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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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US Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan to visit NMSU

On Monday, March 26, New Mexico State University will welcome U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan to the Las Cruces campus. She will present a talk titled "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" at noon in the Gerald Thomas Hall Auditorium (room 194).

h primarily for students, the event is free and open to the public.

"Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" is an ongoing USDA program designed to "highlight the critical connection between farmers and consumers and support local and regional food systems that increase economic opportunity in rural America," according to the USDA website.

"It is a distinct privilege to host a deputy secretary on the NMSU campus and a tremendous opportunity for NMSU students to hear about policy creation and implementation at the highest level," said Jim Libbin, associate dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Merrigan has held her current post since 2009. In this position, she assists Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in the day-to-day operation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She also serves on the President's Management Council.

In 2009, she chaired the Ministerial Conference of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the first woman to do so.

Merrigan was included by Time magazine on its list of "100 Most Influential People in the World" in 2010.

Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was an assistant professor and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment graduate program at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. During the Clinton administration, she served as administrator of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999-2001.

Merrigan holds a Ph.D. in environmental planning and policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For more information about the event, contact Libbin at 575-646-1120 or jlibbin@nmsu.edu.