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Monday, May 10, 2010

USDA Official Visits Kenya to Tour World Food Program Sites and Observe Their Impact on Food Security

USDA Farm and Foreign Agricultural Service’s Deputy Under Secretary Darci Vetter will join former Senator George S. McGovern in Kenya May 10-16 to visit World Food Program sites and observe, first-hand, how nutrition programs fit into broader food security initiatives in Africa.

“The World Food Program is an important participant in USDA’s McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program,” said Vetter. “Congress recognized the vision of Senators McGovern and Dole when it established this program. It is an amazing opportunity for me to travel with Senator McGovern and see firsthand the direct impact that these programs have on children and families.”

McGovern currently serves as the Ambassador to the World Food Program and was recognized in 2008, along with Sen. Robert Dole, by the World Food Prize for his leadership in forging the link between the productivity of American farmers and the needs of hungry children around the world.

Vetter and McGovern will visit school feeding sites in Nairobi and rural areas and meet with communities that are establishing homegrown school feeding programs. Additionally, they will meet with small farmers who participate in the World Food Program’s local and regional procurement program. Vetter will also have the opportunity to visit agricultural development projects in the dairy and cassava sectors.

The McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, helps support education, child development, and food security for some of the world’s poorest children. It provides for donations of U.S. agricultural products, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.

To learn more about USDA and FAS Food Aid Programs visit

Agriculture Secretary Vilsack will hold a national conference call today for members of the media on new food safety standards being announced this afternoon that will help prevent an estimated 39,000 illnesses due to Campylobacter and 26,000 illnesses due to Salmonella.

The new performance standards announced today fulfill a key recommendation of the President’s Food Safety Working Group. The standards are the first-ever for Campylobacter, and the first revision to the Salmonella standards for chicken since 1996 and for turkeys since 2005.

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