who recently left her role as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said this week she is concerned about the negative impact the Food Safety Modernization Act could have on small- and medium-sized farms. According to a report by AgriPulse, Merrigan made the remarks at CropLife America’s National Policy… Continue Reading

USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan to Step Down Next Month

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s number two in command, Kathleen Merrigan, a longtime advocate of local and regional food systems, announced yesterday she will be leaving her post. Deputy Secretary Merrigan, who led the USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative throughout President Obama’s first term, did not say when she would step down… Continue Reading

USDA Makes Grants Available for Farm to School Programs

Farm to school food programs are set to receive a boost this October in the form of $3.5 million in federal grant money. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan announced Tuesday that the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is now accepting applications for a series of grants – each one to be no more than … Continue Reading

USDA’s Merrigan: No One Gets a Pass on Food Safety

Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan touched on the importance of food safety in the growing regional and local food movement during the U.S. Department of Agriculture Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food event at the White House on Monday. “No one gets a pass on food safety, in my mind, I don’t care if you’re… Continue Reading

USDA Releases First Farm to School Evaluation

Efforts to serve local food in schools are expanding nationwide, but creating a market between small farms and school districts still poses many challenges, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first report on farm-to-school initiatives. Over the past year, a team of nine government representatives visited 15 school districts operating farm to school programs… Continue Reading

USDA Encourages Americans to Know Their Farmers

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new video this week in an effort to create economic opportunities in rural communities by promoting local and regional food systems. The video provides commentary from USDA Under Secretary Kathleen Merrigan encouraging the American public to research where their food comes from. “Very few people now are… Continue Reading