As USDA secretary, Ann Veneman has earned our high praise, admiration and gratitude for her public service and dedication to California agriculture and all of American farming.
Secretary Veneman showed genuine leadership last December when, in the midst of uncertainty due to the first BSE-infected cow in our nationís history, she conveyed the absence of risk by stepping to a podium and informing the world that she planned to serve American beef at her holiday table.
That is just one example of Secretary Venemanís boundless faith in agriculture. She has worked tirelessly to ensure a safe, secure food supply; to protect agriculture from exotic pests and diseases; to encourage conservation and environmental stewardship; and to maximize prospects for farmers and ranchers through programs that include trade, rural investment and educational opportunities.
Secretary Veneman has also demonstrated leadership with her landmark understanding of how the national well-being is threatened by the crisis in nutrition, most notably childhood obesity and related diseases.
We are very fortunate that Ann Veneman has served as secretary of agriculture. I thank her for her commitment and her achievements, and I wish her the very best in her future endeavors.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814