Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dr. Kathleen Merrigan joins Monday's Illinois Farm Bureau gathering

I've really been looking forward to my talk next Monday at the Illinois Farm Bureau's Local Food Connections and Technical Summit.

USDA Deputy Secretary Dr. Kathleen Merrigan is now joining this gathering to make a presentation.

I just posted about the new small meat and poultry program USDA is initiating with the support of Dr. Merrigan. Our new plant in Iowa County will be among the leaders within this new opportunity.

Dr. Merrigan has been supportive of many great initiatives to diversify our food systems.

On Monday I'll be presenting results and possibilities that have risen from the development of the Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen.

Here is the speaker lineup for Monday in beautiful Bloomington, IL:

Cynthia Haskins, Manager of Business Development and Compliance, Illinois Farm Bureau

Director Robert Flider, Illinois Department of Agriculture

Director David Vaught, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Colleen Callahan, Illinois State Director, USDA Rural Development

Cynthia Haskins, Manager of Business Development and Compliance, Illinois Farm Bureau

Tiffany Carrington, Senior Program Specialist, USDA, Food and Nutrition Services

Carol Pinkerton, Buyer, Bureau of Strategic Sourcing, Illinois Central Management Services

Pat Stieren, Executive Director, Illinois Farmers’ Market Association

Mark Gebhards, Executive Director, Governmental Affairs and Commodities Division, Illinois Farm Bureau

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, U.S. Department of Agriculture

William Weissinger, Deputy Director, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Chicago District

Anthony Totta, President, Grow My Profits, LLC

Mike Nicometo, President, EmpowerTech

Rick Terrien, Executive Director, Iowa County (Wisconsin) Area Economic Development Corporation

Richard Weinzierl, Professor and Extension Entomologist, University of Illinois

Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, Extension Educator, Local Food Systems and Small Farms, University of Illinois Extension

Looks like a wonderful group. It is a special honor to have Dr. Kathleen Merrigna joining us!

Photo is from my first introduction to Dr. Merrigan. Also in photo is my great pal, economic development superstar and advisor to Presidents, Sue Noble, Executive Director of Vernon Economic Development Association (VEDA). On the far right of the photo is Stan Gruszynski, Director of our Wisconsin USDA Rural Development

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen

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