MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Leaders in the agriculture industry were in Manhattan Tuesday to mark the 150th Anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
All seven of the Kansas-based USDA agencies attended the event, held at the Center for Grain and Animal Research on College Avenue in Manhattan.
The event will also included the dedication of a new wind erosion research facility and wheat/sorghum milling laboratory.
"Research is such an important component of our entire food system, of our whole agricultural production system. And a lot of times, we don’t realize that research done today is benefiting us three, four, five years down the road so if we're not making these investments, then we don't have the return on those investments sometime later. So these buildings are really symbolic of the investment that the United States public has makes in agriculture research," said Tom Shanower, Director of the USDA's Center for Grain and Animal Research in Manhattan.
Proposed by President Lincoln as “the People’s Department,” USDA was founded in 1862 and continues to touch every American’s life every day. In a State with as rich an agricultural history and current prominence as Kansas, this is even more true today. Kansas ranks seventh nationally in agricultural exports and leads the nation in the production of wheat and grain sorghum. The celebration highlighted the important relationship that USDA shares with agricultural producers and the agricultural industry in Kansas.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack gave the keynote address at the event. Other speakers included U.S. Senators Pat Roberts and Representative Lynn Jenkins.
In addition to the formal program, the event also included a resource fair where the seven participating agencies will share information on the services and programs they provide.
The USDA agencies that participated in the event were the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Rural Development (RD).