Recently we were invited to Washington DC to speak to the USDA about diversity in farming and to accept recognition for our work. We were also invited to take part in this season’s opening of the USDA Farmers Market, held right on the agency grounds. It’s probably one of the coolest things that’s happened to us since we bought Beekman 1802 Farm. And of course we made of point of sharing that honor with Farmer John. And the goats.
We were amazed by the sheer size and breadth of the USDA. It’s the third largest federal agency, after Department of Defense and Homeland Security. And even though most people think of them as simply the part of the government that works with American farmers, the agency also includes the U.S. Forestry Service, food safety, rural development, research, overseas agricultural programs and a heckuva lot more.