Vilsack meets with Japanese Ag minister |

Vilsack meets with Japanese Ag minister

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Hiroshi Moriyama met today in Tokyo in an attempt to encourage support among the public and quick legislative approval in both countries for the recently completed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to a readout of the meeting provided by an Agriculture Department spokesman.

Much of their conversation focused on efforts to revitalize and modernize rural areas in both nations through economic opportunity, the spokesman said.

Vilsack explained his “Four Pillars” plan to revitalize rural America through production agriculture, regional and local food systems, the biobased economy and conservation and natural resources.

Moriyama noted the efforts in Japan to turn agriculture into a growth industry by expanding farm size and utilizing technology.

Both officials agreed there must be a more concerted effort to explain to young people the economic benefits of agriculture and to create excitement for agriculture as a career in order to create population and economic growth in rural areas now experiencing a population decline.

Vilsack explained that because exports are tied to one-third of all agricultural production in the United States, they are a key driver of economic progress, the spokesman said.

–The Hagstrom Report