Media Contact: Laura Trivers, (202) 720-4623,
GLICKMAN CREATES SMALL FARMS OFFICE
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 1998 -- As part of his continuing efforts to support
small farms, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman today announced plans to
create a Council on Small Farms and a new office at USDA that will deal
specifically with small farm issues.
Glickman told a meeting of the Small Farms Commission today that the Office
would coordinate USDA agencies' responses to the recommendations of the
Commission and help to institutionalize the progress and interest in these
issues. The effort will be headed by Adela Backiel, currently Director of
The office will identify additional opportunities for USDA involvement in
small farm issues and develop a strategic plan and an organizational
structure to integrate a small farm emphasis into USDA policies and
programs. Glickman said, "From promoting farmers markets to fighting
concentration in the marketplace, USDA is committed to helping small farms
not only survive, but thrive. This office, reporting directly to me, will
maintain the focus of all USDA's agencies on small and family farmers."
As part of the effort, Deputy Secretary Richard Rominger will chair the
Council on Small Farms to assure a coordinated framework for the development
of policy as it applies to small farms and the necessary follow through to
implement policy decisions. Backiel will serve as Executive Director of the
"I am very pleased that Adela has agreed to lend her leadership skills and
her enthusiasm to the Department's efforts on small farm issues," Glickman
said. "She will be an advocate, both within the Department and to outside
organizations, for small and family farmers. I have been impressed with
Adela's work on sustainable development and I know that she is uniquely
qualified to lead these efforts."
As Director of Sustainable Development, Backiel develops, guides and
coordinates policies and programs in sustainable agriculture, sustainable
forestry and sustainable rural communities. From 1994-1995, she was the
Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment where she
oversaw the policies and programs of the USDA Forest Service.
From 1983-1993, Backiel was a specialist in natural resources policy and
head of the Congressional Research Service's Environmental Protection
Section. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Forest Resources
and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington in
Backiel will be supported by two deputy directors – one for small farms and
the other for sustainable development. The Office will be located in the
Office of the Chief Economist and will report directly to the Secretary.
Pam Murray, Coordinator
Center for Grassland Studies and
Center for Sustainable Agricultural Systems
PO Box 830949
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68583-0949
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