The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens

Vilsack launches USDA anniversary logo and website

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Deputy Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Ann Wright unveil the new graphic to commemorate the 150th anniversary of U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday, surrounded by members of the Future Farmers of America. (USDA photo by Lance Cheung.)

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the year-long celebration of USDA’s 150th anniversary Wednesday with the unveiling of a logo and launch of a web page that will provide information about events and history related to the anniversary.

The event was held at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., hometown of President Abraham Lincoln, who established the USDA in 1862.

“Through our work on food, agriculture, economic development, science, natural resource conservation and a host of issues, USDA still fulfills President Lincoln's vision as ‘The People's Department’ — touching the lives of every American, every day," said Vilsack. "As we commemorate 150 years, we will look for lessons from the past that can help us strengthen USDA in the future to address the changing needs of agriculture and rural America."

The year-long commemoration will formally launch in February at the USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum. Throughout the year, important events in department history will be recognized, such as the signing of the Morrill Act to establish public land grant universities and the Homestead Act, which stimulated Western migration.