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USDA launches rural tour website

By Charisse Van Horn | examiner.com

USDA Rural Tour keeping touch with America's heartland

From left, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are seen during a visit to a housing project in Hooper Bay, Alaska, on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009, as part of the administration's rural tour. President Barack Obama promised to pay attention to problems of rural America, and four of his cabinet secretaries traveled Wednesday to parts of Alaska that couldn't get much more rural. (AP Photo/Dan Joling)

The United States Department of Agriculture is taking full advantage of social media networks and has announced the groundbreaking launch of a new website: the USDA Rural Tour. With the focus on engaging public interaction, you can stay in touch with the USDA through several features: Join the Conversation, Grab the Feed, Facebook, Flickr, Videos, Share this Page, and Twitter. Far gone are the days where one struggled to contact the USDA or waited for current information from the government organization. Also included in the new website is the Rural Tour Blog.

Founded on June 30, 2009, the Rural Tour was launched as a way for the USDA to keep in touch with the American Heartland. Operated by Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, the Rural Tour travels through America engaging in intelligent and thoughtful debate and discussion to help solve many of the crises facing rural America today. Since the Rural Tour cannot be everywhere, the expansion into social media networks and the Internet ensures that everyone can have his or her voice heard.

In addition to simply making a phone call or sending an Email, citizens can communicate with the USDA through means such as sending in videos and photos.

The Rural Tour site has a listing of upcoming stops throughout the months of August and September, as well as recaps of recent stops. Other features of the website include What’s Working and Strengthening Your Community. To access the site, participate in conversations, or sign up for USDA Rural Tour’s Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr feeds click here: USDA Rural Tour

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