title: USDA Sec. Espy to the Nat. Assn. of County Ag. Agents
author: Mike Espy, Secretary of Agriculture
SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE
REMARKS DELIVERED TO
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY AGRICULTURE AGENTS
AUGUST 23, 1993
...And secondly, and I know you'll agree with
me, county agents understand, perhaps better than anyone else,
how what we do affects people on the ground, and there is no pun
... So I wondered if you are having any more luck than I am
with the twenty-four hour day. You [County Extension Agents] are
expected to know everything about food and agriculture from
commodity programs to pesticide run-off, from sustainable
agriculture to food safety, from export enhancement to cargo
preference, you are the Department's grassroots connection.
...He [Secretary Espy's father]talked about improving farm
income, which is basically the bottom line. He talked about
wanting to develop new markets and outlets for the crops that his
...But, having good materials is only part of the battle. You
have to get the information out to the people who really need it.
So, the key to your effectiveness is the way you use
communications technology. Electronic mail via Internet is your
basic tool for communicating throughout the cooperative
extension service and it is instantaneous and cost-effective.
Communications know-how promises to be one of the legacies of
this administration. So you can be certain that changes in the
USDA and throughout the government will incorporate
state-of-the-art telecommunications because effective delivery of
service won't work unless we are all speaking the same language.
I am not the only one in this administration who is impressed
with your on-line information network in Columbia, Missouri. The
project is called "COIN", and it is a national model how a rural
community can combine ... information resources...
...It is just simply because I think we have ignored
the computer infrastructure and the information infrastructure in
the rural area. An so all we are asking is fairness. Do for us
as we have done for the rest of the nation. Fairness in equity,
treat rural America just as like you treat suburban America and