Friday, December 14, 2012

Agriculture Secretary To Host Live Twitter Chat

Monday, Dec. 17: #AskUSDA...about #MyFarmBill...

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will hold "virtual office hours" on Twitter on Monday, Dec. 17 at 3:30 PM EDT to answer questions about "the important role of rural America to the national and global economy, increasing agricultural opportunities in U.S. communities, and the importance of passing a five-year Farm Bill," the Department announced on Friday.  Like the White House's #My2k campaign to get Congress to work with President Obama on fiscal cliff issues, USDA is newly using its Twitter accounts to put pressure on lawmakers to settle their Farm Bill differences, with the recently launched #MyFarmBill campaign.

Vilsack warned Congress  on Thursday that a best-case scenario Farm Bill could be demolished by larger fiscal cliff considerations if lawmakers don't act rapidly.  The 2008 Farm Bill expired on September 30th of this year.

Monday's Twitter chat will be on the @USDA Twitter account; questions can be submitted in advance using the hashtag #AskUSDA and #MyFarmBill.

USDA on Friday offered examples of questions it would like to see submitted, noting that "Secretary Vilsack will answer Twitter queries such as: What are the emerging sectors in agriculture for new farmers and ranchers; where do I find them? In both rural and urban communities, what is the significance of the agricultural sector? In both rural and urban communities, what is the significance of the agricultural sector?"