It was a homecoming for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden at the 2015 Southern Peanut Growers Conference. The number two person at the USDA was raised on a peanut farm in Camilla, Georgia so she felt right at home.
“That’s what qualifies me for my job, that’s what gives me my passion and my love and the ability to help, to listen, to work for this great industry,” she said. “There is nothing more important to me than agriculture. Keeping farmers on the farm and ranchers on the ranch is why I’m in Washington … I have never forgotten where I’m from.”
Harden talked passionately about the future of agriculture and the need to get young people interested in the industry. “I’m talking about what I love, the people I love, the industry I love and it’s future and I encourage you to do the same,” she said.
After her remarks, I interviewed Harden about some of the important issues at USDA – from conservation compliance to funding for research, avian flu and international trade, and more.