According to the Obama Foodorama blog, U.S. Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced on March 14 that she is resigning from her post after serving for all of President Obama’s first term. As the second highest ranking official at the USDA, Merrigan will be remembered as a champion of local and regional food systems, an advocate for organic agriculture, and for developing the agency’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” initiative. Merrigan has not announced future plans, but will remain on duty until the end of April.
While in office, Merrigan was critically involved in budgetary issues, boosting farm to school programs, helping the growth of farmers markets nationally, and urging an entire generation of youth to once again fall in love with farming. For her work, Merrigan was named to the 2010 Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world, and in 2012, she was honored by the James Beard Foundation with its Sustainable Leadership Award.
“USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has helped USDA achieve record results over the past four years. She has played a vital role in the Department-wide focus on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, as well as our efforts to achieve budget efficiencies and savings during an uncertain budget time,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Obama Foodorama post