Report on Rural America
(Page 3 of 8)
White House Rural Economic Forum is just one part of a series of more than 100
events held across the country this summer with senior Administration officials
to advance the Council’s objectives.
Here are just some of the past and upcoming travel and events related to
the White House Rural Council:
HHS: On August 29, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
will travel to Alaska,
where she will visit several remote towns and villages to highlight the rural
health and human services needs of tribal populations. The Secretary’s Alaska visit includes stops in Anchorage,
Pass, Barrow, and Tanana.
From August 6-13, Secretary Kenneth Salazar traveled to Alaska for a series of meetings, roundtables
with business and Native leaders, and tours of key sites pertaining to energy,
conservation, and Native Alaskan issues. In Anchorage,
Secretary Salazar met with business leaders in Anchorage
to discuss the need for safe and responsible development of Alaska’s energy resources. In Fairbanks, Secretary
Salazar toured the Bureau of Land Management Alaska Fire Service firefighting
facilities with Sens. Murkowski and Reed.
In Alaska’s North Slope region,
Secretary Salazar visited an Indian Health Services funded hospital currently
under construction in Barrow – the northernmost community in the United States – as well as the Denali National Park,
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
On August 18, Ambassador Ron Kirk will tour the processing facilities of Blue
Diamond Growers, located in downtown Sacramento. There he will observe each step of almond
processing from delivery to shipping.
Now 101 years old, Blue Diamond is the world’s largest and most
respected almond processing and marketing cooperative. Blue Diamond’s membership includes approximately
almond producers, who grow 1.5 billion pounds of almonds, valued at $2 billion,
every year. California growers produce more than 80
percent of the total world almond supply, and nearly 70 percent of the almonds
processed by Blue Diamond are marketed and sold to customers in over 90
countries. Following the tour,
Ambassador Kirk will participate in a roundtable discussion with California
Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross and California
agriculture industry leaders.
On August 11, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will tour the INEOS New Planet
BioEnergy facility in Vero Beach,
Florida. The facility is receiving a loan guarantee
from USDA Rural Development to help build and operate a biorefinery capable of
producing 8 million gallons per year of cellulosic ethanol and 6 megawatts of
electricity. While at INEOS, the
Secretary will announce a series of joint USDA and Department of Energy grants
to spur research into improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of
growing biofuel and bioenergy crops.
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