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Release No. 0301.05 Contact: USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623 - page 10 / 53

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          I want to stress how valuable the Investment in Youth Program can be.  4-H is an example of an organization that is proactive in affirming youth development.  As the result of opportunities provided through the Cooperative Extension System that are supported by the USDA and the Farm Bill, many young people will be prepared to help the United States be competitive in this global world. Thank you, Mr. Secretary, for your attention and your consideration. MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thank you very much. [Applause.] Thank you.  We're going to alternate.  We'll start on this side and we'll go this side and you're up. REP. DEAN URDAHL:  Thank you.  Mr. Secretary, I'm state representative Dean Erdahl.  I represent Meeker and Wright Counties, which are just north of here and serve on the Agriculture Committees in Minnesota House.  And we're honored to have you.  Welcome to tropical Minnesota.  And I want to thank you for the part you play in helping to maintain the vitality of rural Minnesota.  And also I'd like to thank USDA Rural Development and Director Steve Wenzel for the role they play in encouraging people to live in rural Minnesota, to work in rural Minnesota, and if they have chosen to leave for any reason to incentivize and come back and live and work in rural Minnesota. My town of Grove City is a good example of this.  In 1964 Grove City was chosen as the first community in the United States to receive a multifamily housing grant. [Laughter.] MODERATOR:  I think he gets the drift on that one.  Okay.  Thank you very much.  You'll have to check your social calendar, Mr. Secretary. SEC. JOHANNS:  Yeah, and that leaves pretty open-ended opportunities. MODERATOR:  It does. SEC. JOHANNS:  I overlooked somebody and I offer my apologies because he's working very, very hard for you, and that's the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  Gene, where are you?  Gene, I know you were here because I visited with you.  Gene?  There you are.  Come on out here and wave at everybody.

           [Applause.] SEC. JOHANNS:  Thank you, Gene. MODERATOR:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  Now we go to this side of the aisle. MR. DOUG PETERSON:  Thank you.  I'm Doug Peterson.  I'm president of the

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