This Week in Washington: Oct. 3-7

Congress begins its recess while Vilsack slated for a number of appearances this week.

Both chambers of Congress have returned home for the October recess period ahead of the General Election on November 8th. They are scheduled to return to Washington on November 14th for the lame duck work session.

On Monday, Oct. 3, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will deliver remarks at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C. Vilsack will discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) historic investments into rural communities under the Obama Administration, in particular those made to support the biobased products industry. 

During his remarks, Vilsack will also release new data demonstrating the tangible contributions that biobased products—which include plastics, chemicals and other everyday items made from plants or waste products—are making to our economy in terms of revenue and jobs created. These impacts are especially felt in rural communities, where the biobased industry is helping to bring back manufacturing jobs and spurring innovation, and it is one of the USDA’s four pillars for strong rural economies.

On Wed., Oct. 5, Vilsack, the first chair of the White House Rural Council, will convene a White House Rural Forum at Pennsylvania State University in State College, Pa. to urge lawmakers, foundations and non-profits, and the private sector to recognize the opportunities in America's rural communities to ensure continued progress for social and economic progress.

Vilsack will be joined by Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, rural leaders and state and federal officials in this important event, marking a culmination of the Obama Administration's historic focus and investment in rural America. The event will be livestreamed to the public here. It is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 12:25 p.m.

Stakeholders are encouraged to engage with @USDA (#RuralResults) on Twitter and Facebook to share their perspective on some of the most important challenges facing rural communities today, including economic growth, quality of life, access to nutritious food, and health care.

On Thursday Vilsack will visit Berea College in Berea, Ky. to participate in a roundtable discussion on strategies to reduce rural poverty, then lead a press conference with Rural Development undersecretary Lisa Mensah.  

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